• Legalweek (formerly Legaltech) is just a few days away, so here’sA Beginner’s Guide To The Biggest Week In Legal Technology.

 

  • Data & Analytics: Transforming Law Firms” has just been published by ALM Intelligence and LexisNexis. Here’s an executive summary and link to the report.

 

  • Here’s a fresh essay about law firm innovation from  of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed ServicesGreasing The Gears Of Legal Commerce — Automatic, Systematic, Hydromatic (alt.legal) Innovation. “CLOs indicated that nearly 25 percent of outside counsel fees are “price-insensitive.”

 

  • The Big 4 continue their relentless march into legal. I skip most of these posts, but this one specifically mentions AI: KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal services. “It will also offer technology enabled legal services, using robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies developed globally and in China through the KPMG digital ignition centre.”

 

  • This is an interesting post by Charles P. Edwards of Barnes & Thornburg: The Noisy Business of the Law and Insurance Claims. “…(T)he idea we humans are needed for most decisions is an ‘illusion.'”

 

  • Here’s a good example of a law firm (Amsterdam’s De Brauw) using tech as a differentiating marketing strategyHop on board and experience the value of legal tech and project management.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi posted this 47-minute podcast: LawNext Episode 25: Using AI to Enhance Virtual Receptionists, with Smith.ai.

 

  • From Arup Das of Alphaserve Technologies, here’s an interesting discussion of the age-old build vs. buy conundrum: How to Approach Legal Innovation: Options for Every Firm.

 

  • This is a thought-provoking post: Can Deepfakes Pose a Cybersecurity Threat to Legal? ““Deepfakes are real and emerging as an issue but they, like certain types of technology, could emerge very quickly; we talk about this today and it could be a very big deal in six months or it could be nothing,” Reed Smith’s Stegmaier cautioned. “We simply don’t know.””

 

  • This hour-long podcast is from the Lawyerist: “In this episode with Natalie Worsfold, we talk about her law firm’s approach to law practice, and why more firms aren’t following suit. We start by asking Natalie what problem Counter Tax was trying to solve, then explore how they solved it, what their solution does now, and the plans they have to evolve and grow their solution.”

 

  • This is an idea I have been kicking around for a while. Nick Hilborne gives it the thought I believe it’s due: “Reproduction of the legal profession” at risk from automation. “If junior associates are ‘gradually culled’ from law firms as a result of automation, the entire reproduction of the legal profession could be jeopardised….'” And here’s a US write up of the same issue: Junior Lawyers Are Going Extinct And Nobody Knows What To Do About It.

 

  • AI Goes to Court: A Conversation With Lex Machina and Dorsey & Whitney. Post here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • The Benefits of the LexisNexis LegalTech Accelerator. Post here.
  • EY and Artificial Lawyer Hold Legal Ops + Technology Event.  Post here.
  • Slaughter and May Names 3rd Fast Forward Cohort, Inc. Blockchain Co. Post here.
  • Meet ATJ Bot – The World’s First Legal Aid Voice Assistant. Post here.
  • How to Build Your Business Case For Contract Management – The Juro Guide. Post here.
  • Oz + NZ Professional Services Startup of the Year Award Launched. Post here.
  • Legal AI Co. CourtQuant Predicts Hard Brexit Impact on British Law. Post here.
  • Christian Lang + Former TR Boss, Tom Glocer, Join Reynen Court. Post here.
  • GCs Keen To Embrace Tech Tools + Legal Ops Skills – Survey. Post here. (Note: This story is based on a survey where n=80. Assuming no other methodological problems [big assumption!], this means that in all of the findings each number is well within the margin of sampling error of the statistics above and below it on the graphs.)
  • Meet Fincap Law: A New Tech-Driven Firm For the New Legal Era. Post here.

 

Posts by Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Eric A. Klein and Aytan Dahukey of Sheppard Mullin posted: Day 2 Notes From The 2019 JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. “We are seeing a lot of healthcare entities starting to focus on precision medicine – artificial intelligence suggesting which oncology drug works best for your specific genetic condition and cancer – but that essentially is a transactional function. And the market really wants a partnering function ” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From Reed SmithDraft ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence published by the European Commission. Post here.

 

 

  • Akin Gump postedPolicymakers Focused on Artificial Intelligence, Write Akin Gump Lawyers in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedLitigating intellectual property issues: The impact of AI and machine learning.

 

Press Releases and sponsored posts:

  • Here’s a thorough explanation of Gavelytics: Want Better Litigation Outcomes? Know Your Judges. “…(W)ith Gavelytics, you finally get the quantifiable and reliable judge information you need to customize your litigation strategy and increase your chances of winning.”

 

 

  • Gibson Dunn launches AI and automated systems group. Post here.

 

  • The world’s first virtual lawyer, built for Amazon’s Alexa, tests whether lawyers will be replaced by robots. “Australian legal-technology company Smarter Drafter have announced a prototype virtual lawyer, built on Amazon’s Alexa, that creates legal.” documents instantly, just like a real human lawyer. Here’s the Smart Drafter release. Hype much?? And then there’s this: “No date has been set for the release of the first working Alexa integration.”

 

  • HaystackID Acquires eDiscovery Managed Services Provider eTERA, Release here.

 

  • Legal IT Newswire New Product News… Alphaserve Technologies launch Execution as a Service. Post here.

 

  • I’m including this because I used to work there! Am Law 200 Firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Selects Litera Desktop, Litera Microsystems Full Document Drafting Suite.

 

Blockchain

 

 

 

 

  • From the Baker & Hostetler Energy BlogNew Blockchain Products, an FBI Raid, the $11 Billion Bitcoin Case, Hackers Strike With a 51 Percent Attack and Crypto Tax Analysis. Post here.

 

 

  • Here’s a deep dive into the legal services offered by Oath ProtocolThe Lay of the Land in Blockchain Dispute Resolution and Governance Designs.
  • I have a good excuse (well, kinda) for posting a link to the full text of yesterday’s Nelson Mandela Speech by Barack Obama. And here’s the video. (It’s more than an hour long.) “And the biggest challenge for your new president when we think about how we’re going to employ more people here is going to be also technology, because artificial intelligence is here and it is accelerating, and you’re going to have driverless cars, and you’re going to have more and more automated services, and that’s going to make the job of giving everybody work that is meaningful tougher, and we’re going to have to be more imaginative, and the pact of change is going to require us to do more fundamental reimagining of our social and political arrangements, to protect the economic security and the dignity that comes with a job.”

 

  • Another Big Law “Skunkworks:” Clifford Chance Looks to Break Out to Break Through With 2 New ‘Innovation Units’. “Clifford Chance’s recent launch of two new ‘innovation units,’ Clifford Chance Applied Solutions and Clifford Chance Create, is an attempt for the firm to eke out the necessary space for experimentation. The Create unit will be charged with helping the firm flesh out its technology ecosystem and partner network, while Applied Solutions is dedicated to helping build and scale out technology systems for clients.” A few details here.

 

  • This infomercial post for Thomson Reuters’ new Westlaw Edge provides a history of legal research and some interesting observations. “If lawyers want greater confidence in their results, they need to spend more time on legal research – time they simply don’t have. ‘Lawyers desperately want to save time, but they are terrified that they will miss something,’ observes Tonya Custis, a Research Director at Thomson Reuters who specializes in AI with an emphasis on natural-language search.”

 

  • From Norton Rose: Why collaborative AI can become a legal minefield. “To compete we (Canada) must be strategic in how we marshal our resources, and a key factor will be intellectual-property management, particularly in collaborative AI developed by different stakeholders. Determining who owns or controls the IP rights of a new technology and, in turn, who will be rewarded for their expertise and efforts, can get messy if contracts do not exist or do not contain clear IP terms.” “…(A) clear IP framework for AI innovation is needed in Canada.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting discussion by Carolyn Elefant of how Big Data/AI could dissuade smaller law firms from taking cases that they really should. Data Analytics And The Importance Of Loser Law. “It’s solos and smalls who often stand on the front lines in using the justice system to change the law and stand up for those desperate clients who have no other options. If data analytics makes solos and smalls less inclined to take these types of cases due to fear of liability, then we all lose out.”

 

  • This is the introduction to a larger piece linked in the article. Law Firms Need Artificial Intelligence to Stay in the Game. “The legal department is savvier and has more options in the form of ASPs and legal technology – It’s time for law firms to embrace change. Artificial Intelligence is a key ingredient in doing so.”

 

  • According to this survey by Reed Smith, in the shipping industry, “(t)echnology to address environmental issues and emissions ranks above blockchain as the most significant driver of change over the next five years….” But ‘analytics of big data’ ties with those environmental concerns.

 

  • From Stephen M. Honig of Duane Morris, this deep dive (though he says it’s ‘shallow’) into the implications of blockchain and the rest of the ‘digital economy’ for corporate boards. It’s too much for me to summarize, but I especially like his analysis of how blockchain, big data, the internet all disintermediate. Good stuff.

 

  • PwC just issued this report, forecasting growth in the UK in professional, technical and scientific employment due to AI advances over the next few years and in the long term. “The sectors that we estimate will see the largest net increase in jobs due to AI over the next 20 years include health (+22%),  professional, scientific and technical services (+16%) and education (+6%).” I find it amusing when reports like this report prognostications with two decimal point precision (e.g., page 50), and when they run statistical tests on a dataset of 42 observations. They will be lucky to correctly guess the direction of changes 20 years from now, much less the degree. Of course, no one will check these predictions, so they’re safe.

 

  • From Artificial LawyerSubmitting Trial Evidence? There’s a Blockchain App For That Now. “The blockchain application will be used within CaseLines’ products to store the ‘transactions in the digital journey’ of an item of evidence within digital justice systems globally and is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.” Cool.

 

  • From Above the Law, this is an interesting discussion of IBM’s ambitions to “build a robot lawyer,” as evidenced by the recent debut of it’s Project Debater.

 

  • More blockchain news: “Five specialist attorneys have launched strategic advisory firm Ketsal Consulting in conjunction with law firm Blakemore Fallon to guide companies through the fast-moving blockchain and cryptocurrency legal and regulatory landscape. Founded by a team of attorneys from top law firms and a former senior special counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ketsal Consulting and Blakemore Fallon will provide authoritative advice on building compliance-focused business models at a time when the blockchain industry faces conflicting direction from international regulatory bodies and shifting legal sentiments.”

 

  • Who would have thought we needed this, just a few years ago: Representatives from 150 tech companies sign pledge against ‘killer robots’. “A pledge has been signed by over 2,400 individuals working in artificial intelligence and robotics against the use of the technology for lethal reasons.”