February 14, 2011
Is the CCH Federal Securities Law Reporter Obsolete?
Does anyone still use the CCH Federal Securities Law Reporter?
At one time, learning to use the CCH Federal Securities Law Reporter was a rite of passage for securities lawyers. I remember my own efforts to struggle through it when I began practicing as a securities litigator.
It has never been a user-friendly product. It is poorly indexed and it is organized in such a way that one needs a fairly substantial knowledge of securities law just to use it. But, in the pre-digital era, it was the best, most thorough source available. In particular, it was the only source that provided systematic access to SEC releases and no-action letters.
Today, there are a lot of other ways to find securities law. Westlaw and Lexis obviously, but even the SEC’s own web site provides all the releases and significant no-action letters. A multitude of blogs and RSS feeds, including the SEC’s own news and regulatory feeds, provide almost everything anyone could want to know about securities law. And the daily and weekly reports available from BNA, especially the electronic versions, are, in my view, better than what CCH provides.
So I’m wondering if time has passed by the CCH securities law system.
February 14, 2011 | Permalink
Would love to know the answer to this! I'm currently teaching a course on corporate & securities law research and trying to decide whether to teach this resource in print or not.
Posted by: Melissa | Feb 14, 2011 3:45:12 PM
I don't know. I know that I don't use it anymore, but that doesn't mean others don't, particularly if they're uncomfortable with electronic resources. And even associates and paralegals who are comfortable with electronic resources might be directed to it by a superior.
Every major law library I'm aware of still subscribes--which doesn't necessarily mean anyone is using it.
Posted by: Steve Bradford | Feb 15, 2011 7:21:11 AM
As the publisher of the Federal Securities Law Reporter, we would like to address your comments and appreciate that this venue offers another opportunity to have a direct dialogue with our customers. Many users still associate this Reporter with its loose-leaf print version. Although the familiar black binders are still widely used, there may be less awareness that this publication (which is used by all major law firms and related government regulators) is also available online through our IntelliConnect platform and that this Internet version offers many additional features that address the organizational issues mentioned in your post.
For example, the Internet version includes our Securities Topic Navigator tool, a taxonomy developed by our attorney-editors that allows the user to navigate the Reporter by topic and link directly to the relevant source material in the Reporter. Other features in the Internet version include, of course, full-text and citation searching to find the material desired. No-action Letters and SEC releases are also easily accessed from browse lists. In addition, the Internet Reporter service includes special online coverage of major securities regulatory events delivered immediately via expert-authored white papers and "Law, Explanation and Analysis" books (e.g., our online Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Law, Explanation and Analysis). Finally, our popular weekly Report Letters can be e-mailed directly to the user with links to source material in the Reporter.
We hope these elements help to demonstrate that the Federal Securities Law Reporter from Wolters Kluwer Law & Business continues as the industry standard reference for securities lawyers to this day. As always, we appreciate any input you may have into ways that we can better serve securities law professionals.
Posted by: Ted Trautmann, Managing Editor | Feb 16, 2011 3:39:02 PM
Your comments address the value of the Federal Securities Law Reporter. I don't think anyone questions that the materials you offer have some value. The question I pose is really a cost-benefit question: given the proliferation of other securities law resources, many available for free, is the marginal benefit of the CCH Federal Securities Law Reporter worth the cost? Or, to put it another way, is the money better spent on other resources?
Take, for example, the "Law, Explanation, and Analysis" books you mention. Within a short time of Dodd-Frank's passage, all of the securities law blogs were weighing in on its final provisions and many law firms, including some of the best in the field, had published reports, freely available on the Internet, exhaustively analyzing the Act. Some of those reports were better than others, but an intelligent practitioner wouldn't have much trouble picking and choosing.
I still don't know the answer to the question I posed, and the answer may vary from lawyer to lawyer, but merely describing the features won't answer that question.
Posted by: Steve Bradford | Feb 17, 2011 7:32:12 AM