New to the Net: JD Supra

JD Supra was launched last week and is generating a lot of interest.

According to this ABA Journal write up, the free site is “intended to help lawyers share filed pleadings, research memoranda and other materials that allow them to build on each other’s prior work, rather than start every project on a clean slate.”

The site was developed by San Francisco litigator Aviva Cuyler and a “team of Internet and legal marketing professionals.” A search page allows users to find relevant material by jurisdiction, subject matter and document type. As the number of documents grows, the site could become an important tool for legal researchers. Top contributors currently include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Morrison & Foerster, the Cato Institute, and Mintz, Levin. Reportedly, Justia will be uploading a large number of “higher quality briefs and filings” pulled from the federal government’s PACER electronic court filing system.

Will there prove to be a free rider problem with the site, as lawyers freely download the work product of other lawyers? Maybe not, when you consider that much of this work product is in fact already shared, just more inefficiently, via contacts between individual lawyers, firm websites, and searches for briefs and other filings on Westlaw, Lexis and PACER. Will clients complain if lawyers don’t save client money by downloading relevant documents from the site? We’ll have to wait and see.

The site also provides an opportunity for networking and marketing of lawyers’ services by allowing individuals, firms and organizations to create profiles.

Hat Tip: WisBlawg

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