Legal Tech Decides O’Keefe Can Partake In Panel

This little piece of news has to be the worst PR we remember Lexis Nexis getting in years. Why they do it to themselves we don’t know.

As per our story last night – here’s blogger Simple Justice on the subject.


The most important thing to note is the fact that Kevin O’Keefe has now been invited back to join the panel he was turfed off earlier in the week.


It’d be interesting to know if there was a bit of argy bargy between Incisive & Lexis Nexis over the issue. All in all neither of them are going to come out of this smelling of roses.


Simple Justice writes:

LegalTech Dirtied by Lexis Lucre (Update)

Posted by SHG at 1/13/2009 9:49 AM and is filed under uncategorized
You know something is for real when some corporation uses its cash to drag it down into the gutter. And so the blawgosphere has entered the mainstream of corporate filth when Lexis/Nexis, ATM for that dinosaur Martindale-Hubbell, used its "sponsorship" to pull the plug on Kevin O’Keefe’s panel spot at LegalTech.
In that LegalTech is one of the premier legal technology events of the year, I readily accepted. It was an honor to be invited. I was to appear on a panel in the trek on how to use ‘Web 2.0 Technology to Gain a Strategic Advantage for Your Practice.’ The person from Incisive went so far as to say they were really excited to have me on the panel.

This morning I get a call from an Incisive Media employee that they’re very sorry but that the panel I was invited to speak on was full. They ‘didn’t know what to say,’ but were ‘very sorry.’

I responded that it appears that LexisNexis, the sponsor of the panel, did not want me on the panel because of my recent commentary on LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell so bumped me. I doubt they ran out of chairs. Their response was basically ‘can’t comment on that, there’s a lot of politics involved.’
So now we’re "silencing the critics" in the blawgosphere, are we? I’m not at all surprised that Lexis wants to shut Kevin down, given how badly he burned them and how much they deserved to be burned. Honest criticism stings, and corporate wonks really hate it when someone gives them a nice, sharp well-deserved smack across the chops. Kevin landed a good blow.

But what I don’t get is that LegalTech, put on by Incisive Media, owner of America Lawyer Media which is deeply involved in the blawgosphere, is willing to sell off its credibility for the price of a Lexis panel discussion sponsorship. For crying out loud, ALM, if you’re selling integrity, at least get a decent price for it.

Kevin, because he’s truly a really nice guy and believes that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, tries to explain why Lexis is wrong to throw him off the panel because of his criticism of M-H, which he contends helps them to improve their product and hence keeps on top of their game. I, on the other hand, prefer to ignore the flies altogether, so that I can write whatever I want without worrying about whether anyone invited me on a panel.

This corporate politics approach is a disgrace, and the blawgosphere should do two things: Let both Lexis/Nexis and Incisive Media know that we know that they are going to punish blawgers who don’t suck up to them. Kevin O’Keefe is one of the most techno-savvy and knowledgeable guys I’ve ever met, and his absence from the panel is a near-condemnation of anything this panel has to offer. You don’t toss the guy who knows what he’s talking about and expect to have any credibility.

The second thing to do is let Incisive Media know that they have a choice to make, whether to let web-wannabes like Lexis dictate their integrity by playing internal politics at LegalTech. Frankly, if ALM doesn’t blow the lid off this crap, they are every bit as complicit in this effort to silence M-H critics as Lexis is.

A while back, an ALM blawger proposed that Simple Justice join the ALM "family" of blogs. Failing to see any meaningful benefit to doing so, I respectfully declined, though my buddy Turk decided to sign up. Now, I’m certainly glad I dodged that bullet. While Kevin may feel constrained to make nice with the powers that run LegalTech in order to avoid burning another bridge, I still have the ability to call it as I see it.

Lexis is using cash to silence its critic. Incisive Media is selling its integrity cheap. And the efficacy of LegalTech hangs in the balance. Make your choices, folks. Just how much is your integrity and credibility worth?

Update: Kevin O’Keefe is back on a panel at LegalTech:


Also – take a look at the post by Australian KM Blogger ( and CCH employee) Linda Moore . She hits the nail on the head when she identifies that fact that LN appear to be wallowing around in this new world of Twitter, Blogs and Web 2.0 generally. Bad news travels fast .. and these days it travels even faster.

Read her post at: