• 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.
  • Enough Hype Already: Inside Legal’s (Over?) Excitement with AI. “While many in the legal industry still over hype AI technology, some are beginning to separate fact from fiction. But the hype hasn’t been all bad—or good—for the legal market.” The post by Rhys Dipshan is here.

 

  • Covington’s Thomas Parisi postedAI Update: FCC Hosts Inaugural Forum on Artificial Intelligence. “Chairman Pai made clear in his opening remarks that the purpose of the forum was not to initiate AI regulation at the FCC. He stated: “It’s important to note that this event is about discussion and demonstration.”

 

  • Anna Cope and Melanie Lane of CMS wrote: Disciplinaries and Performance Management: Artificial Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence. The article addresses, “AI can help to remove both conscious and unconscious bias in decision-making and to ensure consistency of approach. However, will it ever be acceptable culturally for a machine to decide to fire an employee? Where should the line be drawn when important decisions need to be made about employees’ performance or disciplinary matters? Is the human element still important in this process?”

 

  • Cadwalader’s Steven Lofchie postedAgencies Urge Banks To Pursue AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Compliance Innovation. “In a joint statement, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, FinCEN, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “agencies”) stated that innovation – including the use of artificial intelligence, digital identity technologies and internal financial intelligence units – has the potential to augment banks’ programs for risk identification, transaction monitoring, and suspicious activity reporting.”

 

  • In this post, Chris Cook, Katherine Bravo, KC Halm and Amy Mushahwar of Davis Wright Tremaine summarize the FTC’s hearings on Competition and Consumer protection (a month ago). FTC Hearings Exploring Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics Focus on Notions of Fairness, Transparency and Ethical Uses.

 

  • Here’s a complete seminar from Dentons. It’s their eighth annual CPD Bootcamp. Chasing Shiny Objects: A Practical Guide To Managing The Challenges Of Transformative Technologies. “The session covered the following: Things to consider before acquiring a transformative technology: how much is real and how much is hype? And how do you know? How select transformative technologies create unexpected privacy and other compliance challenges and ways organizations can address them. Steps organizations can take to manage common risk and liability issues, including via contracts.”

 

  • And this from Dentons Italy’s Giangiacomo OliviAI And Drones, A Love Affair (Part I). “One of the main innovative characteristics of drones is their capability to collect and process great amounts of data, including personal data, which is often difficult to manage. This implies that the future usage of drones will be increasingly linked to data analytics and AI patterns and algorithms.”

 

  • “Microsoft Corp. called for new legislation to govern artificial intelligence software for recognizing faces, advocating for human review and oversight of the technology in critical cases.” Details here.

 

 

  • K&L Gates has posted Volume 39 of its Blockchain Energizer Energy Alert, this time summarizing three recent developments.

 

  • More on AML Reform: Artificial Intelligence, Beneficial Ownership and Real Estate from Ballard Spahr. “…(T)he OCC believes that ‘[n]ew technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning offer banks opportunities to better manage their costs and increase the ability of their monitoring systems to identify suspicious activity, while reducing the number of false positive alerts and investigations’.” This in-depth post includes this link to Part One.

 

  • Sameer Gokhale of Oblon, McClelland asks is the Pendulum Swinging Back In AI Direction? “(M)ost inventions in AI will not be directed to a magical robot or the self-driving car. Instead, a lot of inventions are directed to the building blocks of AI, such as deep learning and machine learning algorithms along with data collection techniques which are vital to train the AI software.” “If the USPTO director can guide the examining corp to take a patent owner-friendly approach toward inventive algorithms related to AI, then it will help swing the pendulum of patentable subject matter toward a place that is in harmony with the current state of technology.” Article from Intellectual Property Magazine here.

 

  • Suebsiri Taweepon and Pimpisa Ardborirak of Tilleke Gibbins postedChallenges of Future Intellectual Property Issues for Artificial Intelligence. “…(W)ould the software developer(s) of an AI be entitled to the work created by that AI? And if the user of the AI continually inputs new sources of information for the AI to learn, resulting in newly created IP, would the user be entitled to own the created IP?”

 

  • This interesting post warns of possible negative unintended consequences of cheap “lawtech” A2J such as, “the silencing of #MeToo activists with an avalanche of libel lawsuits; honest tradesmen ripped off by an automatic lawsuit over every invoice; online bullies spinning up endless court cases against their enemies in order to intimidate them into submission; patent trolls automating their hunt for genuinely innovative companies to exploit”.”

 

  • Meanwhile, here’s more progress on the A2J front: Chatbot to help renters released today. (From New Zealand.)

 

  • Peter Krakaur of UnitedLex posted this overview of legal technologies. It includes a nice summary chart. Planning Your Next Legal IT Strategy Discussion: A Service Delivery Framework (Part I).

 

  • Columbia University’s AI Business Course Studies Legal Tech Startup (Evisort). “…(L)egal technology offers a prime example of using tech experts and industry experts—in this case lawyers—in the development of a needed business tool.” Coverage here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

– “Big Tech company, Microsoft, is to broaden the appeal of its NLP and machine learning tools for doc review as part of a project to bring its Azure Cognitive Service capabilities into the Power BI platform for business level analysis and data visualisations. The service will open for public preview from March 2019.” Post here.

HighQ Integrates With Legal AI Co. LEVERTON + Launches V. 5.0. Post here.

– “Smart contract pioneer, OpenLaw, and oracle platform Rhombus, have joined forces to build derivatives smart contracts, as part of a project to see if their tech can be used in the $500 trillion market for handling derivatives trades.” Post here.

Relativity Develops ‘Pre-Crime’ Abilities With Trace App at ING Bank. Post here.

 

  • Press release from Littler: Littler Hosts Roundtable of Industry Leaders to Discuss Impact of Automation Technologies. It’s an interesting summary of the event and includes a link to Littler’s recent TIDE (Technology-Induced Displacement of Employees) report. Oh heck, why not just include that link here and save you a click?

 

  • Press releaseElevate Acquires Sumati, Expanding Capabilities and Scale in Contract Lifecycle Management Support.

 

  • Press releaseXDD Acquires Leading AI Automation Software Company, Esquify, Further Optimizing the Company’s Managed Review Service Offering.

 

  • Press release: Successfully Migrates 10 Terabytes of Litigation Data to Casepoint eDiscovery Cloud.

 

More prognostications:

– Legal Technology – the future of legal services from Dan Bindman. Post here.

– Moving Beyond Smart Contracts: What Are The Next Generations Of Blockchain Use Cases? Post here.

– 2019 will be the year of artificial intelligence. Post here from Damien Willis.

– This, from Information AgeArtificial intelligence for the lawyer – transforming the legal industry.

– 5 Artificial Intelligence Trends To Watch Out For In 2019. This is a bit technical, but interesting.

– Tech predictions from The Economist in 2019: Facial recognition to AI regulation. “…Major League Baseball will start allowing fans to validate their tickets and enter stadiums via a scan of their face, rather than a paper stub. Singapore’s newest megamall will use the technology to track shoppers and recommend deals to them. Tokyo will spend the year installing facial-recognition systems in preparation for the Olympics in 2020, when it will use the technology to make sure that only authorised persons enter secure areas.” More here.

– If those forecasts aren’t enough for you, how about: 120 AI Predictions For 2019. I did not verify the count or even read them all, but 120 feels about right. Here they are.

 

Blockchain

  • This, from Scott H. Kimpel of Hunton. Blockchain Legal Source: Mining Cryptocurrency Under Federal Election Law. “The acting general counsel of the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) recently published for public comment a draft advisory opinion under the Federal Election Campaign Act and related FEC regulations regarding mining cryptocurrencies for the benefit of political committees.”

 

  • Seven EU States Sign Declaration to Promote Blockchain Use. “…(T)he document cites “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare” as services which can be “transformed” by this technology. The group also cites blockchain tech’s use for protecting citizens’ privacy and making bureaucratic procedures more efficient.” More here.

 

 

  • James Marshall, Deals Partner at PwC postedHow blockchain could upend M&A and other deals. “As a tamper-proof shared ledger that can automatically record and verify transactions, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) could vastly change how investors value, negotiate and execute deals.”

 

  • From Legal Theory Bookworm, this review of the recent book, Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code by Primavera De Filippi & Aaron Wright. “De Filippi and Wright welcome the new possibilities inherent in blockchains. But as Blockchain and the Law makes clear, the technology cannot be harnessed productively without new rules and new approaches to legal thinking.”

It has been almost a week since my last post. The College of Law Practice Management‘s Futures Conference was awesome, but my absence means I’m going to have to break the latest news into two posts, with the second to follow Wednesday.

 

 

  • Above the Law, in partnership with RSM, has produced an eBook, Using Data Analytics to Combat Fraud. Here’s how to download your copy.

 

  • In this post from Information Age (Applying AI and ‘new maths’ to solve complex real-world challenges), James Loxam of Luminance discusses the challenges around the application of AI with special emphasis on Cybersecurity. “What we’re now seeing is the emergence of AI-powered technology which is reading and understanding contracts and documents in the same way a human can. Machine learning algorithms are giving the technology the ability to learn and teach itself from the data it is shown, without needing explicit programming. The technology is only as good as the human operating it, but it is fair to suggest that the human is no longer as good at their job without the technology.”

 

  • LexisNexis has released the results of a new survey: Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype. Register for the report download here. The methodology description is sparse and not very clear, but I believe they conducted 30 in-depth interviews with in-house counsel and 110 responded to an online survey. Assuming no non-response bias (always a big assumption), the overall findings are probably accurate within about +/- 10 percentage points. (E.g., “37% of GCs do not know what technology their law firm is using” should be read as “between 27 and 47% …”) The breakdowns into respondent categories should be ignored.

There is some interesting third-party data reported. For instance, “Crunchbase estimates that over $1.5B has been invested by venture capitalists into legal start up. This number excludes private equity investments nor does it look at the money spent by law firms and larger corporates operating in this space.”

 

  • “Artificial Intelligence software provider, Neota Logic and leading law firm, McCann FitzGerald have announced a partnership with University of Limerick to deliver the first-ever third-level legal tech course from spring 2019. In what is a first for the legal industry and legal education in Ireland, students will have the opportunity to learn how to design, build and test digital legal solutions using the Neota Logic System, a no-code development platform for the automation of professional services.” Details here.

 

  • Press releaseUS service makes data available on 100,000 lawyers’ litigation history. “Bloomberg Law’s enhanced Litigation Analytics tool now enables users to search, review, and analyze company representation information for more than 100,000 attorneys at over 775 law firms.”

 

  • “(T)he French data protection authority, the CNIL, the European Data Protection Supervisor and Italian DPA, the Garante, co-authored a new declaration on ethics and data protection in artificial intelligence. Along with the declaration’s six principles, the ICDPPC, ‘in order to further elaborate guidance to accompany the principles,’ will establish “a permanent working group addressing the challenges of artificial intelligence development,” an ICDPPC release states.” Much more from The International Association of Privacy Professionals (iapp) here.

 

  • From DLA Piper‘s Ileana M. Blanco: Artificial Intelligence: from diagnostic programs to sex robots – unresolved liability questions. “No lawsuits involving AI have been found to date. It is foreseeable that traditional defenses – such as that there was no safer alternative design or that the product was “unavoidably unsafe” – may be available to potential defendants. This area of law remains unsettled – definitely one to monitor in the coming months and years.”

 

  • Here’s a post from Norton Rose announcing yet another enhancement to their chatbot, Parker. “Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a new chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that has been trained to respond to queries in relation to emerging regulatory developments in the insurance sector. The chatbot is the latest iteration of the firm’s NRF Parker chatbot and will operate under the name of ‘Parker Insurance’. It is intended to help clients navigate new laws and regulations relevant to the insurance sector. Parker will continue to evolve and learn in order to develop its knowledge of the sector.”

 

 

  • This 40+ page white paper from Deutsche Bank (Regulation driving banking transformation) is an excellent case study of how today’s tech can transform an industry (banking being the industry in this example). There are chapters on Cloud, AI and Blockchain; and discussion of the state of regulation of each. “(T)the financial services industry will be transformed by technology. The extent to which this will happen, and the extent to which all participants experience the benefits, will depend on a wide range of factors. Regulation is almost certainly one of the most important.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • UK Well-Positioned To Compete with AI Superpowers US + China – Report. Story here.
  • SimpleLegal Launches ‘Auto Correct’ Billing App to Fix Dodgy Invoices. Details here.
  • Bloomberg Law to Offer Lawyer-Client Representation Analysis. Post here.
  • The Third Wave of AI, Big Data and the Dodo. More here.

 

Blockchain

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth posted this in-depth look at French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”)’s initial assessment of the compatibility of blockchain technology with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). “In its assessment, the CNIL first examined the role of the actors in a blockchain network as a data controller or data processor. The CNIL then issued recommendations to minimize privacy risks to individuals (data subjects) when their personal data is processed using blockchain technology. In addition, the CNIL examined solutions to enable data subjects to exercise their data protection rights. Lastly, the CNIL discussed the security requirements that apply to blockchain.”

 

  • This post by Ron Friedmann presents John Alber’s interesting analogy between evolutionary biology and Blockchain. I found the closing paragraph especially useful: “How we record, transact and enforce agreements has been a constant almost since the inception of the common law. Yet we let the digital age be born and grow to maturity without ever considering that perhaps our paper‐bound and extraordinarily inefficient service model for managing agreements might need changing. It took computer scientists to reimagine how to make agreements concerning digital assets. With the digital age exploding around us, what else about the law needs reimagining? Everything? Where do we begin? What do we have to learn to continue to stay relevant? And does KM need reimagining too? Is it also a relic from another age?”

 

  • It’s easy to make long term predictions, largely because it’s so rare for anyone to go back and see how you did. In this post, (The Long View of Legal Innovation) Ron Friedmann goes back 15 years to take a look at his own prognostications. Some of it was pretty obvious (“change management remains a hard problem to solve: many lawyers resist new ways of working”), but I believe the basics of his Federalism & Foundations “grant” model was/is interesting and holds up. Not bad!

 

  • With AI, it’s all about the data. I expect the data in almost every firm’s matter intake system could be improved by both doing less and doing more. It’s time for some serious process engineering! This article by  takes a look at some of these issues.

 

  • From DLA Piper’s IPT Italy BlogPrisca, the DLA Piper chatbot that will become your personal assistant. “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Prisca, DLA Piper chatbot that will be able to answer data protection law questions and intellectual property questions on trade secrets. Prisca is an artificial intelligence system based on IBM Watson technology that can help you to find the information you need about the GDPR and trade secrets, their provisions, definitions and what you should do to be compliant.”

 

  • Speaking of Italy, this is from Dentons Italy. Rise of the machines: could the increasing use of technology lead to a four-day working week for all? “Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: ‘Bosses and shareholders must not be allowed to sweep up all the gains from new tech for themselves. Working people deserve their fair share and that means using the gains from new tech to raise pay and allow more time with their families.'”

 

  • From Kelly Twigger via Above the Law: Why Review Is Much Harder Than You Think. “…(D)o we really need all of this linear review?  Is it worth the money? Review is essential — no question. But what you review needs careful consideration and it should almost always be a small subset of what you’ve collected. To get to that subset takes thoughtful preparation and time, together with input from the client, consideration of the case strategy and your obligations.”

 

  • MoFo postBig Data and AI: “The Algorithm Did It” Defense Will Not Fly in Court.

 

  • Also from MoFo, these brief observations: Artificial Intelligence vs. Emotional Intelligence. (The post’s title sounds promising, but the content doesn’t really deliver.)

 

  • Senators introduce the ‘Artificial Intelligence in Government Act’ “Per a news release, the bill would seek to “improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning.” Details here and here.

 

  • This, from  of EffortlessLegal: Top Five Reasons Why Outdated Technology May Be Hindering Your Firm’s Potential. “Even if your legal services are the best available, not measuring up when it comes to technology will give the perception that you are slow, outdated, or otherwise not qualified to handle the client’s legal matter.”

 

  • Law firms join forces with university in lawtech initiative. “The University of Manchester will bring together an interdisciplinary academic team from its schools of law, business and computer science, to form a consortium with City giant Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer and DWF Ventures, the national law firm’s research and development arm. The consortium is the first research collaboration of its type in the UK to draw on business and academic expertise to develop research and teaching focused on the potential application and the impact of digital technology in legal services provision.” More here.

 

  • This post is from Stephen Beney and Reshika Dhir of Bereskin & Parr Inventorship in the Age of AI. “(T)he pervasive use of AI has given rise to a very interesting legal question of who should be considered the true inventor(s) of AI-generated inventions.”

 

  • This article features Ari Kaplan’s interview of Anthony W. Crowell, the Dean and President of New York Law School regarding the newly launched Business of Law Institute. “The Business of Law Institute is going to start with a series of programs that tap into our alumni and other experts, who will teach master classes that give an in-depth review of different areas, including data privacy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other pressing issues.”

 

  • Here’s a detailed look at the PwC/Fragomen hookup: The PwC / Fragomen Alliance Unpacked: A Peek Inside The Big Four’s Legal Market Playbook.

 

  • From Kemp IT LawLegal Aspects of Artificial Intelligence (v2.0). It’s a 47-page white paper on the subject.

 

  • It seems I’ve fallen behind re the always-interesting posts from the UK’s Artificial Lawyer. Here are some recent headlines:

– O Silo Mio! – LegalTech Silos Are On The Rise, and That’s Bad. Story here.

AI Doc Review Co. Evisort Partners with LSI Translator. Story here.

– Smart Contract Org. Accord Bags Clifford Chance + More. Story here.

– 5 Questions Lawyers Should Ask About AI. Story here.

– BCLP Launches New Post-Integration Global Innovation Group. Story here.

– Legal Tech Popcorn, Feat: ContractPodAi, HSF, OpenLaw + vLex. Story here.

– Demystifying AI For Lawyers: Supervised Machine Learning. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • Araa Group of Advocates and Legal Consultants has become Dubai’s first blockchain based law firm after signing a collaborative partnership with e-Mal. Here’s the press release. “By signing the partnership with Araa, e-Mal will bring more efficiency and uniformity in contracting like done by OpenLaw, ContractCode, Integra Ledger within the Legal Industry. By introducing the blockchain based platform, legal documents within the chain will now be a ‘single source of truth’ within the legal blockchain.”

 

  • From India’s AMLegalsIs Your Contract Safe and Healthy? The post offers a bit of a contract check-up via a series of questions.

 

  • Walmart to salad growers: If you want to sell, you have to blockchain. Full story here.

 

  • Shearman & Sterling post: Gaps in Current Legal Framework Hindering Blockchain-based Trade Finance. “…(W)hile it has become technologically possible to execute transactions using negotiable instruments registered via blockchain technology, existing U.S. law recognizes negotiable instruments only if they are on paper and signed, which hinders the advancement of blockchain-based trade finance.”

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedNational Science Foundation Seeks Comments on Artificial Intelligence, Continuing Policy Makers’ Focus on AI.

 

  • Perkins Coie is the latest to join the Accord Project. Here’s their press release.

 

  • This, from Deepika Sharma of Khurana & Khurana Smart IP: Blockchain Technology in China. “Chinese government is introducing measures to protect blockchain IP they are also trying to bring it under China’s cyber security law.”

 

  • California Governor passes two bills in favor of blockchain. Details here. “That it was signed into law is a great testament to the work being done around the state by folks like the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition to advance this rapidly growing technology.”

 

  • Regarding federal blockchain legislation: “Ripple will lead a group of crypto startups to lobby lawmakers and financial regulators in D.C. to support crypto and blockchain innovation, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, September 27.” More here.

 

  • Here’s Volume 36 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer, summarizing three blockchain news stories.
  • From Above the LawHead-To-Head Showdown Between AI-Driven Legal Research Tools. It’s Casetext versus LexisNexis and there’s a clear winner, but I expect today’s winner will lose tomorrow as all of these applications are improving so quickly.

 

  • “Former FBI lawyer Lisa Osofksy today allayed lingering doubts about the future of the Serious Fraud Office as she delivered her first speech as director of the agency. Osofsky, who has dual US and British nationality, affirmed that she has the attorney-general’s support to maintain the independence and prominence of the SFO over her five-year term.” … “She also wants to enhance the agency’s use of technology to help crack data-heavy cases. Osofsky cited the example of deploying an artificial intelligence robot to help check for privileged material in the landmark Rolls Royce case back in 2016. This led to an 80% saving in the area it was used.” Partners from WilmerHale and White & Case comment in the article. More here.

 

  • Claim Technology, a LawTech start-up pioneering a digital Claims-as-a-Service platform, has integrated their solution with leading customer messaging platform, Intercom. Law firms who use Claim Technology’s chatbot, Robin, can now empower their customers to complete tasks, share media, and get real-time answers to their questions at the point of claim.” Post from Legal Futures.

 

  • Also from Legal FuturesSeries A Extraordinaire: Insight Venture Partners takes a $50m minority stake in Kira Systems. I have generally stopped posting about investments in legal AI because they have become so common, but I will post those that are unusually large or otherwise noteworthy. “Kira, which despite being bootstrapped until now has in the past three years grown from 15 to 115 employees and counts a majority of the global top 30 law firms as customers, signed the deal with Insight Venture last week in order to exponentially (a bit of hyperbole?) accelerate its growth within the legal sector and beyond.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Kennedys Brings India Tech Team Inhouse, Launches ‘Kognitive Computing’. “The firm said that the new team is focused on ‘rapid prototyping, application development, text analytics, machine learning and blockchain‘.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: Meet Tolley.Ai The World’s First Tax Bot, And Help It To Learn. “The tax group within LexisNexis, known as Tolley, has created an NLP-driven, automated tax bot that can answer questions about accounting issues and learn from the feedback you give it. It may prove to be of use to both accountants and lawyers working in this field.” Lots of details here.

 

  • Colorado’s new consumer data protection law among the most demanding in the country. “The law establishes three key responsibilities for businesses and government entities that keep either paper or electronic documents containing Coloradans’ personal identifying information, the Colorado Office of the Attorney General says. It applies to all businesses, from one-person operations or multi-national corporations.” Details from the Denver Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • Pepper Hamilton’s Daniel Sieck postedBlockchain for the Energy Industry: Mid Market Trends – Investor Interest Is On The Rise. “While M&A deal flow remains relatively low in this sector, it is expected to increase, especially among corporate strategic acquirers seeking to obtain blockchain innovation and expertise rather than develop it in house.”
  • From Jim Baker via Lawfare: Artificial Intelligence – A Counterintelligence Perspective: Part I. “…AI and the entire technological ecosystem in which it functions are highly valuable to private-sector organizations and nation-states. That means that nations will try to identify, steal, and corrupt or otherwise counteract the AI and related assets of others, and will use AI against each other in pursuit of their own national interests. And that presents the United States and its allies with a classic counterintelligence problem in a novel and high-stakes context….” This is a deep dive.

 

  • Lex Machina‘s Josh Becker prepared this look at the “…three primary categories of legal analytics that relate to legal workflows: litigation, regulatory compliance and transactions.”

 

  • To find out how AI is being used in the deal process and how proficient dealmakers need to be in order to successfully implement and evaluate the technology, Mergermarket asked three law firm partners, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management and a vendor, “What other kinds of machine learning or artificial intelligence applications are there to assist in the dealmaking process at present? What sorts of tools can you envision being created in the future?” Here’s what they said.

 

  • Lexology posted this blog post reporting what a few law firms are doing with AI and the benefits/impact they expect.

 

  • Press release: “CPA Global®, the Intellectual Property (IP) services and technology market leader, today announces the acquisition of Filing Analytics and Citation Eagle, two leading IP data and analytics software solutions, from Practice Insight, a wholly owned subsidiary of IPH Ltd.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting spin on the idea of a Smart Contract from William S. Veatch, a partner at Reed Smith, a “Data Contract.” “The essence of the Data Contract is that the terms of the contract are stored in a database at both the Clause Level and the Idea Level.”

And in this post, Artificial Lawyer interviews Reed Smith’s Bryon Bratcher to explore the firm’s tech strategy, including products they are offering to other law firms.

 

  • More about Smart Contracts. Artificial Lawyer reports that “Smart contract company, Clause, has partnered with a leading NFC (near field communication) company to link it to its own self-executing legal contracting technology. The move is in line with some of the earliest work of Clause, which related to picking up signals from the environment that could trigger elements of a smart contract.” Much more here.

 

  • Rob Galaski, Deloitte Global Banking & Capital Marketing Consulting leader, recently said: “AI is rapidly reshaping the attributes necessary to build a successful business in financial services. As AI drives operational efficiency, economies of scale alone will not sustain cost advantages. In the future, financial institutions will be built on scale of data and the ability to leverage that data. Increasingly bifurcated markets are already emerging where data sharing is critical to competitive success and first movers are positioned to distinguish themselves by delivering better advice, constant presence, and curated ecosystems. Firms that lag behind are finding that their old strengths may not keep them as competitive as they once were.” This seems to me completely relevant to law firms and their clients.

 

  • I have posted about the US’ tightening of controls around tech exports including AI. This post from MoFo reports that EU members are doing the same.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: LawDroid, has launched a new voice-activated functionality in a joint venture with US attorney Patrick Palace, that is designed to integrate exclusively with Clio’s practice management software. The new system will offer lawyers the ability to use voice commands to:
    • Dictate notes, schedule appointments, and create tasks
    • Have LawDroid Voice read out to you your schedule for the day
    • Populate data into Clio to eliminate data entry duplication.

 

  • Is AI The Great Equalizer For Small Law? According to this post in Above the Law from Casetext’s Jake Heller, “yes”. “…(T)he 85 percent of lawyers at smaller law firms have been adopting, using, and thriving on artificial intelligence technologies. And they have been using AI to level the playing field, diminishing or eliminating what were once the resource and staffing advantages at the bigger law firms.” It’s an interesting argument.

 

  • Holland & Knight postedFTC Announces Plans to Hold Roundtables on Consumer Protection and Competition Issues – Privacy, Data Security, Big Data and the Use of Artificial Intelligence Figure Prominently. “The FTC designated a total of 11 topic areas it will focus on and included a series of questions that it would like the public to comment on and participate in. Consumer privacy issues along with data security, the use of Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics figure prominently in the list of main topics the FTC has indicated it will review and analyze….”

 

  • Access to Justice: Artificial Lawyer reports that: German expert system, Bryter, is to build consumer-facing legal applications in a partnership with the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic (HCLC) at the Humboldt University of Berlin. … The project will have a double benefit, in that students will get to know how to use an expert system such as Bryter, while also creating outward-facing applications that may be of use to consumers with legal needs and access to justice challenges.” More here.

 

Blockchain

 

  • In this sponsored post, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s Dan Nossa and Kristian White explain: How blockchain technology could alter the real estate business.
  • From Above the Law, Patrick Fuller’s thoughts on law firms’ obstacles to adoption of AI-based technologies. “The biggest obstacles for getting firms to adopt AI tend to be combinations of different factors — most notable are attorney compensation structure, the matter’s fee arrangement, and the practice area as well.” More of Patrick’s thoughts and findings of the recent ALM survey here. And since it’s Friday, here’s what I assume is his high school yearbook headshot.

 

  • Interesting thoughts regarding the use of blockchain for betting and the obstacles to its regulation here. Crypto Prediction Market on Blockchain Raises Regulatory Concerns. “(A) contract listed on the site may be worth watching. It asks, ‘Will the Forecast Foundation face an enforcement action from the SEC or CFTC before Dec. 21, 2018 for hosting unregulated derivatives markets?'”

 

  • Here’s more about Blockchain from K&L Gates: Blockchain Energizer – Volume 32. They review two developments: “The Arizona Corporation Commission Opens the First Blockchain-focused Utility Regulatory Docket,” and “Energy Web Foundation and LO3 Energy Partner to Standardize Data on Tobalaba.”

 

  • A legal conference with it’s own AI-powered chatbotAPAC regional legal tech conference LexTech launches AI assistant. “Called, LEXi, the Artificial Intelligence chatbot was developed by Malaysia’s CanChat and will focus on addressing enquiries of LexTech delegates in real-time via Facebook Messenger….”

 

  • From Law360The Future Of Authenticating Audio And Video Evidence. “Audio and, to a much greater extent, video are the preeminent forms of probative evidence (both inside and outside the courtroom). Attorneys must at least begin to think about a hypothetical future in which audio or video recordings cannot be taken for granted. The recent emergence of artificial intelligence-based technology has prompted serious concerns about the…” (That’s as far as I could get without a LexisNexis account.  🙁

 

  • This half-hour video from the ABA’s Law Technology Today (Big Results with Big Data) pretty much delivers on this promise: “In this video, you will hear from the Chief Knowledge and Client Value Officer at Shearman & Sterling on how they are leveraging big data and litigation analytics to build a stronger case strategy for better management of client expectations. You will also get the inside scoop from a Product Developer at Thomson Reuters to see how they are doing big data differently to improve your practice.”

 

  • Squire Patton Boggs partner Huu Nguyen authored this pieceArtificial Intelligence Law is Here, Part One, “Law is being developed now, in order to set the rules of the road for the usage of AI. And we as lawyers should recognize it as a specific discipline.” “I don’t think lawyers will lose their jobs in droves to robots. But, nonetheless, the practice of law will change.” This first part is a bit of a teaser mainly providing background info and concluding with, “(t)une in for part two of this series, in which I will discuss robot speech issues, AI bias and transparency, regulatory guidance on use of robo-advisors by the SEC, proposed AI laws before Congress and more.”

 

  • Here comes another blockchain consortium, featuring law firms and tech firms. BakerHostetler, LexPredict and Others Partner to Develop Blockchain ‘Middle Layer’. “Agreements Network is slated to serve as an arena for lawyers and others to build technologies using blockchain for ends like contracts, asset management and evidence storage.”

 

  • I don’t believe it’s too much of a stretch to include news about the Big Four accounting firms’ relentless march into the legal space in a blog about legal AI. So here goes: Deloitte to Join Big 4 Legal Race in Singapore With Foreign Law Firm Launch.
  • A2J?This ‘Serial Entrepreneur’ Thinks Finding a Lawyer Can Be as Easy as Hailing an Uber. “For $20, Kevin Gillespie’s ‘Text A Lawyer’ service lets consumers send a legal question to a pool of lawyers to pick up for a response.” “…(W)hich will solely focus on landlord/tenant issues in Oregon and Washington during its beta launch. He said the platform is also trying to get ‘up and running for immigration issues,’ and plans to cover other areas like employment, traffic, cannabis, and civil rights.”

 

  • More about AI for smaller firms or corporate legal departments (SMEs):

– Baidu no-code EasyDL tool could democratize AI for small businesses, bridge talent gap. “Baidu announced the launch of Baidu Brain 3.0, a central platform that helps enterprises more quickly and easily adopt artificial intelligence (AI) solutions—with or without programming talent. Baidu Brain provides 110 AI technologies, including face recognition, natural language understanding, and video understanding—all of which are available via open APIs or SDKs, according to a press release. Businesses can also use the platform’s no-code tool called EasyDL to build custom machine learning models without the need for programming skills….” Details here.

From WoltersKluwerThe role of AI in your small legal department.

2018 Is The Year Of Artificial Intelligence Transformation From RPA To SMEs. “Xineoh … says it has developed a platform for predicting customer behaviour with AI ‘which allows businesses to out-predict their competition thus allowing them to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction’.” “It’s a bold claim and one laser-focused on SMEs. Its so-called bespoke AI solutions on Xineoh’s platform can be implemented rapidly without the cost, complexity and consulting required by other methods.” More here.

 

  • It seems the ACC is getting involved in blockchain’s use in law. This is a solid discussion of smart contracts. Smart Contracts: The Shared Ledger That’s Set in Stone.

 

  • And speaking of blockchain, this post about Series LLCs brings up some interesting points about the relationship between smart contracts, blockchain and lawyers. Here’s the sort of things discussed:

“This ability to learn and react diminishes the need for regular human management. Contracts written onto a blockchain could allow artificial intelligences to auto-resolve disputes, easing the litigation burden on courts when computers start doing business with other computers. The ability to safely share information on a blockchain will also lighten the burden of business management, able to quickly access relevant data from business and industry partners as well as different hubs of the same company. In the future, the computers may even run businesses themselves with auto-learning algorithms.”

“The biggest challenge to LLCs looking to join the blockchain revolution of the future will be finding programmers talented enough to code smart contract management programs, and the careful drafting of the “contract” in computer code languages. It also provides a challenge to lawyers: If initial contracts are written by coders, and subsequent contracts are written by the technology itself, where do lawyers fit in?”

 

  • This is an interesting discussion of how Malta is becoming seriously friendly to blockchain — it’s not just a marketing gimmick. Among Blockchain-Friendly Jurisdictions, Malta Stands Out.

 

  • Here’s more about Norton Rose’s chatbot ‘Parker’. Chatbot aids firms’ privacy compliance by finding client exposures within data breach laws. “The launch of the bot continues the steady incursion of artificial-intelligence-powered software into the Canadian legal market. Parker, a computer program that simulates human conversation, will guide clients in determining their exposure and obligations under new data breach laws and new regulations that will come into effect on Nov. 1 under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).”

 

AndLogan Breed, a partner with Hogan Lovells’ Antitrust practice, sits down with Daniela Combe, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at IBM. They talk about the explosion of data, the emergence of AI and cognitive computing – and the evolving relationship between in-house and outside counsel. Listen to the audio here.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, an interesting post about firms engaging multiple AI solutions and needing to integrate them and link databases. ‘More Law Firms Turning to More Than One AI Solution’ – HighQ

 

  • From Clifford ChanceClifford Chance launches two new innovation units: the next stage of the firm’s Best Delivery and Innovation strategy
  • From Hogan Lovells‘ Lloyd Parker:  “According to a survey of over 200 brand owners, AI will revolutionise trademark prosecution and enforcement over the next five years.”

 

  • From Hogan Lovells and the University of Birmingham, here’s a discussion of Artificial Intelligence – time to get regulating?

 

  • It seems to be Hogan Lovells day. From the DC officeIn fraud and corruption investigations, artificial intelligence and data analytics save time and reduce client costs. “Peter Spivack, a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., explains how the process of gathering, sorting, and evaluating enormous volumes of data has changed, and why skilled human intelligence is likely to remain a required component of an accurate analysis.”

 

  • More on AI regulation as in this video, “Ben Allgrove of Baker McKenzie says a ‘state of flux’ exists over how the applications of artificial intelligence should be regulated as the true capabilities of the technology have not been ascertained.”

 

  • Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law launches new “tech lab” to teach students, alumns, and lawyers about blockchain and artificial intelligence. “Beginning this school year, the center — dubbed the C|M|LAW Tech Lab — will launch the only law-school based interdisciplinary Cybersecurity and Data Privacy certificate, and a new C|M|LAW Tech certificate.” Details here.

 

  • More blockchain news: “Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has teamed up with ConsenSys start up, OpenLaw, to achieve a breakthrough that aims to unlock the potential of the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts in the settlement of real estate and property transactions.”

 

  • Blockchain in court: “A court in China’s Hangzhou city has ruled that evidence authenticated with blockchain technology can be presented in legal disputes.”

“The court thinks it should maintain an open and neutral stance on using blockchain to analyze individual cases. We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable. … In this case, the usage of a third-party blockchain platform that is reliable without conflict of interests provides the legal ground for proving the intellectual infringement.”

 

  • A Blockchain law firmProminent Blockchain Attorney Joshua Ashley Klayman Launches Blockchain- and Digital Token-Focused Law Firm & Blockchain Strategy Consulting and Advisory Firm. “… a well known name in the digital token sale / blockchain industry, has departed Morrison & Foerster LLP to launch her own boutique law firm (Klayman LLC) targeting the industry she has been intimately engaged with for the past few years.

 

  • A2J: This is a sobering look at some of the instances where AI has failed to deliver on its Access to Justice promise/potential. “‘AI not delivering for poorest’ says technology reality check.”

 

  • There’s lots of good content from Artificial Lawyer today:

– FirstLaw Society Call For Evidence: Algorithms + Justice.

– And, “(t)op Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald, has launched a Credit Reporting Compliance App, using the expert system platform of Neota Logic.”

This is a particularly interesting development: “HighQ, the legal data collaboration platform, has signed a partnership deal with the global referral group, TerraLex. The referral group’s management team will also directly recommend the use of the collaboration platform to its 155 member firms and their 19,000 lawyers around the planet. I.e. there will be both a central hub use of HighQ to share data through TerraLex’s organisational structure, plus an effort to encourage the individual firms to also jump onto the platform.”

Finally, “(i)n an important step that will greatly support the development of global standards for smart contracts, global tech giant IBM has decided to join the Accord Project consortium.” This entire post is very much worth reading.

 

  • This story has received a LOT of coverage in the past couple of days. I suppose, in part, because it’s so easy to write click-bait headlines for it. Here’s a tame one: HAL-like robot to help astronaut in space odyssey. More coverage of the spherical AI bot named Cimon here.

 

  • Here’s some real futurist, almost sci-fi technology that’s probably coming in the next few years — “quantum computing.” (Want a deeper dive? Several good references are provided at the end.)

 

  • Since it’s Friday, and it has been a while since I’ve posted about AI’s existential and other threats to mankind (and rebuttals thereto), so here’s:

– Expressing apprehension that disruptive technology would hasten extinction of humankind, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus on Thursday warned companies against excessive use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Technology will expedite our extinction on planet Earth.”

– “Artificial intelligence is coming for the service economy, according to Allstate Corp. Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson. ‘It’s going to rip through this economy like a tsunami.'”

  • From Bloomberg Law: “Securitization specialists at law firms including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and DLA Piper say the first blockchain-based transactions could come as early as this year. “There’s a lot of hype about blockchain, but I am working on actual deals right now,” said Matthew Duncan, a partner and head of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’s London-based securitization practice, who expects to see the first blockchain securitization by mid-2019. “Securitization will change fundamentally.””

 

  • And here’s more about blockchain from Artificial Lawyer: Smart Contract Group, Accord Project, Links with R3’s Corda Blockchain.

 

“Robots have stimulated the imagination of human beings for several thousand years: artificial servants and companions seem to be present as far back as in the ancient Greek myths. To a great extent, these myths are now becoming reality, with the effect that fundamental concepts of law must be revisited in light of recent and rapid technological developments. It remains to be seen how quickly law will follow technology… and to what extent lawyers themselves will be replaced by robots.”

 

  • Press release: Cooley Partner Named to Inaugural European Commission Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies.

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about the growth of legal tech (including AI) in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Legal Tech Market is Booming.

 

Since today is a bit light on legal AI news, here’s some info to catch you up on AI in the rest of the world:

  • From Finextra: “AiX, the artificial intelligence broker, announces today that it has completed the first ever trade brokered by an AI powered chatbot. The trade is the first of its kind to use AI technology instead of the traditional human brokerage model, completing a successful cryptocurrency transaction between Rockwell Capital Management and TLDR Capital.”

 

  • The international AI race: from the Financial Times: “In the race to master artificial intelligence, Europe is a clear laggard. The US and China dominate AI in everything from research to investment. Whereas Europe spent about $3bn-$4bn on AI in 2016, investment in North America was up to $23bn, according to McKinsey Global Institute.”

 

  • For more than a year I have been writing about the tens of thousands of news stories being composed by AI. During that time they have become more sophisticated. Here‘s a bit of an update. (This is about “artificial” but not “fake” news.)

 

  • It’s not just law firms that struggle to achieve greater diversity. Google Employees and Investors Joined Forces to Demand More Diversity. Why Even That Novel Approach Failed. Even the employees that caused Google to drop a major government/defense contract couldn’t clear the diversity hurtle. This story has been widely covered. Here’s the post from Fortune.

“Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may hold supervoting rights, making these proposals untenable in practice, but they can’t stop this dirty laundry being aired in public—particularly when employees and shareholders join forces. At some point, something has to give. And not just a “more inclusive vegan salad” emoji.”

 

  • I guess if we’re going to really understand how dark/malevolent AI can go, we need to take it there and examine the result. So, MIT scientists create world’s first ‘psychopath’ AI and it’s really spooky. Creepy details here.

 

  • Speaking of creepy, it’s pretty horrifying to imagine the old white guys in our Congress, mainly Luddites, writing the laws that will govern our AI and other tech. Consider this post from the Washington Post‘I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say’: How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech. “(P)olicymakers themselves admit they aren’t fully prepared to deal with the issues.”