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135 Years of Matthew Bender® Publishing: What Makes Matthew Bender an Industry Standard?

July 29, 2022 (8 min read)

Matthew Bender & Company

There aren’t many brands that have been around to celebrate 135 years of business.

And those that have are considered classics in their respective domains: soda lovers have Coca-Cola, whiskey-sippers have Jim Beam, luxury car aficionados have Mercedes-Benz.

And the legal industry has LexisNexis® Matthew Bender®.

From its founding in 1887 to its newest legal content expansions in 2022, Matthew Bender has been an industry standard synonymous with case-proven legacy and cutting-edge innovation for anyone who needs reliable legal content.

While Matthew Bender content continues to be an industry stalwart, its expansive content catalog isn’t the only facet of the brand that has made it classic. Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, the people behind the brand are what make it truly special.

The Matthew Bender Legacy

A common theme among the legal editors and authors who work on Matthew Bender titles is the unyielding commitment to providing attorneys with the content they need – being the liaison between legal experts and readers.

“I have a great role to play, in my view, as part of a vibrant legal community,” says Nancy Greening, a legal editor of more than 31 years and current editor of Powell on Real Property®. “I find that one of the best aspects of our legal community is that we depend upon one another for insights and information.  No one is an expert in everything, but for 135 years, Matthew Bender has facilitated this essential sharing.”

This content-critical relationship is a part of what makes Matthew Bender what it is – a catalyst that meets the most crucial and time-sensitive needs of the legal community.

“In the front of each LexisNexis Matthew Bender treatise I work on, you’ll see my name with my email address,” says Greening. “That way our readers have an easy way to reach me with questions and suggestions.  It’s great to hear from our readers and know what they are thinking about.”

Generations of attorneys have relied on Matthew Bender® for authoritative analysis needed to gain insight into new or unfamiliar areas of law, develop superior case strategies and prepare iron-clad transactional documents.

And to understand the legacy, looking at the company’s history is a good indicator of its vast impact.

LexisNexis Matthew Bender’s History

Matthew Bender & Company was founded in 1887 in Albany, New York.

Then 43-year-old Matthew Bender opened a small book shop with his sons, Matthew Jr. and John, where they sold only legal and law-related books. The shop gained national recognition over the next decade, due to the success of their first publication “Fiero On Special Proceedings.”

They went on to publish such landmark titles as Collier on Bankruptcy®; Nichols on Eminent Domain®; both Rabkin and Johnson’s publications, Current Legal Forms and Federal Income, Gift & Estate Taxation; Powell on Real Property®; and Moore’s Federal Practice®. All industry standards.

As publishing houses closed during the Great Depression, Matthew Bender remained stable and prosperous. During the years that followed, the Bender family opened additional shops in New York City and San Francisco. And with the decline of traveling salesmen in the 1940s and the subsequent rise of mail-order sales, Matthew Bender & Co. was able to expand its clientele during the early-to-mid twentieth century, especially during the imposed paper rationing and travel restrictions during World War II.

Matthew Bender Jr. and his brother, John, were brought on as co-partners, with Matthew Jr. serving in the capacity of Vice President. He worked on gaining more clientele, expanding their markets in California, Texas, and Oklahoma, while John worked in Florida and the Carolinas.

The late 1950s saw a string of death for the Bender family. John passed away in 1957, Matthew Jr. in 1958, and Matthew Bender III in 1959 -- who had been serving as President since 1956. John T. Bender, Jr. served as the President until 1963, when the Company was purchased by The Time Mirror Company, a newspaper and print media company.

Matthew Bender & Company moved to Menands, NY not long after, where they operated for the next few decades. Expanding its content and capitalizing on the advent of CD-ROMs and the internet.

The Time Mirror Company oversaw the company until April 1998 when it was bought by publisher and information provider Reed Elsevier to work in partnership with LexisNexis. In 2002, it was renamed LexisNexis Matthew Bender.

Today, LexisNexis Matthew Bender remains in operation in New York, NY and continues to expand upon its content legacy.

Time tested Legal Content

Through the decades, the goal of Matthew Bender & Co. has been a simple one – meet the needs of the legal community with reliable analytical content.

Mike Bruno, Editorial Director of Analytical Content at LexisNexis with more than 35 years of experience with the Matthew Bender titles, recalled his introduction to the brand and the celebration of its 100-year anniversary.

An amazing feat, Bruno says, is the adaptability of Matthew Bender content through social, economics, and political changes. The legal community poses a need and Matthew Bender is there to meet it – a quality the company possesses to this day.

“Something that has distinguished Matthew Bender from its competitors is that every practice area has ‘THE’ authoritative title of its field,” Bruno says.

Content that even the nation’s highest courts turn to when reaching opinions.

“One of my favorite memories,” Greening says. “Is when the library of the U.S. Supreme Court called me to ask about a discussion in Powell that had been updated after it had been cited and I was able to give the library an answer using the Powell archive.  I love to see how Powell, a national treatise, is cited in courts all over the country, and I’m especially fond of seeing cites to Powell by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Powell isn’t a standalone in this category.

Collier on Bankruptcy®: Long recognized as the most authoritative and comprehensive single source of bankruptcy law information, Collier on Bankruptcy®, Sixteenth Edition from Matthew Bender®, has been cited in approximately 29,000 federal and state cases, including 50 U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Corbin on Contracts: This peerless Matthew Bender® contract law treatise is one of the most cited and influential treatises in print—cited over 16,000 times in federal and state cases, including 26 U.S. Supreme Court cases. The exhaustive legal analysis found in Corbin on Contracts addresses all the rules of contract law, including exceptions and variations.

Nimmer on Copyright: Cited in more than 4,200 U.S. court decisions, including 22 Supreme Court decisions, the definitive work on copyright law from Matthew Bender®, Nimmer on Copyright® offers a comprehensive analysis of law affecting printed works, plays and motion pictures, music, artistic property, software and digital content delivered over the Internet.

Immigration Law & Procedure: Immigration Law and Procedure is the most-cited immigration treatise with citations in over 490 federal court decisions, including 20 from the U.S. Supreme Court. Authors Stephen Yale-Loehr and Ron Wada are nationally respected immigration specialists whose professional expertise has made Immigration Law & Procedure a flagship immigration treatise.

Moore’s Federal Practice: Written by the judges, lawyers, and professors who write and amend the Federal Rules, Moore’s Federal Practice® is the leading treatise on federal practice, cited over 400 times across 232 U.S. Supreme Court cases.

New Appleman on Insurance Law: Recognized as the most authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date reference in insurance law, New Appleman on Insurance Law was cited over 200 times by federal and state courts, including 26 citations at the US Courts of Appeals level, and 52 citations by state supreme courts.

Chisum on Patents: The Matthew Bender® treatise, Chisum on Patents®, provides authoritative analysis of all issues pertaining to patent law, including doctrines, rules, and case law relating to patentability, validity and infringement. Only LexisNexis offers Chisum on Patents, cited in more than 1170 U.S. court decisions, including 14 Supreme Court decisions.

Weinstein’s Federal Evidence: Weinstein’s Evidence and Weinstein’s Federal Evidence® have been cited 30 times in 22 U.S. Supreme Court cases. In all, they have been cited in over 1,800 federal appellate opinions.

Texas Litigation Guide: Published by Matthew Bender®, Dorsaneo, Texas Litigation Guide has been cited over 190 times in Texas courts and has been the premier authority in Texas for over 35 years.

Since 2004, California  Practice from Matthew Bender and The Wagstaffe Group have been referenced 2,059 times in California Official Reports while the Rutter Guides have been referenced only 1,166 times.

The Future of Matthew Bender

Matthew Bender excels at seeking out and publishing the work of thought leaders who provide legal analysis on many topics, even as they develop. That tradition will continue. 

LexisNexis authors are at the forefront of understanding new laws and how changes to the law impacts attorneys and their clients. The LexisNexis Analytical Author Center is a place to meet the authors, attorneys, professors, and legal practitioners who make LexisNexis Matthew Bender accessible to everyone.

LexisNexis is celebrating this momentous occasion with a special 35% discount* on Matthew Bender products. Call 800.223.1940 or visit the LexisNexis® Store and mention or enter discount code: MB135SALE during checkout.

Up next for Matthew Bender is more of the same interaction that has allowed it to stand the test of time – providing legal content analysis that helps attorneys achieve their goals.

Visit the LexisNexis® Store here to find Matthew Bender titles, and follow us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

*Based on internal studies. July 2022

**Offer expires December 31, 2022 and applies to new orders only. Applicable products will display discount at checkout when discount code MB135SALE is entered. Prices on the LexisNexis® Store do not reflect sales tax, shipping and handling. Prices are subject to change without notice. LexisNexis® eBook, CD, DVD and downloadable content sales are final. Sales to federal government customers may be subject to specific contract pricing.

Select titles and Matthew Bender® Elite products are not discounted when purchased on the LexisNexis® Store, even with an advertised promotion/offer. Other discounts may be available to customers who subscribe to both online and print products, subject to your employer’s policy. Call 800.223.1940 or contact your account representative for more information. Certain pricing is contingent on maintaining all your existing subscriptions and accounts with LexisNexis and its affiliates; if such business is canceled, LexisNexis may modify such prices to reduce or eliminate any discounts. Other restrictions and exclusions may apply. Void where prohibited. See