P H I L O S O P H Y 
   "Forget for a minute that you’re a lawyer and pretend you’re my paralegal."  
Mark Whitney 
      We've got a Federal case implicating standing. Our side likes Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83 (1968) and the United States likes Schlesinger v. Reservists, 418 U.S. 208 (1968).

     For starters, I want every case -- current within the most recent business day -- from only our binding Federal circuit and district, mentioning both Flast and Schlesinger. And I want it now!

     Using your current toolset, how would you do that in a single search?

     I happen to know, that unless you subscribe to Westlawnext – which is very, very expensive – it is impossible for you to perform this simple task, and that before Westlawnext, this was only possible using our database.

     My subscribers do it in about 10 seconds and they do it like this:

     1. Click TheLaw.net Icon
         It boots right to the search screen. No user/name or password.
     2. Deactivate Select All
     3. Activate the databases for only the D.C. Circuit and District
     4. Enter: “392 U.S. 83” and “418 U.S. 208”
     5. SEARCH

     Computers make this possible. TheLaw.net makes it doable.

     I started TheLaw.net nearly 15 years ago because West and Lexis actually prevented me from performing a litany of simple computing tasks. It was like they stayed up late thinking of ways to defeat logic.

     I don't just want a list of generic results. I want knowledge in the form of a dynamic, interactive results screen that tells me the most cited case. I want to see the seminal case matching my criteria. I want to see the most relevant case based on search term proximity, numerosity, density and diversity. I want to cross-reference the most cited opinions with the most relevant opinions, telling me which opinions are most cited for my point of law. Again -- computers make these things possible, while TheLaw.net makes them doable and indispensable.

     As a result of my personal frustration with the fragmented state of legal research, today my subscribers are able to perform the foregoing detailed level of individualized, legal research, because, in 2008, after nine years in business, we upgraded them – for free (as always) -- to the first version of Citetrak, our best-of-breed, first-mover algorithm.

     We teach our subscribers to think in terms of Codes and Concepts. The industry assigns codes to statutes, rules, regulations and opinions. But, when lawyers think “opinion” they think “citation.” When my subscribers hear Flast and Schlesinger, it doesn’t call to mind two cases, or two party names, it calls to mind two, unique codes, that will quickly resolve their search to “yes” or “no.”

     From there, legal research is completely individualized.

     Book research -- by definition -- was a one-size-fits-all proposition because researchers relied on partial, man-made indexes of opinions. Computers, by contrast, index everything and it's only with the ability to compare human indexing with computerized indexing, that today we realize how much the humans were missing.

     When you combine a great database with a great algorithm that delivers pure results, you can say:

     “OK, Robot, give me a list of opinions – if any --
from only these courts, citing my opinion,
for my point-of-law or concept.” 
     It doesn’t get any better than that. But, if your thought processes are hampered by a database with warning screens, upsells, roadblocks and tollbooths, as the proverbial Old Timer from my home state of Vermont says: "You can’t get there from here."

     Two years after we upgraded our subscribers to our new algorithm, the people over at Thomson-Reuter’s rolled out Westlawnext, finally making it possible for handful users who can afford national access, to simultaneously activate any combination of Federal and state jurisdictions. (This is still impossible with Westlaw and Lexis.)

     Our flagship application – TheLaw.net Equalizer – includes password and user-name-free access to a perpetually-updated, comprehensive, fully-enhanced, syndicated, proprietary, searchable, citable, checkable database of judicial opinions that is used by 50% of the attorneys in the United States; positioning this database ahead of Lexis and just behind Westlaw in terms of market penetration and acceptance.

     Westlawnext rents for up to $4,000 an hour. TheLaw.net still rents for less than $50 a month annualized, upgrades are always free, and your renewal rate is guaranteed to be the same or less.

     John West built an empire on key numbers, headnotes and annotations. By definition, these hand-crafted resources represent a partial index of judicial opinions. But, they were great because they kept you from having to read all of the opinions in the library. Westlaw is still defined tools designed for book researchers. In my opinion, Westlawnext -- like TheLaw.net -- is all about the algorithm.

     We’ve been in business for nearly 15 years and we happily cede large research environments to Thomson Reuters. The only reason TheLaw.net doesn’t work as the go-to tool in such environments, is that culturally you just can’t issue a memo to a firm of 2,000 lawyers that says, “Heads up! We’re using TheLaw.net now.”

     The irony is that today, the best algorithm in the business is not used by the AMLAW 1,000. It’s used by practitioners in small to medium research environments from coast-to-coast.

     TheLaw.net is like the iPhone. You look at it, you know how to use it and it exceeds expectations. And the database is ubiquitous like the iPhone. A couple of years back, an attorney sued the company, having previously lobbied his local city council to put a law on the books allowing him to collect $500 every time someone sends him an email he didn’t request. We forced a trial and after deliberating less than 30 minutes, a jury ruled in our favor. What interested me the most, is that counsel for the plaintiff, our counsel and the judge, all had paid access to the same database that's available to you right now for less than $50 a month annualized.

     If, like our subscribers, you have the ability – in a single click – to call up every opinion, citing your opinion for your point-of-law and/or concept(s), from the court(s) you care about most, and a dynamic, interactive, results screen allowing you to sift and sort by first/last case, most/least relevant, most/least cited, party name and court hierarchy, what more do you want?

     It has always been our mantra to give everyone everything and let the best lawyer win. This seems consistent with principles of fundamental fairness. More than any other company, TheLaw.net is responsible for debunking the notion normalized during the last quarter of the last century, that researchers in large environments should see all the law, while researchers in small environments should be content with a paltry slice.

     You’re five minutes and less than $50 a month away from using the best algorithm ever developed for performing real, national legal research from your desktop.

     As always, we look forward to being of service!

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