MCC Interactive - Digging Deeper With Westlaw

Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 00:00

Craig Miller,
Thomson West

Craig Miller, vice president and general manager, Corporate Division, Thomson West, recommends that current Westlaw® subscribers dig deeper into topics discussed in this issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (MCC) through direct links to Westlaw services (underlined below) from the version of this column on MCC's Web site, www.metrocorpcounsel.com.

In its March issue, MCC included Part I of Preparing For And Surviving The New Class Actions Game in which MCC interviewed Akin Gump panelists who took part in a seminar sponsored by that firm. This was the first of a new series of interviews (seminar interviews) based on interviewing panelists at seminars given by law firms. Part II of the Akin Gump interviews appears on page 12 of this issue. Among other things, it highlights the importance of getting judges to throw out expert witness' testimony based on dubious science.

Part I of interviews of participants in seminars sponsored by Weil Gotshal and Manges LLP (Antitrust in Distribution) and King & Spalding LLP (Healthcare) appear on pages 11 and 17, respectively, of this issue. The seminar-based approach has proven popular with MCC's readers. After Part I of the Akin interview was posted on MCC's Web site, it attracted more visits than did most other interviews and articles posted about the same time.

To remain informed about developments (including those relevant to the seminar interviews), Westlaw® Watch provides a new tool that allows professionals to clip, organize and categorize information from Westlaw using the latest technologies through a company's intranet or portal. You can control the flow of critical information throughout your organization, so that everyone stays informed on business issues, legal topics and competitive matters. Another innovative technology from West is West kmTM, a knowledge management tool that allows users to search their organizations' internal documents (including those relevant to the kinds of issues raised in the seminar interviews) using the power of Westlaw. By integrating an organization's own work product with Westlaw research functionality and content, an entire staff can work more efficiently.

Developments in environmental law are highlighted on pages 21 through 33 of this issue of MCC. ENFLEX on Westlaw helps professionals monitor EH&S regulations and keep up-to-date on relevant changes to your environmental management systems. ENFLEX, combined with Westlaw RegulationsPlusTM, allows you to keep abreast of current and proposed regulations so that professionals can effectively advise your company. As part of its RegulationsPlus offering, Westlaw now contains a fully annotated and indexed CFR with 1.4 million index references and more than 600,000 case law notes of decision, similar to West's annotated statute sets. In addition, Westlaw now includes historical CFR versions and searchable PDFs of the Federal Register back to 1936.

Real Estate issues are the focus of pages 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 of this issue. Westlaw Real Estate Practitioner (RPT-ALL) contains forms, checklists, financial calculators and Real Property Transaction Records from more than 900 counties in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The records may contain information about sales transactions, ownership transfers, refinancing transactions, second mortgages, construction loans or equity loans based on recorded deeds.

This issue includes a focus on the expanding role of the corporate secretary (pages 53, 54, 55 ). As corporate secretaries' roles expand, Westlaw has expanded its resources in corporate governance and compliance. Those who currently use securities law information are probably already familiar with LIVEDGAR from GSI. Corporate secretaries can find some of the most coveted GSI materials in two new Westlaw databases. The first, the Federal Securities Law-SEC Staff Review Letters Database (FSEC-SSR), contains letters prepared by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The letters comment on both periodic reports (e.g., 10-K, 20-F, 10-Q or 8-K reports) and transactional reports (such as,., registration statements, proxy filings), offering a unique view of the deliberative and reasoning processes of SEC staffers. The Federal Securities Law-SEC Forms (FSEC-FORMS) database, contains an up-to-date collection of official SEC forms and easily print in PDF. Corporate secretaries can research the Boards of Directors and potential candidates by using the ALLNEWS database on Westlaw which contains newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, government press releases, and transcripts of television and radio shows and congressional testimony. There are also print treatises available from West, including the Law of Corporate Officers and Directors: Rights, Duties, and Liabilities by Edward Brodsky and M. Patricia, which addresses legal and practical aspects that support Corporate Secretaries in formulating and carrying out corporate policy. Another print treatise, Corporations: Governance & Regulation, 2d, by Brent A. Olson, provides guidance on representing directors, officers, and shareholders, in the areas of communication, acquisition and takeover and transaction issues.

Westlaw research technologies deliver superior value every year; in 2005 Westlaw was named by Law Office Computing Magazine as the Readers' Choice Award winner in the Legal Research Service Category for the ninth consecutive years. Westlaw was preferred by 55.2 percent of respondents; the nearest competitor was preferred only by 30.0 percent of respondents.

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.