18 Austl. L. Libr. 227 (2010)
Seeing Justis Being Done: An Interview with Masoud Gerami, Justis Publishing Managing Director

handle is hein.journals/auslwlib18 and id is 238 raw text is: Seeing Justis being done: an interview with Masoud Gerami,
Justis Publishing Managing Director
Alistair King
Email: kingalistair@gmail.com

Earlier this year I was contacted by a barrister
on England's South Eastern Circuit. The editor
of that region's Bar magazine, he invited me to
interview my (boss's boss's) boss for his publica-
tion, following a sharp rise in awareness of such
products as JustCite, the company's provider-
neutral citator, which, along with material from
all over the common law world, indexes much
from Australia.
The piece that follows is reproduced pretty much
word for word - Australia's Bar and its legal
scene at large is, after all, not a million miles
from England's, as I've discovered through three
years of writing for it and interviewing antipo-
dean librarians and practitioners. So Masoud's
insights should be no less revealing to readers of
the Australian Law Librarian than they were to
readers here in England.
You trained in engineering and are from Iran,
a legally very different place from England.
How did you become an expert in electronic
common law publishing?
I've picked it up along the way purely as a result of
starting my career at Eurolex. Though I initially
studied electrical engineering, I graduated from
Swansea University as a computer scientist. My
Eurolex job followed graduation but the Thom-
son-owned company was soon sold to Lexis,
which retained only its journals. So one of my old
professors, another colleague at Eurolex and I got
together and started Context, the original name of
Justis Publishing. Within a few years we'd broad-
ened its reach from European material to case law
from England and beyond.
AUSTRALIAN LAw LIBRAIAN. Vol 18 No. 3 2010.

Tell us about those early years and your rise in
the company.
It was the tail end of 1985. With a new hardware-
based search engine that we wanted to showcase,
the three of us approached some venture capi-
talists and, with their backing, set up shop in a
small building in Maidenhead. By 1986 we'd
launched the Justis full-text service, starting with
Justis CELEX, and three years later we moved to
London when the company was sold to its present
owner. I was made technical director in 1990 and
managing director in 2001 by the time our data-
bases were on the internet. Like anything else, my
success stems from hard work and enthusiasm. To
some extent it's been luck because I started doing
this by accident but the combination of law and
technology has been very, very interesting.
Justis provided the ICLR's first electronic
platform. What challenges did that present?
An issue we always had in the early years was
persuading our data partners that electronic
products wouldn't harm their print revenue but
would contribute to an overall gain. Though we

44

Masoud at work.

227

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