eLEX's 40+ year history . . .
A 1989 version of the Federal Rules of Evidence Summary Trial Guide
Soon, students who had graduated were contacting him for the latest trial guides, which confirmed the value of the trial guides and gave him the idea to start publishing and selling the trial guides as a small home business. The name, “Elexis Publishers,” was suggested by one of his daughters, taking the first three letters of his last name and adding “xis” for completion. But the name was short lived, as he soon received a notice from Lexis Company, a subsidiary of Mead Corporation, claiming the name was too similar to their company name and threatening a law suit for trademark infringement. (Lexis later sued Toyota for trademark infringement for using the name “Lexus”; it was successful at the trial level, but lost upon appeal.) Not able to sustain the cost of litigation against such a formidable company, Professor Eleazer agreed to change the name to “Elex Publishers” and Lexis Corporation agreed to allow one year for Elexis Publishers to utilize and exhaust all publications, advertising brochures, and stationary with the name “Elexis Publishers” on them. The result was a satisfactory transfer of name, as well as the addition of the “800” number still in use—1-800-546-ELEX.
The business thus continued as a sole proprietorship with this name, and an application for a fictitious name “Elex Publishers” was made and granted. During the early years of the business in the 1980s, the only guides published were the Florida Evidence Code Summary Trial Guide and The Federal Rules of Evidence Summary Trial Guide, both annual publications. Towards the end of that decade, the Military Rules of Evidence Summarized Trial Guide was added. (Professor Eleazer was a retired Marine Corps JAG officer).
However, there was an additional item sold—“The Florida Lawyer’s Tie,” in a silk edition and a polyester edition, picturing a pattern of diagonal and alternating rows showing small images of Florida and small images of a scales of justice. The design idea came from Professor Eleazer observing the tie worn by the then governor of Florida, Bob Graham, which showed only small rows of the image of Florida. The ties were only moderately successful, although a few are seen occasionally today, proudly worn by Florida lawyers.
1982 Florida Lawyer's Necktie ad under "the old company name"
Initially there was no Internet presence and advertising was exclusively word or mouth or direct advertising by mail. By the end of the 1990s, the business had secured its Internet presence and nine additional state evidence guides had been added: Alabama, California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Also added were the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Summary Reference Guide (authored by the late Professor Howard Fink of Ohio State, and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Summary Reference Guide, authored by Craig Iscoe, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (The titles of these two guides were changed from “Reference” Guides to “Trial” Guides in 2013).
The business continued a sole proprietorship until January, 2003, when it was incorporated in Florida as “Elex Publishers, Inc.” The only shareholders were Professor Eleazer and his wife, Jan, in equal shares. The company continued to add states to its list of publications, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Washington. Some Trial Guides were introduced solely as digital guides in PDF format; others in both printed editions and digital editions.
In March, 2018, all assets and inventory of Elex Publishers, Inc., were sold to eLex Legal Publishers, LLC, which is owned by Professor Eleazer's former student, research assistant, and trial team member Joe Bodiford. Professor Bodiford is an adjunct at Stetson, and an active trial attorney and author. eLEX continues the business with an increased Internet and social media presence, and with its sights set on continued exceptional service and growth, with a goal of adding Evidence Guides for all states as well as other publication for trial lawyers.