Lexis Nexis Settles With Florida Attorney General’s Over Renewals Dispute

Following up our report of last week  that LN companies in Florida were renewing customers subscriptions without permission.  The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported Wednesday that…..

Florida’s attorney general saidthat his office has reached an agreement with publishing company LexisNexis and related companies over their automatic subscription renewal policy.

They report

An investigation revealed that Matthew Bender and Co. and related company Reed Elsevier, which does business as LexisNexis, was automatically renewing publications for customers who had not ordered them, and then billing customers without their consent, according to a news release.

Matthew Bender and Co. manufactures and sells books, newsletters and other products to lawyers, libraries and government agencies nationwide.

As part of the settlement, all Florida customers who paid for automatic shipments will be offered refunds

The companies also will pay $275,000 to the Florida State University Law School’s Richard W. Ervin Eminent Scholar Chair and $2 million to the attorney general’s office for attorneys’ fees and costs, future investigation and enforcement.

The companies also agreed to change their business practices nationwide so that automatic shipment arrangements and automatic renewal subscriptions are entered into only after all appropriate disclosures are provided to customers, and customers agree to purchase the publications.

This is the second agreement reached with companies in the law book industry, which uses automatic shipments to distribute publications to libraries, government agencies and law firms in Florida. An earlier agreement was reached with Thompson Publishing Group in May 2008.


Hopefully this will act as a warning to LN companies in other jurisdictions as renewing without client permission isn’t exactly something new in the legal publishing business