• 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.
  • From Akin GumpPolicymakers Focusing in on Artificial Intelligence. “Following a series of recent events involving policymakers from Trump’s Administration and Capitol Hill, artificial intelligence (AI) was the second hottest topic in D.C.”

 

  • From Haynes and Boone:’s Stephanie Sivinski in Law 360: 4 Ways Advances in AI Could Challenge Patent Law.  “Looking further into the future of AI, it is becoming plausible that a machine could devise an invention without any direct input from humans. That would probably not be a physical object, but perhaps a suggestion for a new chemical compound or an optimized method of medical treatment. Recognizing the AI as the inventor of the technology could put patent law into uncharted territory….”

 

  • Insurance (UK): Consumers Increasingly Happy to Let AI & Robots Sort Out Claims. A survey of 2000 consumers in the UK is discussed here.

 

  • Here’s an interesting 14-minute podcast from Above the Law: Managing A Law Firm Right Requires A Good Map. “Data analytics are essential for the successful law firm.”

 

  • From Pinset Masons‘ Out-Law.com: CMA (the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority): collusion could be addressed with personalised pricing. “The risk of businesses colluding with one another over the price of goods and services would diminish if there was extensive use of personalised pricing algorithms in digital markets….”

 

  • Roman V. Yampolskiy of the University of Louisville: AI Systems Could be Able to Own Property, Sue, Hire Lawyers and Enjoy Freedom of Speech. “Humans aren’t the only people in society at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law.” “Those human figureheads could be used to expand corporate rights or even establish new rights specific to artificial intelligence systems expanding the threats to humanity even more.” Much more here.

 

  • Gibson Dunn’s H. Mark LyonClaudia M. BarrettFrances Annika Smithson and Ryan K. Iwahashi posted this lengthy, scholarly piece: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Legal Update (3Q18). “We are pleased to provide the following update on recent legal developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous systems (or “AI” for short), and their implications for companies developing or using products based on these technologies.”

 

  • From The Indian ExpressPM Narendra Modi: ‘Artificial intelligence, blockchain to change nature of jobs’. “…(A)rtificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and big data, can take India to new heights of development and improve people’s quality of life. Our diversity, our demographic potential, fast-growing market size and digital infrastructure has potential to make India a global hub for research and implementation,….”

 

  • Counterintelligence Implications of Artificial Intelligence—Part III by Jim Baker … former General Counsel of the FBI. “This is the third post in my series about the counterintelligence implications of artificial intelligence (AI). The first two are here and here.” “AI and Big Data are a potent combination with many implications. This post focuses on how adversaries might apply AI to the vast amount of data that they collect about American to understand us, predict what we will do and manipulate our behavior in ways that advantage them.” Scary stuff here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • Two Thirds of Large Corporates Implementing RPA (Robotic Process Automation)– Deloitte Report. “While many law firms perhaps are not looking at RPA yet – although they may be using LPOs that do use this approach – there are some interesting parallels with doc review automation in law firms.” Story here.

 

  • More about DoNotPay’s recent release/expansion, including a list of the 14 applications. “Not a single one of the things above you could not do on your own. None of them give you new rights or powers that you did not already have (if you live in the right location). All they do is encourage you to go out and get what someone else, somewhere in the vast sprawl of civic, justice and consumer organisations out there, has already created for public use….” (And here’s an update to the post from ABA Journal.[Updated on Oct. 11 after the app’s launch to add details about the issues users were reporting and Browder’s response.])

 

  • Viewpoint: Nouriel Roubini Hammers Blockchain + Crypto’s Failings. “…(B)lockchain tech and the cryptocurrencies that have evolved with it are not without their challenges, as is the case with all tech, from AI systems to mobile phones to airliners to hairdryers.”

 

  • As a die hard Tar Heel, I have issues with anything to do Duke University (a.k.a., “dook”), so it pains me a bit to post thisSeal Software and the Duke Law AI Showdown – #TheRealThing. There was a competition, and “the legal professionals from Duke, UNC and Wake Forest were nothing short of awesome in how quickly they grasped the issues for analysis, and even more so how quickly they mastered the technology at their disposal to solve their problems.” Of course, the team from UNC won the competition even though it took place on Duke’s home court. In conclusion, “… our group of energetic students showed to a certainty the power that a genuine AI platform can deliver.”

 

Blockchain

  • Developing Blockchain Technology Has Potential to Aid Real Estate Transactions. “…(T)he technology has the potential to significantly increase the speed and reduce the costs of real estate transactions, as well as make investments safer and more liquid.” More here.

 

  • From ETH News: Senate Committee Hears Two Very Different Takes On Blockchain. “The banking committee today heard blockchain offers ‘otherwise unattainable benefits’. It also heard it is just a ‘glorified spreadsheet’ that will never produce anything of value.” Testimony of several witnesses is summarized here.

 

  • For your weekend reading, here’s another fairly understandable explanation of blockchain. Blockchain for Lawyers: What Is a ‘Distributed Ledger’, and Why Is It Useful to Lawyers? by EffortlessLegal’s Holly Urban.

 

  • This infographic (quite a few images followed by narrative) may also help you understand the basics of cryptocurrencies. It’s from Bitcoinfy.net.
  • “Seven members of the US Congress have sent letters to the Federal Trade CommissionFederal Bureau of Investigation, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asking whether the agencies have vetted the potential biases of artificial intelligence algorithms being used for commerce, surveillance, and hiring.” “We are concerned by the mounting evidence that these technologies can perpetuate gender, racial, age, and other biases,” a letter to the FTC says. “As a result, their use may violate civil rights laws and could be unfair and deceptive.” More here.

 

  • Last Friday, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he will introduce three new bills aimed at supporting the development of blockchain technologies, and the use of cryptocurrencies. “The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.” Details here.

 

  • Edward Baer of Ropes & Gray postedThe SEC’s Proposed ETF Rule Creates Fintech Opportunities. “Custom Baskets Present Opportunities for Fintech Applications, Including Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.”

 

 

  • This is a rather provocative description of Atrium. “Many law firms are notoriously inefficient, charging clients by the hour to complete tasks that could easily be automated. In addition, most firms pay out any annual profits to shareholders, leaving nothing behind to invest in software or internal tools.” “For example, one of its apps automatically turns startup funding documents into Excel cap tables,” from a recent TechCrunch article.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting post from Artificial Lawyer (DLA Using Only ‘About 1%’ of AI’s Huge Potential So Far), featuring thoughts from folks at DLA and White & Case at the recent Legal AI Forum in London. “One might say the hype wave of the last couple of years has propelled AI systems into law firms, the really exciting part is now only really beginning and that is firms implementing such tech at a major scale across the business.”

 

  • Press releaseLexalytics Data Extraction Services Enables Hybrid Analysis of Both Structured and Unstructured Data from Corporate Documents.  “Lexalytics has been a leader in extracting insights from unstructured data for more than 15 years,” said Jeff Catlin, CEO of Lexalytics. “Lexalytics Data Extraction Services represents the first time we’ve brought this capability to the document data extraction market, and we’re excited to help companies go beyond what the current technology allows.”

 

  • UnitedLex, Big Deals in Hand, Sells Majority Stake to European Buyout Firm. “European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners said Thursday it had acquired a majority stake in Overland, Kansas-based UnitedLex Corp., an enterprise legal services provider that during the past 18 months has signed contracts worth $1.5 billion.” “UnitedLex CEO Daniel Reed said the transaction will give his company access to $500 million in debt and equity that he will use to invest in the company’s technology, target businesses for acquisition and to invest alongside the clients it serves.” “The announcement said UnitedLex’s leadership team had “fully reinvested in the transaction,” which Reed said was indicative of their belief that they can create ”the largest legal services company in the world.”” More here.
  • 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.”