AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / July/August 2017 / Volume 21, Number 6

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

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58 AALL SPECTRUM | WWW.AALLNET.ORG I n the summer of 1999, when a client, concerned about its mounting outside counsel research fees, asked attorney Ed Walters to nd the answer to a case law question without using the paid search services his rm relied on, Walters duti- fully tried to locate another option. He couldn't. At one in the morning, he broke down and spent 45 minutes on a fee- based service tracking down the informa- tion he needed, which cost roughly $1,500. at night, Walters walked into the oce next to his, where his fellow associate, Phil Rosenthal, was working, to vent. "I just couldn't believe the rights to the law had been given away to foreign pub- lishing conglomerates to sell back to us at hundreds of dollars per search—per minute, in some cases," Walters said. "I told Phil, 'in this internet-enabled world, you can't have a duopoly for access to legal information; there will have to be an alternative, and I have half a mind to go build one."' Rosenthal turned out to be the right co-worker to voice his concerns to. "Phil said, 'Did I mention I have PhD in physics, in addition to being a lawyer?'" Walters said. "'If you're serious, let's look at it.'" In November 1999, Walters and Rosenthal le their rm, and working out of Walters' Alexandria, Virginia, living room created and ne-tuned a prototype; the rst commercial version of their legal research solution debuted online in 2003. Today, Fastcase is used by more than 800,000 attorneys. e Washington, DC- based company is staed by more than 100 employees—and Rosenthal, now president, How the company used data visual- ization, big data, mobile apps, and machine learning to build one of the nation's most innovative legal research tools. The 411 on Fastcase VENDOR VOICE BUSINESS EDGE

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