• 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.







  • 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.
  • In this article, Burr Forman associate E. Travis Ramsey, discusses the coming relevance of AI to appellate advocacy, including: (1) compiling the appellate record; (2) written advocacy; and (3) oral advocacy. He concludes with: (reasonable, in my opinion) “AI will play a role in appellate advocacy, and it will begin by supplementing the work of human lawyers,” and (wishful, in my opinion) “(p)erhaps the many variables involved in appellate advocacy will make it (unlike chess or Go or poker) something that will forever remain beyond technological emulation.” “If humans ever create true artificial intelligence that can replace humans as appellate advocates, it will occur in that far-off future time known only as ‘someday.'”


  • From the UK’s Legal Week, this 20-minute video: How artificial intelligence is revolutionising the way law firms and clients work together. Bird & Bird CEO David Kerr and BT Legal COO Chris Fowler discuss legal tech generally and AI in particular.

Paraphrasing some of Kerr’s observations: Today, there’s a lot of hype, and very interesting work being done. There will be more collaboration between law firms and their clients. In the future (about 5 years from now) the due diligence in a deal will essentially be done by AI, and it will keep getting better; American law firms and GCs are much more prepared than those in the UK to believe in the power of systems to fix problems, and to invest in it.

Among Fowler’s observations (again, paraphrasing): Today, there’s a lot of hype, we’re an early stage market; Change management is not easy. This will be a good thing for law firm-client relationships: Law firms are taking tech companies into their premises, and this is a good thing; There will be more tech-enabled services.


  • Joe Patrice and guest host Kathryn Rubino talk to Jeff Ton of Bluelock in this half hour Above the Law “Thinking Like a Lawyer” podcast titled, “2018 Legal Technology Predictions.” After some talk about current events and other tech (including blockchain and cybersecurity), they begin to discuss AI at about the 20-minute mark. It’s pretty superficial.


  • Yesterday I posted an article from the NYT about the need for AI to be able to explain why it makes the decisions it does. (It’s legally required by regulations such as the EU’s pending GDPR.) Here’s a more in-depth look at the subject from the folks at MIT and Harvard including what can be and is being done about it. The full paper “Accountability of AI Under the Law: The Role of Explanation” is available here.

They conclude: “we recommend that for the present, AI systems can and should be held to a similar standard of explanation as humans currently are; in the future we may wish to hold an AI to a different standard.”


  • Mark Cuban is not the doomsayer Musk is, but he sees AI as a major disruptive force, “(a)ll these things have happened that have changed how we do business, changed how we lived our lives, changed everything, right, the internet. But what we’re going to see with artificial intelligence dwarfs all of that.”

And he warns that AI will be a vital international race: “And so, Vladimir Putin says the winner in AI controls the world. China puts together a future plan saying whoever dominates in AI — and they’re subsidizing Tencent, Alibaba (BABA), et cetera, right?” Cuban said. “It is a race. We cut our Office of Technology and Science to one person who was an assistant to Peter Thiel. That’s where we stand.” “Because if we don’t do it, and China or Russia win those wars, we’re SOL. We’re out of luck, right?”


  • According to www.gov.uk, “the MOD prepares to host the two-day Artificial Intelligence Hackathon this week to explore the opportunities that ‘AI’ can provide to the defence of the UK. Funded by the MOD’s £800m Innovation Fund, the Hackathon will bring top representatives from the MOD, defence industry, SMEs and academia together to brainstorm ideas on how AI can be applied across businesses, the military and civil society. Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin added: “This Hackathon is yet another example of how defence is getting together with academia and industry to ensure the UK remains a world leader in research, collaboration, and security.”


  • And you were worried about your privacy: “Dubai Police will soon be able to monitor you inside your car through an artificial intelligence machine that will be installed on the officer’s vehicle. The invention is meant to catch motorists who are breaking the road traffic rules, for instance using their mobile phone while driving, eating or drinking, driving recklessly or to catch wanted vehicles.” Video and details here.


  • This post discusses China’s race to catch and pass the US in military AI. It’s the first time I’ve seen a “military singularity” directly mentioned. Elsa Kania at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) reported that, “…some PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) thinkers anticipate the approach of a ‘singularity’ on the battlefield, where humans can no longer keep pace with the speed and tempo of machine-led decisions during combat….” Of course, this inevitable progression has been alluded to many times.

Meanwhile, two former NATO commanders weighed in yesterday with these comments about evolving tech-based war: “Technology is changing dramatically, in the field of artificial intelligence, big data. How big data can be harvested ultimately to train the artificial intelligence algorithms to do what you want them to do, including in military capacity, which can give you speed for decision-making and action we have not seen before. It’s a new horizon of military capability which is called Hyper War. The distance between the decision and the action is now measured in seconds, instead of days or weeks as it was before.”

(T)he Russians are weaponising artificial intelligence, and so are the Chinese. It’s important for us to understand what capabilities artificial intelligence can bring. For example, it has the capacity of doing enormous good in terms of intelligence collection and analysis. It can vastly speed up command and control.” “…(P)eople typically ask, whether fully autonomous systems will be released ultimately to take human life. And that’s a debate we’re going to have to have. I can tell you there are people who have the capabilities….”


  • Finally, this encouraging (??) piece from The Download, “A new paper published (login required) on Academia.edu, titled ‘Message to Any Future AI: There are several instrumental reasons why exterminating humanity is not in your interest,’ is a piece written for a future all-powerful AI with the goal of, well, convincing it not to kill us all.”