Featured Guests
Ed Walters

Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, an online legal research software company based in Washington, D.C....

Your Host
Jared Correia

Jared D. Correia, Esq. is the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business...

Is using paper out of style? There are a lot of advantages to making things digital but that doesn’t have to make paper obsolete. In this episode of the Legal Toolkit, host Jared Correia talks to Ed Walters about the role of print mediums in law. They reexamine when to use paper versus digital mediums; both printed paper and digital copies have their own quality and characteristics that are useful in different cases. Ed also nerds out about font and classic printing methods, which is useful if you want to make your printed documents beautiful.

Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, an online legal research software company.

Special thanks to our sponsors ScorpionAnswer1, and Thomson Reuters Firm Central.

Transcript

The Legal Toolkit

Legal Printing Isn’t Dying, Just Changing

02/12/2018

Jared Correia: Hey there. I know you’ve been waiting for a show about the First Amendment on Legal Talk Network and it’s here right now. It’s called Make No Law. For me, the only thing better than giving Tom Brady a backrub is the First Amendment. Here’s a quick trailer about the show.

[Music]

Ken White: News and pop culture are full of controversies about free speech in the First Amendment. We hear terms like Hate Speech and Heckler’s veto in a barrage of coverage about campuses, protests, and even wedding cakes. But what does it all mean, and how do we get here? That’s exactly what my new show, Make No Law: The First Amendment Podcast for Popehat.com will explore.

I’m Ken white and I invite you to tune in every month for the history, stories and personalities behind the right to free speech and the most important Supreme Court cases establishing it.

[Music]

Jared Correia: You can find Make No Law on  HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com, iTunes, Google Play or wherever you’re listening to this podcast.

[Music]

Intro: Welcome to Legal Toolkit, bringing you the latest legal trends and business initiatives to help you manage your law firm, with your host Jared Correia. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.

[Music]

Jared Correia: Welcome to a new episode of The Legal Toolkit. You are on the Legal Talk Network. If you were looking for a Super Bowl 52 Recap, actually I can’t even go there. It’s still too raw. If however you’re a returning listener to the show, welcome back. If you’re a first-time listener, I hope you will become a longtime listener, and if you’re Donald Duck, I hope you’re wearing Safari pants advanced or any pants really.

As always, I am your host, Jared Correia, and in addition to casting this pod, I am the Founder and CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law practice management, consulting and technology services for law firms. Check us out at  HYPERLINK “http://www.redcavelegal.com” redcavelegal.com to learn more.

I’ve also expanded my podcasting empire and you can listen to my other podcast, The Lobby List, a family travel show I host with my wife Jessica on iTunes. So rate us and comment only if you like us.

But, here on The Legal Toolkit, we provide you each month with a new tool to add to your own legal toolkit so that your practices will become more-and-more like best practices.

In this episode, we’re going to talk about lawyers’ undying love of print; but, before I introduce today’s guest, let’s take a moment to thank our sponsors.

Answer 1 is a leading virtual receptionist and answering service provider for lawyers. You can find out more by giving them a call at 800-Answer-1 or visiting them online at  HYPERLINK “http://www.answer1.com” www.answer1.com.

Firm Central, a cloud-based legal practice management software for solo and small firms, provides a single online location for all of the tools you need to manage client files and perform client work, and offers unrivaled integration with Westlaw. With Firm Central, you can securely store and organize documents and case files, manage time tracking and billables, and collaborate with clients through a secure client portal from anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Scorpion delivers award-winning law firm web design and online marketing programs to get you more cases. Scorpion has helped thousands of law firms, just like yours, to attract new cases and grow their practices. For more information, visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.scorpionlegal.com/podcast” scorpionlegal.com/podcast.

So today’s guest is Ed Walters and he is a Legal Talk Network/Legal Toolkit regular. Ed is the CEO and Co-Founder of Fastcase, an online legal research software company based in Washington, DC. Under Ed’s leadership, Fastcase has grown into one of the world’s largest legal publishers, currently serving more than 800,000 subscribers from around the world.

Before founding Fastcase, Ed worked at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC and Brussels, where he advised clients such as Microsoft, Merck, SmithKline, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. And I think Brussels is a suburb outside of DC, if I am correct.

Ed Walters: Yes.

Jared Correia: Ed’s practice is focused on corporate advisory work for software companies and sports leagues and intellectual property litigation. Ed worked in the White House from 1991 to 1993; I believe that was pre-Trump, first in the Office of Media Affairs and then in the Office of Presidential Speech Writing.

Ed graduated from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and he clerked for the Honorable Emilio M. Garza on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He’s licensed to practice before the US Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits.

(00:05:00)

He serves on the boards of Pro Bono Net, Public.Resource.Org, Friends of Telecom without Borders and Salsa Labs. He teaches law of robots, a class about the frontiers of law and technology at Georgetown University Law Center. And now, meet the man with that glowing résumé, welcome back to the show, Ed.

Ed Walters: Thank you, Jared. It’s a pleasure to be here. That’s a great introduction. I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say.

Jared Correia: I got tired of reading after a while, you have done a lot of stuff. I am impressed.

Ed Walters: It’s getting tiresome.

Jared Correia: This is delightful but when will it end? So, I think we’re going to have an interesting conversation today about paper, which is unusual, because we’re on a podcast and you run this gigantic Internet legal research database; I think this is going to be fun.

Ed Walters: It’s all of the media coming together in one place.

Jared Correia: That’s right. It’s like a media smorgasbord. Now, this is funny too because you teach this class on robot law at Georgetown about like how all the robot overlords are going to come over and take everybody’s jobs.

And yet you still have this appreciation for printed material, printed media. So, I mean, tell me why you still love print and the printed word?

Ed Walters: Well, I love books. I’m a huge bibliophile. I’m in love with the printed word and I always have been, and it’s great in a sense to be involved with Fastcase and with digital publishing from a preservation perspective. Books keep getting burned in our history. Libraries catch on fire, political wins require the burning of books. I mean, books are wonderful but they also are ephemeral. They have shelf life literally. And so, it’s great at Fastcase to ensure that the law as it’s recorded in our books, will live on forever.

I think in a very important sense American law is a cathedral, right. It carries forward these kind of remnants of the history of law from the Code of Hammurabi to the Bible, from the Institutes of Justinian, English law, Spanish law, French law, Colonial law in the United States, the history of common law in the US and the world’s law. All of those strains run through our law, and in a sense, by digitizing that law, by making it more publicly available, we are the stewards of this cathedral. We’re making sure that American law will sustain.

So, I think that it’s important from a preservation perspective but that doesn’t mean that books are going away or that we don’t love books. We love books. Books are wonderful. It’s actually a continuing source of conflict in my house between my wife and me. My wife is also a bibliophile and she’s a children’s book author and our house is just littered with books, there’s books everywhere. We actually have like giant piles of books in our living room right now, because we’re getting ready to build a giant bookcase to hold the next round of books.

So, it’s great to be able to take part in both elements of legal publishing; the online publishing from a preservation and ease-of-use standpoint for mobile use of the law, but then also extending it in print to make sure that we have this kind of new generation of titles that are better than ever.

Jared Correia: That was beautiful. I’m waiting for your political run. I mean, listen to this foreign language. I’m very impressed. So, here is a real deal, you’re building bookshelves and stuff, this is no joke.

Ed Walters: You may be waiting for a while for the political career.

Jared Correia: I’ll hold out. So, I bought an autobiography of Mark Twain like a few years back like a printed one, and this is like 1500 pages long, so I decided to take it on a trip that my wife and I were taking and the people at the airport security had no idea why someone would bring like that massive book with them on a trip, because everybody else have Kindles and stuff like that.

So, I was searched — so let me just say, if you are carrying large books with you maybe best to leave them at home when you take trips, but I digress.

Ed Walters: But isn’t this how the play Hamilton was written.

Jared Correia: I don’t know. I don’t know. I have no way.

Ed Walters: No, Lin-Manuel Miranda was going on vacation, he had just finished the production of In The Heights, and so he and his wife were going on vacation and he is like in the airport bookstore, and he’s like I just need like a big book to take with me on vacation, and he bought Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, and he’s like sitting in the hammock on vacation with this giant tome, saying, surely by now, somebody has made the musical of this.

Jared Correia: Well, away from Mark Twain, I’m working on it, I just need to gain some musical talent and then I’ll be good; so, give me some time. Before we get too far afield, and I love this stuff, let’s talk about lawyers. I think this is supposed to be a podcast about lawyers, that’s what they tell me.

Everywhere lawyers are talking about paperless practice and moving towards that, it’s kind of like the Holy Grail for a lot of lawyers, but I think it’s still true that like many lawyers still love print as well. I mean, they like to hold paper. Perhaps even I would use the word “fondle”, they like to fondle paper. So, why is it that lawyers in particular love paper so much?

(00:10:07)

Ed Walters: I think it’s a love-hate relationship, there’s parts of it that we like. So, lawyers love books. I think everyone loves books by the way.

Jared Correia: Yes, I do.

Ed Walters: I don’t think that’s just lawyers, but I think part of the issue is that the alternatives are so much worse. Personally, I am not a huge fan of ebooks. I know that there’s a lot of people who like them, who like Kindles and things like that.

Jared Correia: Yeah.

Ed Walters: I have never really taken to them in part because they don’t update like an app or something.

Jared Correia: Yeah.

Ed Walters: But they are not permanent like print. So, it’s almost the worst of both worlds. We sell them at Fastcase for people who prefer them, but I think you actually see this kind of retrograde motion right now in the balance between print and digital publishing. So, for a couple of years ebooks were the thing, it was the buzz, everyone was talking about their .mobi or .epub books and their proprietary libraries to read them in.

But, in the last couple of years you have seen those kind of fall-away, and in fact, there are a lot of people who study this, who say we are now past the peak of ebooks. We are now on the decline as the people have become more-and-more disillusioned with that format.

Jared Correia: Yeah, 11:18 to make it come back too, I have heard as well; I don’t know if that’s true, but yes, I have heard.

Ed Walters: Certainly Amazon.

Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s right.

Ed Walters: But, it’s interesting, Barnes & Noble in their kind of bricks and mortar locations are not doing very well in part because of Amazon, but there is a resurgence of local bookstores and certainly here in DC in the last couple of years there have been two or three new independent bookstores opening and the independent bookstores are doing great, and I think part of that is about bookstore is something more than a seller of books, bookstore is a gathering place, bookstore is a place for community, bookstore is a place for events, and yes, selling books too, but understanding that, Amazon is always going to have a cheaper version of the book delivered pretty fast. So you have to be about more than just the print book.

So, I think that lawyers sort of hate the alternatives to print. On the other hand if you look at kind of global publishing the big players in this market, the kind of Thomson Reuters, Reed Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer kind of large-scale publishers. Print has been a drag, in fact, they are all losing in print and having to make up for it aggressively online, and so, it’s not all a happy story for print.

Jared Correia: Yeah.

Ed Walters: But that creates a little opportunity for publishers like Fastcase, so in the last year we started our own imprint called Full Court Press and we are kind of rushing into fill the void in a sense, while traditional publishers and global publishers have been running away from print, because it’s been such a drag.

Jared Correia: Yeah.

Ed Walters: At least in our opinion they are kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There are really good print publications for law; some must have publications for law. So, you think about like Nimmer on Copyright or —

Jared Correia: Which I do frequently.

Ed Walters: Right — well, no, if you are a practitioner in one of those areas of law, you really need to have access to it, and for some reason the online version of it is never quite enough, and so, before we pull back from print altogether, let’s just say, there are some real leading titles in print, and then there is stuff that is just legacy that was printed but maybe isn’t super-useful anymore. I think about those like looseleaf services, right?

Jared Correia: Yes.

Ed Walters: That law libraries have to update all the time but they are always out of date, that might be better in online, right?

Jared Correia: Yeah.

Ed Walters: The form looks like where you can pull a form out of the back of the book and then type it up, that might be also better online and there’s no reason to have that on print.

So, I would just say like maybe instead of throwing out all print, we can just be selective about it and say there are some things that are terrific in print and let’s try to preserve the best of those, and then some things that maybe aren’t a very good fit for print, and let’s move those online.

Jared Correia: Well, that’s the interesting question.

Ed Walters: Well, it requires a big examination.

Jared Correia: Oh, totally, yeah, and that’s the interesting question for me like, it seems like you have a strong belief that there’s still a place for paper in legal research, but like beyond those substantive traditional like handbook/guides that lawyers always rely on like the big name in a certain practice area, aside from those and the traditional archival copies, what do you see is useful in terms of print? Are you still figuring that out at this point in terms of Full Court Press?

Ed Walters: Well, I think everyone’s figuring it out, but one of the things that I think is — I hope is an advantage for Fastcase is that we have 800,000 subscribers, lawyers who are using Fastcase all the time, I mean 24/7, 365, if Fastcase goes offline for like five minutes at 3 o’clock in the morning, to like apply a software patch or something, there’s like a big block of angry emails from 3 o’clock in the morning.

(00:15:17)

Jared Correia: Is that different from most days that you have or no?

Ed Walters: I asked our developers the other day how much are people using Fastcase and they said that Fastcase users are running 1 million searches a week right now, and so, what’s important about that is that in the aggregate we can then see what the trends are. So, we can say, hey, you know what, people are really interested right now in immigration, and so, we can begin to target the print publications towards what is popular and what’s necessary, and away from things that may not be as useful anymore, and we can constantly modulate that.

So, one good example of that is this new journal we just started called The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law or The RAIL, and this is a — it’s a journal it’s going to come out six times a year, but we just saw a huge interest evidenced in the search history of Fastcase in the aggregate, saying that people were really interested in robotics and AI and algorithmic bias and things like that, those issues were bubbling up, but there isn’t really a print treatise addressing those topics. And so, what we wanted to do was combine the best of both worlds. We find expert authors and really, some of the best minds in the business who write for RAIL, create a beautiful, awesome print journal that is edited by experts in the field written by some of the leading lights in this.

And then, just try to make it fun, try to make it interesting, try to cover topics that people genuinely care about. It should be kind of a fun read, a challenging read, and then we publish it in print and then we make it available, searchable in Fastcase as well. So, when people subscribe to it, they can see it integrated into their search results in Fastcase, but they also have the print volume in their hand, if they want to stuff it in their bag and read it on the train or pull it off the shelf when they remember an article later. They have the kind of best of both worlds.

By the way, I can’t remember if I told you this before, but when you subscribe to RAIL in print, we have like every year you will get some curated whimsy from Fastcase, something that is cool and interesting and surprising, and in your hands.

Jared Correia: Oh good, I am glad we knocked out of whimsy referenced on the podcast. That’s a reason to subscribe if none other.

Ed Walters: That’s right.

Jared Correia: And, you know, Ed, I only send you gentle and thoughtful emails at 3 a.m., never snarky or mean emails. This has been a good discussion, but we are going to take a quick break right now, so slow your rolls everybody and listen up because this is all the stuff that you need to buy.

[Music]

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[Music]

Jared Correia: Thanks for coming back I am still here and so is that Walters. He is here to talk about the resistance of paper in the modern world, and Ed runs Fastcase. I have thrown on incidentally some Harry Potter glasses from my son’s Halloween costume which happened to be lying on my desk because I feel like that’s the vibe we are going with today.

Ed Walters: Expecto Patronus.

Jared Correia: Yes, yes, I did figure, 19:27, I can’t find the one though. Let’s dive back into this topic. So, one of the reasons that law firms have moved to paperless environments I think is for efficiency like that’s the big driver here. So, how do you think lawyers can justify the use of paper if it theoretically makes them less efficient?

Ed Walters: Well, I would challenge the premise, I don’t think it makes them less efficient. There’s different working styles for different people. There are definitely digital natives in the world, but I think you will find that among those digital natives print is making a comeback. It’s like listening to vinyl or something, right?

Jared Correia: Yes.

(00:20:05)

Ed Walters: It’s like a hipster contrivance now, books are like kind of a retro way of consuming information. It’s like someone’s printed out the Internet, but I don’t think it does make them less efficient. If it did, I think it would be much less popular, I think it’s just a learning style and a preference.

Jared Correia: Yup, same question though. How about costs? Like, I think another reason that law firms reduced the use of papers, they don’t want to print stuff, how did they justify the use of paper in terms of the higher cost of using it?

Ed Walters: Yeah, again, I sort of feel like where it costs more just don’t do it, but there are places where it’s going to be more efficient to have it in paper. So, for example, I mentioned before these form books, this was a thing like 10 years ago even, if you wanted to buy like a corporate form directory, you would buy a book and when you wanted to use one of the forms out of it, you would open it up and then type the form in from the book. And that’s terrible, by all means don’t use print in that way. Go find that form online or something, right?

Jared Correia: Yes.

Ed Walters: I mean, that’s dumb and costly, but books, journals, magazines, newspapers, there is something to these in print that people don’t get online. It’s more ephemeral, they lose it somehow or they feel like they’re going to be double-charged for it or triple-charged for it, they want to own the copy and share the copy without further expense.

There is a permanence to print and the risk of being too nerdy about it in a copyright sense, you do have that first-sale doctrine version of print, where once you have in your possession, no one can take it from you. You can give it to somebody else without being charged again or being accused of reselling it.

Jared Correia: I like it. You are bringing back the IP practice now. You remember all that stuff with that.

Ed Walters: Yes. You can take the copyright out of the nerd, the nerd out of the copyright, I guess. But yeah, so I think that there’s a kind of economic case to make for print as well. I think people really like it.

So, sometimes you’ll hear people talk about the content versus the container, it’s important to have very good content, it’s important to have expert advice, but the container matters too. This is also part of the bibliophile in me. When we design The RAIL, we care about everything. Like my colleague here at Fastcase, Steve Erich, his dad was a typesetter, and so, he and I will nerd out about the letting and the kerning of the fonts, and the grade of the paper and the quality of the ink.

Like we went through 54 versions of the cover of The RAIL, so I don’t know, I feel like there’s an art to print-publishing that is being lost. People are trying to cut corners wherever they can, make the pages as thin as they can and go as cheap as possible, and I think we might go the other way with Full Court Press.

We might make books that are less common and maybe a little more niche, but our exquisite that are just beautiful designed objects, the kind of thing that you just cherish, that you love to have, that you might hand down with your practice to a nephew or to a child, you might put these into your daughter’s law office one day. I love, love, love this idea of books as a designed object that are very thoughtful and careful.

Jared Correia: Oh, that’s cool. So, when I was down in your offices about a month ago, are you building out a room to house all these monks, who are going to design these books or is it just going to be like, you go another method?

In all seriousness though, I kind of like the way you’re approaching this because you’re trying to fit print into places where it fits in the modern world, but you’re not talking about putting square pegs into round holes. So, I think that’s great.

So, this idea of like books being fancy, for lack of a better description, you described it much better than I could have, aside from substantive practice I’m like, are there ways where lawyers could use paper in their law practices that might be viable? Like, does it make a difference, for example, to receive marketing materials for your attorney that are on say Vellum or something, and maybe not to that level.

But, is there still that customer service aspect of it that’s in play and are there any other places where lawyers are using paper, this is not necessarily just related to the substantive practice of law?

Ed Walters: Well, I’m sure that there are. I mean, I think that there is a tangible quality to legal services as well. So, if the only thing that you’re giving to clients is like a Delivered by Email or something, I feel like they might feel a little short-changed. They might not value it quite as much as they would if you put it in print. So, you see a lot of law firms who do marketing by publishing books.

(00:24:54)

So like a Littler, the big labor and employment firm has all this expertise about labor and employment in each state and then they will come out with annually like a book that says, here is the guide to Massachusetts Labor Law and it is the Littler Guide.

Would that be the same thing if it were a webpage or something? I don’t think so. I think they want it sitting on the desk as a tangible reminder of their expertise, something you can put your hands on and touch, literally like feel the quality of their work, and whenever you have that question, you lean back in your chair and grab that book off the bookshelf, instead of turning on your computer or opening a browser or trying to remember the web address, fumbling around, doing a Google search, looking through a bunch of ads, finding the site, going to the part of it, they just want to grab the book.

So I think that there’s really something to that kind of tangible deliverable of a book that law firms can use for marketing in a very compelling way.

Jared Correia: It just makes me think of — I am in Boston, so there’s a book made out of human skin in one of the museums here, have you ever heard of this?

Ed Walters: I have, but it sounds disgusting.

Jared Correia: So Ed, do you know there’s a book made out of human skin in Boston, have you heard of this?

Ed Walters: I mean I have always heard publishers wanting to have skin in the game, but that’s ridiculous.

Jared Correia: You should look this up and for folks who want to know, there’s this guy named James Allen, who was a notorious highwayman or robber back in like I think the 1800s and when he died he commissioned that a book be made of his own skin and he wrote his autobiography in a book made of his skin. So that is my digression.

So vellum, human skin, make your book a fanciful object. I am not sure how to transition out of that, but let me just say this, we are going to take a break and come back.

[Music]

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[Music]

Jared Correia: Okay, I found my keys. Thanks for coming back. How was your avocado ice cream? I am just kidding.

Ed Walters: It’s avocado toast.

Jared Correia: Toast, is it? All right, that’s Tom, not me. Let’s reengage then with Ed Walters. We are in our last segment now and we are talking about paper and modernity.

So right now Ed, like paper is still pretty accessible, like I can still walk into a Barnes & Noble that’s like 5 miles from my house, but what about the future, like in a world where there are going to be driverless cars, for example, do you think there is still going to be a place for paper or is it going to continue to be pushed out?

Ed Walters: I think there is always going to be a place for paper, but I think we are really in a kind of a reckoning phase right now. We have thoughtlessly used paper for maybe the last century and in some places where we didn’t really need to. And then in a time of the Internet, people have really begun to question that.

For example, law firms might say, hey, I am not sure that I need the North Eastern Reporter on my shelf. That is not the highest and best way to access judicial opinions, maybe fast cases.

On the other hand, there’s all kinds of things that are being pushed into digital format, like maybe EPUBs or MOBIs that don’t belong there. It will be better as a webpage or as a print book, possibly both.

And so one thing that I think you will see a lot more of is a reexamination of when things belong in print and when they don’t. It’s certainly much more expensive. And we will just see. Things that have been in print in the past, people choose not to have there and those titles will go out of print.

And then certain other things people will love to have in print, it will be a delight, and those things will be very popular, but you have to be thoughtful about which is which.

At Fastcase, one thing we are trying to do with Full Court Press is, sometimes it is called the COPE method, you Create Once, Publish Everywhere, and so we can work with some of the best experts and best authors in the business and have them work on the next generation of Nimmer on Copyright or Collier’s on Bankruptcy and have them create the next generation of expert treatises and then figure out where they belong. Do they belong online? Do they belong in an eBook format? Do they belong in print? Do they belong in all of the above?

(00:30:03)

And we will work very carefully to figure those out, but not in a kneejerk way. It’s not automatically all three or automatically any one of them, we are going to be very careful and think through what belongs in what format.

Jared Correia: That’s smart. I like that. So you are building the bullpen potentially of new experts. I don’t think anybody else thinks of it that way, so that’s really cool.

Ed Walters: Yeah.

Jared Correia: So when folks are like sitting in their driverless cars reading a paper book like, I don’t know, five years from now, just remember we had this conversation way back when.

I know you said you like to nerd out on paper books, so what’s your favorite font and type size and then define kerning for me because I have no idea what that is?

Ed Walters: I go through phases. If you must know, right now I am going through an Optima phase for publication. You will see a lot of Optima in Fastcase stuff. It’s a nice San Serif font. It’s modern. It looks really clean in paragraphs. It’s very easy to read.

For headings, I sort of like Helvetica Neue. It’s kind of a flat, modern font. It is not as kind of clichéd as Helvetica has become, but it evokes it a little bit, so it’s a nice header font. You will see that in some Fastcase publications and stuff as well.

Jared Correia: You are not a Comic Sans guy?

Ed Walters: Or Papyrus.

Jared Correia: People are like, well, I am done with this podcast.

No, this is good stuff. So what is kerning, really, I have no idea what that is, I want to know and I don’t want to look it up?

Ed Walters: Yeah. It’s actually — you would recognize it right away. So kerning describes the space between letters in a word, and so sometimes you will see like when something is set to full justification, the last line of a paragraph has only like four words but they are stretched to fill the entire width of the column. The letters are really far apart from each other or the words are really far apart from each other, that’s kerning.

And then leading is the amount of space between two lines in a paragraph or two paragraphs. It describes — like they used to actually use pieces of lead when they would do typesetting. They would put a piece of lead in between each line to space them out and the thickness of the lead would determine how far apart the lines are in the paragraph. Typesetters would have like these rows and rows and rows of lead that get put between lines of type to determine what the book would look like. And we still maintain these kind of names for them anachronistically in kind of modern typesetting.

Jared Correia: I don’t know if this is going to come off as a compliment or not, but you know more about this stuff than anyone else I know, so there is that.

Ed Walters: I used to work in newspapers. When I was in college, I was the editor of my college paper.

Jared Correia: Oh, I see.

Ed Walters: And it was before kind of modern typesetting and so we had to do a lot of kerning and leading by hand. You would actually printout the entire newspaper in one single column, and then you would wax the back of that piece of paper and cut it and then you would lay it out on a big dummy page, like literally line by line and you have to watch the kerning and the leading and all that stuff and a printer would actually photograph the page and print it.

Jared Correia: I can imagine the scene, like you rolling back into your college dormitory, lead on your fingers. Your roommate is like, tough day Ed? You are like it’s always a tough day at the newspaper.

Ed Walters: I actually parlayed that into a job at the Washington Post, where they were just making the transition from that mode of layout to typesetting digitally and there was a whole floor of the Washington Post in the old building, the typesetting floor was right next to the giant printing press, which in those days was still in that building, and because of that it was extremely loud. And so all the guys who were in typesetting were hired from Gallaudet; they were all deaf.

Jared Correia: Oh, interesting.

Ed Walters: And so everyone on the floor, they were all expert typesetters, but they were all deaf because they couldn’t have their hearing damaged by the printing press that was screaming beneath their feet. So it was a fascinating experience.

Jared Correia: This has been like one of the more wide-ranging podcasts I have done. I am kind of sad that it’s over actually.

And that will do it for this episode of The Legal Toolkit. It was Ed Walters and we were talking all about paper. Men love Simpson Paper.

Now, I will be back on future shows with further insights into my soul, the soul of America and the legal market. But if you are feeling nostalgic for my dulcet tones, you can check out our entire show archive anytime you want at  HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com/”legaltalknetwork.com.

So thanks to Ed Walters for appearing on today’s show. He is the CEO of Fastcase. So Ed, one of the things we talked about a little bit during the show was Full Court Press, which is your new publishing arm at Fastcase. Now, can you tell folks a little bit more about that, how they can find out information on that, including potentially Bar Associations who may want to become involved?

(00:35:04)

Ed Walters: Awesome. Well, you can find out more information at  HYPERLINK “http://www.fastcase.com” fastcase.com. For Full Court Press, I think you will find it on our home page. You can also find more information about the Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law at  HYPERLINK “http://www.fastcase.com/rail” fastcase.com/rail.

Jared Correia: Check those things out. Great new project that Ed is working on, but he is always doing fascinating things at Fastcase.

So thanks again Ed, I appreciate it.

Ed Walters: Thank you Jared.

Jared Correia: That was Ed Walters again, CEO of Fastcase, and thanks to all of you out there for listening. Talk to you next time.

[Music]

Outro: Thanks for listening to Legal Toolkit, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join host Jared Correia for his next podcast covering the current business trends for law firms.

If you would like more information about today’s show, please visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com/”legaltalknetwork.com. Subscribe via iTunes and RSS. Find Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn or download the free app from Legal Talk Network in Google Play and iTunes.

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: February 12, 2018
Podcast: Legal Toolkit
Category: Legal Entertainment , Legal News
Podcast
Legal Toolkit
Legal Toolkit

Legal Toolkit highlights services, ideas, and programs that will improve lawyers' practices and workflow.

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