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October 28, 2010

Comments

Monica Bay

JoAnna:

Thank you for your recent kind comments about our exciting plans.

I do want to clarify LTN’s stand on vendor bylines:

Law Technology News recognizes the important role that technology vendors play in our legal technology community, and champions the innovation and expertise they offer to help legal professionals deliver effective legal services to their clients. Our reported stories and case studies dive into key issues involving vendors, and we include vendors as sources for those stories. We regularly cover new and upgraded products, “done deals” and partnerships, and people, and we routinely invite vendors to participate in our “Second Opinion” feature. Vendors are also invited to write Green Law columns about how their organizations are adopting environmentally-friendly programs (so long as they are not writing about their own products).

However, we do not allow vendors to write bylined features in Law Technology News, for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, there are more than 600 vendors in the e-discovery arena alone, and multiple vendors in almost every substantive area, there is no way to be fair in assigning bylined articles, with only 12 (and now six) issues of LTN every year. To include vendor bylines guarantees a perception of favortism, and that is anathema to our editorial principles.

We are very excited about the upgrades that are in the works. We will have even more comprehensive and analytical coverage of products and services, and more indepth reporting, to help us best serve our diverse audience.

We welcome your comments and suggestions: lawtech@alm.com

Monica Bay

JoAnna Forshee / InsideLegal

Monica, Thanks for reaching out.

For the last few months, we have been focusing on thought leadership on InsideLegal and have been surprised how vendors are sometimes not included in that group. While there are definitely some vendors that I either wouldn’t consider “thought leaders” or wouldn’t trust them to speak or write without promoting their companies (the bad apples), there absolutely are vendor experts that we contend are unfairly excluded from opportunities just based on the fact that they carry the ‘Scarlet V’. A perfect example of this is Tom Collins, founder of Juris. As the CEO of Juris he had a hard time securing speaking opportunities although most people would admit that he was a thought leader and someone that could be trusted at the podium. Immediately after his buy-out, he received a few requests to speak.

I know that you do cover a lot of vendor news (Done Deals, People, etc.) and have always highlighted the vendor community through that, but what I’m talking about is the opportunity for vendors to distribute their thought leadership through writing articles and speaking on their knowledge areas (not their products) and for the industry to benefit from that perspective. We are absolutely not ‘picking on’ Law Technology News or other publications that have this policy, but just pointing out that the majority of publications do value and allow for vendor expert participation and find a way to work to allow it even despite the number of vendor companies. We completely understand that every publication has a right to make that decision on its own. We are just initiating a discussion about it.

I really appreciate you taking the time to give your viewpoint and respond to this point and we wish you luck with all the new plans for LTN. I would be happy to discuss further if you would like.

Regards,
JoAnna

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