American Law Reports Being Removed From Lexis

According to a post today on Information Today’s Newsbreaks page, Thomson West will be making the American Law Reports exclusive to Westlaw as of January 2008. In the post, Carol Ebbinghouse, director of the California Second District Court of Appeal Library, writes about the origin and history of the ALRs. She also says:

As a legal research educator and a librarian who has worked with law students and attorneys as well as judges, I can tell you that there are users who won’t know a product like ALR is gone from an online service until they really need it. And, they may not have access to the competitor’s system. If they are solo practitioners or even a partner in a branch of a large law firm, they definitely won’t have the money or the space for the equivalent print product. In cases of “born-digital” products, there won’t be any alternative at the moment when they need the information.

And she goes on to explain that Lexis is already working on a competitive alternative.

Thanks to Steven M. Cohen for the link over at Library Stuff.

Posted from home at 10:22 p.m.


  1. Yet another reason why my mid-sized law firm must have access to both the Westlaw and Lexis products.

    I would like to add though that events like this remind us to support our law society and university law library print and digital collections.

  2. Students are always amazed when one shows them what the ALRs can do. If you hit the jackpot of having an annotation right on point, the abbreviation of the research process is massive.

    It’s a little like showing them AmJur or the CJS, when they’ve been flailing around in blizzards of inconsistent caselaw, garnered at massive expense from the wastes of Eagan and Dayton. But that’s another story.

    I cannot believe that Reed Elsevier can seriously claim that there is another product waiting out there or which can be developed within a decade.

  3. This is so disappointing to me as a paralegal student, I have been using Lexis because my school has a very special offer and Westlaw offers nothing…. Westlaw should at least help out the law students!!!