Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Beware Historical Codes Disappear From Westlaw

Law librarians are just realizing that West has removed the content from many of the state historical codes without notice.

A law librarian from North Dakota mentioned that the flushed content consists of all Michie’s-hosted historical statutes, comprising nearly 15 years of archival content, for that state.

A law librarian from Alaska noticed a similar removal of Alaska historical statutes, and there was another from Wyoming who mentioned the removal of Wyoming statutes. The law librarian from Wyoming guessed that the contract West had with Lexis to include the older statutes expired and that they were not able to come to a new agreement.

But a law librarian from New Hampshire has stated that the archival content is still available from 1989-present, and it used to be published by a company that eventually became part of Lexis.

It'll be interesting to see the final outcome, but I know how valuable the historical statutes content on Westlaw has been to my research over the last 5 years or so, and I would hate to see this as a continuing trend.

Update: news from a Westlaw rep "this happened as of July 31.  It only affects materially that is specifically Michie, so general Lexis statutes shouldn’t be impacted, only those that were branded as Michie."

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