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WEST PUBLISHING COMPANY SUES THOMSON LEGAL PUBLISHING FOR FALSE ADVERTISING

 WEST PUBLISHING COMPANY SUES THOMSON LEGAL
 PUBLISHING FOR FALSE ADVERTISING
 EAGAN, Minn., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- West Publishing Company filed a false advertising suit today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis against Thomson Legal Publishing, Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., doing business as Lawyers Cooperative Publishing. The suit alleges that Thomson's advertisements for its Auto-Cite citation verification service falsely state that Auto-Cite has broader coverage of legal publications than Insta-Cite, the citation verification service published by West.
 As stated in the complaint, at the time the advertisements attached to the complaint were published, "Insta-Cite had available for citation verification 400 publications, a full 70 more publications than Auto- Cite. Therefore, the Insta-Cite number of 240 used in LCP's advertisements was false and deceptive. In fact, the entire message of those advertisements, namely, that Auto-Cite had more publications available for citation verification than Insta-Cite, also was entirely false and deceptive."
 The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing Thomson from publishing any further false ads comparing Auto-Cite and Insta-Cite. The lawsuit also seeks payment of West's attorneys fees incurred in pursuing the lawsuit.
 Vance K. Opperman, attorney for West, said that, "There is no excuse for such blatantly false ads, given that Thomson subscribed to Insta- Cite and therefore had access to the proper numbers for an accurate comparison. What is particularly galling is that Thomson not only dramatically understated the coverage of West's Insta-Cite service, but made that false comparison the centerpiece of the advertisements."
 West has published legal materials for more than 100 years. Insta- Cite is available to subscribers of WESTLAW, West's computer-assisted legal research service. Subscribers using Insta-Cite can view the direct line of case history of judicial decisions in chronological order to confirm that a case has not been overruled or reversed.
 Insta-Cite now has over 400 publications available for citation verification review. Auto-Cite competes with Insta-Cite, and is made available by Thomson to subscribers of Lexis, the legal-assisted research service offered by Mead Data Central, Inc. of Miamisburg, Ohio.
 The ads in question state that, "The fact that the Auto-Cite(R) case validation service references over 330 case reporters and Insta-Cite(R) only 240(a), is a strong case for Auto-Cite." The (a) in the Auto-Cite ad refers to an outdated WESTLAW Reference Manual, which had been superseded by a new manual almost a year before the Auto-Cite advertisements were published.
 "Our records show that Thomson received the new WESTLAW manual in March of 1991," said Larry Culligan, West editor-in-chief. "Yet, they were continuing to run the ads with the false comparison as late as March of 1992, and, for all we know, they may still be running those ads in publications that we haven't seen yet," Culligan added.
 -0- 5/20/92
 /CONTACT: Dorothy Molstad of West Publishing, 612-687-7617, or Vance K. Opperman of Opperman Heins & Paquin, 612-339-6900/ CO: West Publishing Company; Thomson Legal Publishing, Inc.; ST: Minnesota, New York IN: PUB SU:


AL -- MN012 -- 2471 05/20/92 16:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 20, 1992
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