MCC Interactive - Digging Deeper With Westlaw

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - 00:00

Craig Miller,
Thomson West

The March issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (MCC) includes Part II of the Special Report on Diversity, with a focus on what leading corporate legal departments and their outside counsel are doing to promote and support diversity. This issue also highlights other areas of interest to corporate counsel. Craig Miller, Vice President and General Manager, Corporate Division, Thomson West, recommends that current subscribers of Westlaw can dig deeper into these issues through direct links to Westlaw from MCC's Web site, www.metrcorpcounsel.com.

In a global economy, diversity is an integral part of doing business anywhere. The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) http://www.mcca.com is an association whose mission is to collect and disseminate information about diversity to the legal profession. Founded in 1997, MCCA advocates the expanded hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them. The MCCA will hold its 5th Annual CLE Expo titled, "Breaking Barriers! Strengthening Relationships! Advancing the Profession!" on March 15-17 2006 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. Thomson West will be present as one of the sponsors of the event.

One of the interviewees in the Special Report on Diversity in this issue is The Hon. Barry A. Cozier, who served as a Justice of the Commercial Division in New York County before joining Epstein Becker & Green P.C. In his interview on page 40 of this issue, he discusses his contribution to West's three-volume work on Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts.

Another interview featured in this issue of MCC focuses on class action lawsuits and how corporate counsel might anticipate class actions brought against the corporation. See Edward F. Mannino and David L. Comerford, Preparing For And Surviving The New Class Actions Game - Part I on page 9 of this issue. Westlaw can be of service in this regard. Westlaw contains many databases corporate counsel can use to stay on top of issues regarding class action law suits that affect their company, their industry or their competitors. For instance, the Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter (ANCALR) database focuses on expanded coverage of the legal issues common to class actions and complex litigation. Corporate counsel can use this database for background and analysis of current class-action issues. Moreover, Westlaw has many trial and appellate court documents that are useful to further explore specific issues and monitor the competition. Westlaw provides access to more than 230,000 briefs from the federal appellate courts and the highest courts of many states. The National Class Action Briefs (CLASS-BRIEF) database includes briefs and petitions from the U.S. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and selected state briefs in class action suits. In addition, the Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter Court Documents (ANCALR-DOC) database contains selected court documents including petitions, complaints, briefs, motions, trial court memoranda and other documents from state and federal courts in class action suits.

The Mannino and Comerford interview mentions that we offer products that allow corporate counsel "to monitor docket information to learn about the companies being hit, the law firms representing the parties, the nature of the litigation and where they are being sued." Dockets on Westlaw gives you access to millions of case-related documents allowing you to stay on top of significant developments. And by using Dockets Alerts, you can monitor new filings and learn about new cases filed against your company, competition, or others in your industry.

The use of technology to improve the quality of legal services is a focus of a number of articles and interviews in this issue. Companies invest heavily in technology resources such as Internet-based court retrieval services, document management systems and extranets to streamline their communication efforts. Westlaw CourtExpress is a new service from Thomson West that provides comprehensive court document retrieval. More specifically, it provides online access to court documents from the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S district courts, U.S. bankruptcy courts, and hundreds of state, local and municipal courts in the U.S. Other Westlaw CourtExpress services include in-person document retrieval for all U.S. courts, international courts and tribunals, U.S. government agencies (including U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests) and all U.S. libraries. Additionally, West's Counsel Monitor provides in-depth competitive analysis and online reports revealing litigation trends for specific industries and companies, showing distribution of cases by law firm, attorney, jurisdiction and litigation type. Finally, Westlaw has searchable databases for federal and state cases, briefs, pleadings and memoranda, expert witnesses and jury verdicts in addition to comprehensive analytical material.

This issue of MCC also includes coverage of healthcare issues. See pages 17 and 19. The Health Policy Tracking Service (HPTS) from NetScan on Westlaw provides exclusive current-awareness and in-depth analysis on the most critical healthcare legislative issues and policy changes around the country. With coverage of more than 200 healthcare topics, this unique health law product gives professionals the information they need to proactively assess company risks and policy requirements.

To get background information about authors, interviewees and law firms highlighted in this issue visit Westlaw Profiler on Westlaw by going to the Profile-All database. Westlaw Profiler quickly links primary and secondary traditional legal research materials to profiles of attorneys, judges and legal experts.

For information on becoming a Westlaw subscriber, please visit http://west.thomson.com or call Jocelyn Tollin at (212) 548-7438. Visit www.metrocorpcounsel.com to access the live links in this article and more.