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News from West Publishing.

Stock Quotes on WESTLAW

WESTLAW now offers access to current and historical stock quote information from Dow Jones News/Retrieval. for current stock quotes, users can enter up to 10 ticker symbols or company names at a time. Historical stock quotes are available by specific trading day, quarter, month, or pricing history. Users are able to access the QUOTE service on WESTLAW by typing "quote" from anywhere in WESTLAW. The QUOTE service on WESTLAW offers the ability to off-line print current and historical stock quotes for future reference.

Expert Witness Testimony

Through an agreement between the United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA) and the National Expert Transcript Service (NETS)--an operating partner of West Publishing--federal court reporters will now make expert witness testimony available to the entire legal community. Users of the NETS service will now be able to preview abstracts of expert witness testimony exclusively on WESTLAW, West's computer-assisted legal research service, and then order full-text transcripts from NETS.

According to Dan Geraty, NETS vice president, the agreement will fill a void in a computer-assisted legal research. "With the exception of a few high-profile cases, expert witness testimony has not been readily available online," said Geraty. "Yet half of all felony cases and nearly 90 percent of civil cases involve expert witnesses. The average civil case involves three or more expert witnesses. Obviously, it's tremendously helpful for an attorney preparing for a trial to be able to study each expert's prior testimony. Tracking down expert witness testimony, though, has always been a tedious and expensive task. Now, this new partnership brings the whole process into the information age."

USCRA leadership reports enthusiastic support for the new program among the organization's membership. There are more than 600 federal court reporters nationwide. Donald E. Womack, USCRA president, said, "The culmination of this agreement is one of great professional importance. I believe this is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate publicly how the role of the court reporter is changing. We no longer merely capture the spoken word; we are information providers. Today's computerized court reporters are uniquely positioned to provide this type of service."

West Publishing, IBM Partnership on Speech Recognition Product

West Publishing and IBM are expanding the terms of an existing joint development agreement that led to the availability of IBM's VoiceType Vocabulary for Legal Dictation in 1995. The new agreement will enable West and IBM to further enrich the capabilities of the current legal vocabulary offering and also provide for an integration between VoiceType Dictation and both WESTLAW and West CD-ROM Libraries. Under a separate agreement, West will be allowed to distribute IBM's VoiceType products.

This collaboration will add task-oriented features to IBM's award-winning VoiceType product line, thus allowing customers to use their voices to conduct online research on WESTLAW and West CD-ROM Libraries, according to West. A utility is currently under development that will enable full compatibility between IBM's VoiceType products and WEST MATE, the customized research software for WESTLAW, and PREMISE Research Software for West CD-ROM Libraries, both of which provide natural language search capabilities. This utility will be added to future versions of the IBM VoiceType Vocabulary for Legal Dictation and will be made separately available to current VoiceType users. The new utility extends the use of IBM's VoiceType Dictation to the field of research.

IBM's VoiceType Vocabulary for Legal Dictation, which consists of 25,000 words, was created jointly with West Publishing and released last year. It contains legal citation abbreviations, phrases, abbreviations, and legal language models, which allow VoiceType Dictation to transform spoken words into text without typing or transcribing dictation. The companies plan further development to make Black's Law Dictionary an addition to the VoiceType legal vocabulary product.

The IBM VoiceType family features high-function tool kits for developers and end-user solutions for dictation and navigation. VoiceType Dictation offers high-accuracy voice recognition for professional and general office users, plus specialized vocabularies for medical, legal, journalism and related environments. Based on two decades of IBM research, VoiceType dictation runs on Windows 95, Windows 3.x and OS/2.

For more information, contact West Publishing, Eagen, MN, 800/227-0721, or visit West's Web site at http://www.west
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Publication:Information Today
Date:May 1, 1996
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