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West (also known by its original name, West Publishing) is a business owned by
Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters Corporation ( ) is a Canadian multinational corporation, multinational media conglomerate. The company was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where it is headquartered at the Bay Adelaide Centre. Thomson Reuters was crea ...
that publishes legal, business, and regulatory information in print, and on electronic services such as
Westlaw Westlaw is an online legal research service and proprietary database In computing, a database is an organized collection of Data (computing), data stored and accessed electronically. Small databases can be stored on a file system, while la ...
. Since the late 19th century, West has been one of the most prominent publishers of legal materials in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. Its headquarters is in
Eagan, Minnesota Eagan ( ) is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, Dakota County, Minnesota. It is south of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Saint Paul and lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi River. Eagan and the ...
; it also had an office in
Rochester, New York Rochester () is a City (New York), city in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York, the county seat, seat of Monroe County, New York, Monroe County, and the fourth-most populous in the state after New York City, Buffalo, New York, Buffalo, ...
, until it closed in 2019, and it had an office in
Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the United States, U.S. U.S. state, state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Cuyahoga County. Located in the northeastern part of the state, it is situated along ...
, until it closed in 2010. Organizationally, West is part of the global legal division of Thomson Reuters.


History

West Publishing was founded by John Briggs West. In 1872, he went into business for himself as "John B. West, Publisher and Book Seller", reprinting legal treatises, publishing legal forms, and producing a much-appreciated index to the Minnesota statutes. He even arranged for a Swedish-language version of the state's rules of practice, for the state's many Scandinavian-born lawyers and judges. In 1876, his business had expanded to the point that he took on his older brother, Horatio (1848–1936) as a partner, and in 1882, with a couple of outside investors, the enterprise was incorporated as "West Publishing Company". Their first continuing publication was ''The Syllabi'', a collection of the summaries of all, and the full texts of some, of the decisions of the State and federal courts of Minnesota; this proved so popular that in 1877 it was expanded to include the courts of Wisconsin and renamed ''The North Western Reporter'' and within a couple of years added coverage of several more states and became the cornerstone of what was to become West's
National Reporter System West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east and is the direction in which the Sunset, Sun sets on the Earth. Etymology The word "west" is a Germanic languages, ...
, a system of regional
reporter A journalist is an individual that collects/gathers information in form of text, audio, or pictures, processes them into a news-worthy form, and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism ...
s, each of which became known for reporting state court appellate decisions within its region. The West brothers also introduced the American Digest System, prefacing the court decisions with "
headnote A headnote is a brief summary of a particular point of law that is added to the text of a court decision to aid readers in locating discussion of a legal issue in an opinion. As the term implies, headnotes appear at the beginning of the publishe ...
s" quoting (as nearly verbatim as possible) the holdings of the decision and categorized with key numbers so that analogous holdings from different decisions and even from different states could be grouped together. The West company was embroiled in at least three crucial lawsuits early in its history, which established that state court decisions were in the public domain and not copyrighted (although West's headnotes and key number system could be copyrighted). By 1902, the West Publishing Company could boast of publishing law books "by the millions". West also reports decisions of the federal Courts of Appeals in the ''
Federal Reporter The ''Federal Reporter'' () is a case law reporter in the United States that is published by West Publishing and a part of the National Reporter System. It begins with cases decided in 1880; pre-1880 cases were later retroactively compiled by Wes ...
'' and of the federal district courts in the ''
Federal Supplement The ''Federal Supplement'' ( is a case law Case law, also used interchangeably with common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicia ...
'', and retroactively republished the decisions of all lower federal courts predating the NRS in '' Federal Cases''. All these reporters are also part of the NRS (National Reporter System), meaning that all cases published therein are annotated with
headnote A headnote is a brief summary of a particular point of law that is added to the text of a court decision to aid readers in locating discussion of a legal issue in an opinion. As the term implies, headnotes appear at the beginning of the publishe ...
s by West attorney-editors, and all those headnotes are then indexed in the
West American Digest System The West American Digest System is a system of identifying points of law from reported cases and organizing them by topic and key number. The system was developed by West Publishing to organize the entire body of American law. This extensive ta ...
(and its electronic version, KeyCite) for easy cross-referencing. Technically, all of West's reporters were originally unofficial reporters published without the express authorization or endorsement of the courts. West reporters have become the nationwide ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with '' de jure'' ("by l ...
'' standard used by all federal courts and most state courts, despite their technically unofficial nature. Indeed, over 20 states have discontinued publication of their own official reporters, and a few states with West's cooperation began inserting certificates in the volumes of the relevant West regional reporter to certify it as their official reporter. Both brothers retired to southern California. In 1995, West retained the services of A.G. Edwards and Goldman Sachs in a search for potential purchasers. Thomson purchased West in 1996. Thomson also consolidated into West a number of other law book companies purchased by either Thomson or West, including Bancroft-Whitney, Banks-Baldwin, Barclay, Callaghan & Company, Clark Boardman, Foundation Press, Gilbert's, Harrison, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, and Warren, Gorham & Lamont. As a condition of the purchase, Thomson sold 52 titles (including the
Supreme Court Reporter, Lawyers' Edition Supreme may refer to: Entertainment * Supreme (character), a comic book superhero * Supreme (film), ''Supreme'' (film), a 2016 Telugu film * Supreme (producer), hip-hop record producer * Supreme (song), "Supreme" (song), a 2000 song by Robbie Wil ...
) to
LexisNexis LexisNexis is a part of the RELX corporation that sells data analytics products and various databases that are accessed through online portals, including portals for computer-assisted legal research (CALR), newspaper search, and consumer informa ...
. Today, West also publishes some treatise titles purchased from Shepard's (but not
Shepard's Citations ''Shepard's Citations'' is a citator used in United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North Amer ...
). Through these acquisitions, Thomson has become one of the "big three" legal publishers, along with
LexisNexis LexisNexis is a part of the RELX corporation that sells data analytics products and various databases that are accessed through online portals, including portals for computer-assisted legal research (CALR), newspaper search, and consumer informa ...
and
Wolters Kluwer Wolters Kluwer N.V. () is a Dutch information services company. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands (Global) and Philadelphia, United States (corporate). Wolters Kluwer in its current form was founded in 1987 with a m ...
. Following the acquisition by Thomson, West was known as WIPG, West Information Publishing Group. From 1997 to 2004, West was known as "West Group". In 2009–10, West began offering buyouts to its U.S. editorial staff as it began to move editorial production overseas. In 2013, West sold its academic publishing, including Foundation Press, to Eureka Growth Capital.


West products and services

*AAJ Press * ''American Casebook'' series * ''
American Jurisprudence ''American Jurisprudence'' (second edition is cited as Am. Jur. 2d) is an encyclopedia of the United States law, published by West (publisher), West. It was originated by Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, which was subsequently acquired by the Thomso ...
'' * ''
American Law Reports In Law of the United States, American law, the ''American Law Reports'' are a resource used by American lawyers to find a variety of sources relating to specific law, legal rules, doctrines, or principles. It has been published since 1919, origina ...
'' * Aspatore Books * ''Black Letter'' series * ''
Black's Law Dictionary ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most frequently used legal dictionary in the United States. Henry Campbell Black (1860–1927) was the author of the first two editions of the dictionary. History The first edition was published in 1891 by West P ...
'' * Calendars *
Case law Case law, also used interchangeably with common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in writt ...
* CLE programs * ''Concepts and Insights'' series * Contact networks * ''
Corpus Juris Secundum ''Corpus Juris Secundum'' (''CJS''; Latin for 'Second Body of the Law')Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals, Published by Wolters Kluwer and written by Deborah E. Bouchoux is an encyclopedia of Law of the United States, United States law at th ...
'' * Court rules * Dictionaries/desk references * Digests * Document retrieval services * ''Exam Pro'' series * ''
Federal Reporter The ''Federal Reporter'' () is a case law reporter in the United States that is published by West Publishing and a part of the National Reporter System. It begins with cases decided in 1880; pre-1880 cases were later retroactively compiled by Wes ...
'' * ''
Federal Supplement The ''Federal Supplement'' ( is a case law Case law, also used interchangeably with common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicia ...
'' *
Findlaw FindLaw is a business of Thomson Reuters that provides online legal information and online marketing services for law firms. FindLaw was created by Stacy Stern, Martin Roscheisen, and Tim Stanley in 1995, and was acquired by Thomson West in 2001. ...
* Forms * Handbooks * ''Hornbook'' series *
Jury instructions Jury instructions, directions to the jury, or judge's charge are legal law, rules that jurors should follow when deciding a case. They are a type of jury control procedures, jury control procedure to support a fair trial. Description Jury inst ...
* Keycite and Citators * Law firm marketing services *
Law review A law review or law journal is a scholarly journal or publication that focuses on legal issues. A law review is a type of legal periodical. Law reviews are a source of research, imbedded with analyzed and referenced legal topics; they also pro ...
s and journals * Law school casebooks * Law school publications * Lawyering skills * Legal assistant/paralegal * Legal encyclopedias * LiveNote * ''Nutshell'' series * Practical Law * Practitioner treatises * Public records *
Reporters A journalist is an individual that collects/gathers information in form of text, audio, or pictures, processes them into a news-worthy form, and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism ...
* ''
Restatements of the Law In American jurisprudence, the ''Restatements of the Law'' are a set of treatises on legal subjects that seek to inform judges and lawyers about general principles of common law. There are now four series of ''Restatements'', all published by the ...
'' * Rutter Group *
Statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislature, legislative authority that governs the legal entities of a city, State (polity), state, or country by way of consent. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare Public p ...
s * ''Supreme Court Reporter'' * ''Turning Point'' series * ''Uniform Laws Annotated'' * '' United States Code Congressional and Administrative News'' * ''University Casebook'' series * ''University Textbook'' series * ''USCA'' ('' United States Code Annotated'') *
West American Digest System The West American Digest System is a system of identifying points of law from reported cases and organizing them by topic and key number. The system was developed by West Publishing to organize the entire body of American law. This extensive ta ...
*
Westlaw Westlaw is an online legal research service and proprietary database In computing, a database is an organized collection of Data (computing), data stored and accessed electronically. Small databases can be stored on a file system, while la ...
* WestlawNext * West Court Reporting Services * West LegalEdcenter * Words And Phrases


References


External links


West Publishing Company in MNopedia, the Minnesota Encyclopedia
{{DEFAULTSORT:West (Publisher) Book publishing companies based in Minnesota Companies based in Eagan, Minnesota Bibliographic database providers Publishing companies established in 1872 Legal publishers 1872 establishments in Minnesota