September 11, 2012
How Not to Go Green: Killing trees by way of Lexis expanding its Ohio Court Rules pamphlet set
Stealing a chapter of TR Legal's playbook, those of us in the Buckeye State recently received a p-volume expansion of the Annotated Rules Governing the Courts of Ohio from Lexis. (Are institutional buyers seeing the same for other state court rules pamphlet sets from Lexis?) But unlike TR Legal, the expansion does not cost anything more, at least not yet, if one doesn't factor in the time some of us have been spending fielding calls and emails from the folks we buy the office copy court rules. In our little county law library government-run system, that's not an insignificant number of copies. Our end-user preference has been to want "Anderson's," which is now a Lexis brand name for some Ohio-specific primary and secondary practice materials.
Hey, it is good to know my judges and government attorneys are cost conscious even when funding the standing orders isn't costing them anything! But, I've really got more productive things to do with my time. While not costing a penny more than the usual annual roll-up right now, my hunch is that someday it will. In addition to killing trees, this is an interesting end-around the unsolicted shipment rule because the additional stuff is "free."
It is a common legal publishing industry rule-of-thumb to do the opposite of whatever TR Legal does. In this instance, however, Lexis has outdone West in its gamesmanship. Prime the pump by giving something away for free now. Then ... well, you know. None of my subscriber base will need the additional stuff so Lexis better be offering options to pick the specific volumes subscribers want before (OK, wishful thinking on my part but you can see the corner the Company has trapped itself in) when pricing increases beyond the usual annual percent roll-up. (And I was just thinking about killing my standing orders for TR Legal's over-priced Ohio court rules pamphlets because it is budget prep time and we don't need both WEXIS versions.)
Smells like snake oil to me. But since I've gone there already, time for Steve Earle's Someday by placing the song in the context of the very small town that is WEXIS. [JH]