• I’m a big fan of all things “Access to Justice” (A2J), so I was pleased to see this app from DoNotPay and equally happy to see today’s update: “new updates to DoNotPay, … will allow a user to sue anyone in small claims court in any county in all 50 states—without the need for retaining a lawyer.” There are several other very cool new functions as well, as described in this story in The ABA Journal.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “UK law firm Mishcon de Reya has announced that it is sharing the legal AI models related to real estate it has developed through Kira Systems with the AI company’s wider customer base.” “‘By collaborating with Kira to enhance their UK real estate offering we have already gained valuable insight into how artificial intelligence works and how we can best leverage AI to better support real estate clients, delivering our services innovatively and more efficiently and we look forward to continuing to working closely with them,’ he (Nick Kirby) added.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this interview with Charley Moore of Rocket Lawyer in which Charley discusses embracing smart contracts and the use of the Ethereum blockchain as the platform for his new ‘Rocket Wallet‘.

 

  • This post from Bob Ambrogi makes a convincing case that Cloud Practice Management Software Grows Up. “For the legal professionals who consume these products, this maturing and stabilization of the market can only be good news. No longer need they fear that the cloud is an iffy proposition. No longer need they worry about the viability of cloud providers or the security of their platforms. Cloud practice management is a mature and stable market offering a rich array of products and the promise of continuing development and innovation.”

 

  • Here’s yet another discussion of the incompatibility of the GDPR and blockchain: Why Blockchain And The GDPR Collide Over Your Personal Data, this time from Tom Kulik of Scheef & Stone.

 

  • I enjoyed this breezy summary of last week’s Clio Cloud Conference by Dan Lear, focusing on small firms.

 

  • I’ve got to see a demo of this new pricing offering from Neota Logic and Validatum: Platform brings AI to pricing legal work. “Virtual Pricing Director will give users a complete pricing summary, outlining not only the fees options but also an explanation of how they are calculated, making it easy for the client to select the right option for them. One more click and it will be automatically emailed to the client, and put on your client file.” Wow.

 

  • Here Osler touts its CRM platform that provides “Relationship Intelligence” by “leverage(ing) artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and data automation to improve team productivity, data accuracy, and completeness of information in CRM.”

 

  • This from Australia’s Stacks: Algorithms, artificial intelligence, automated systems and the law. Several AI problems are discussed relating to society, business, government, and the human race generally.

 

  • And finally for today, Brownstein published Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and its Growing Impact on U.S. Policy, a summary of the “House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology … white paper on the intersection of public policy and artificial intelligence (AI).”
  • I like the infographic AI Knowledge Map above. Here’s an explanation of the elements.

 

  • “The sixth annual Clio Cloud Conference held a talk with lawyers about how artificial intelligence and blockchain-based technologies can be used by firms of various sizes to become more cost and time efficient.” Summary by Victoria Hudgins here.

 

  • Innovation Driving New Approach to Legal Operations at Novartis. “Maurus Schreyvogel, Novartis’ Chief Legal Innovation Officer, advocates for a more efficient legal function and the broader benefits for the industry.” “…(W)hen we think of the legal profession first and foremost, it’s us – the legal professionals. We have to think about our workplace and how we want to add value because the way legal operations currently work, in many ways, is no longer fit for purpose.” Story here.

 

  • Could an artificial intelligence be considered a person under the law? “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.” Interesting discussion by Prof. , University of Louisville, here.

 

  • Press releaseActive Machine Learning Now Available in the VenioOne Platform. “VenioOne CAL is now hitting its stride as a best of both worlds eDiscovery solution – human reviewers combined with machine learning. This could be a big game changer for firms and corporations relying on large teams of reviewers to get through increasingly larger datasets in their cases.”

 

  • From Hogan LovellsAI, machine learning & legal tech: The 6th Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup at Google with Hogan Lovells. “…(T)the legal spotlight focused on how in-house counsel and external law firms are going to cooperate well under the influence of legal tech.

 

  • And this from Hogan Lovells’ LimeGreen IP NewsEU Patent Office publishes preview of guidelines on patenting AI applications. “…(T) the new section on AI and machine learning now appears in section 3.3.1 of Part G of the Guidelines.”

 

  • Allen & Overy and Freshfields did well at the FT Innovative lawyers Awards. Details here and here.

 

 

  • From Legal Talk NetworkClio Cloud 2018: Blockchain and AI used in the Legal Industry. “Joshua Lenon and Jake Heller talk about how blockchain and AI play a role in their companies, what they are seeing with AI today, and how to spot a product that is not worth using.”

 

  • This story is from the UK’s Law Society Gazette: In-house lawyers expect artificial intelligence to cut firms’ bills. “A report, Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype, found that 75% of GCs expected to be passed on benefits including lower fees, improved quality and faster turnaround times. There was mixed feedback on the satisfaction of legal technology deployed by firms: 40% of general counsel said they were satisfied, 12% very satisfied and 37% were dissatisfied.”

 

Here are some recent posts from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Meet Josef a ‘Next Generation’ Legal Automation Platform. Story here.
  • These nuggets are from a LexisNexis report I previously posted. A Tricky Relationship: General Counsel + Legal Technology.
  • Prop + Legal Tech Pioneer, Thirdfort, Bags £400k Pre-Seed Investment. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • “France’s Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) released guidance on how blockchain can exist in a post-GDPR world. Problem is, they are not sure it completely can.” In this article by Rhys Dipshan, attorneys from Baker Hostetler; Crowell & Morning; McCann FitzGerald; and Morris, Manning & Martin are quoted.

 

  • Here’s an academic piece for you, from professors from law schools in Dusseldorf, Australia and Hong Kong and published in the University of Illinois Law Review: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. (It’s a bit over a year old, but I had missed it until today.)

 

  • This is a somewhat technical explanation of how smart contracts work. Smart Contract Technical Underpinnings (Blockchain Report Excerpt). The full report is here.

 

 

Here are a couple of developments in the application of AI and blockchain in real estate:

  • Securrency to Help QuantmRE Build Blockchain-Powered Real Estate Trading Platform. “QuantmRE, a blockchain company that focuses on the tokenization of real estate assets, partnered with fintech company Securrency to build its property trading platform.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption by Desirée Patno. Four examples are given here.

 

Background

  • Ready to get your geek on? Here’s a good explanation of how Quantum Computing works. “If a task required you to find one correct answer out of 100 million choices, an ordinary computer would go through 50 million steps to do so. A quantum computer would only go through 10,000.” “For now, anyone without a quantum computer isn’t missing out on anything. Quantum computers can’t yet function any better than our classic computers can and aren’t expected to do so for at least another decade.” Thanks to “physics student”, Ella Alderson.
  • From Goulston & Storrs‘ Retail Law Advisor,  penned Augmented Retail – The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience. The use of these technologies by Amazon, American Apparel, Ikea, Williams Sonoma and Sephora are discussed.

 

  • Standardization of legaltech, what a concept!! “…12 law firms (including LathamClifford ChancePaul WeissCravath, Freshfields, Linklaters and Skadden) have joined a consortium to support a legal tech startup called Reynen Court LLC, which is creating a platform to allow law firms to more quickly deploy legal tech tools such as contract analysis, discovery and practice management. In short, the effort is akin to creating an App Store that will allow law firms to quickly and more securely fire up third-party software.” These Big Law Firms Are Backing an App Store for Legal Tech Products. Coverage of this development here and here.

 

  • From Allen MatkinsKeith Paul BishopIs Artificial Intelligence The Future Of Rulemaking? “I can foresee a time when artificial intelligence is used to identify agency rulemaking proposals and to craft comments.  Agencies may in turn use artificial intelligence to categorize, analyze and even respond to comments.  In this dystopian future, regulations may be entirely drafted, commented on and promulgated by computers.”

 

 

  • This post is from Covington’s Inside Privacy blog: IoT and AI Update: California Legislature Passes Bills on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Chatbots. The post describes the law’s provisions.

 

  • Here’s the story of Keystone Law from it’s founding in 2002 as a different kind of law firm to the decision to float on the London Stock Exchange. AI and blockchain are mentioned.

 

  • Included in this critique of the Legal Services Act (Tensions in Legal Services Act coming to fore, says review by Neil Rose), “The current structure therefore pre-dates the global financial crisis (which has led to austerity, shortfalls in the funding of legal aid and the wider courts and justice system, and then to a rise in litigants-in-person). It also pre-dates a use of technology that has become more extensive and pervasive, as well as the rise of artificial intelligence in law.”

 

  • Here’s Part Three of Squire Patton Boggs’ Artificial Intelligence Law Is Here by Huu Nguyen. “Our discussion of AI Law turns now to the topic of robo-advisors, AI speech and AI legislations before Congress.” It includes reviews of and links to the first two parts. “it is clear that AI Law is here, and here to stay. The advice I can give to the law or computer science student today in this fast changing arena is to be part of the debate of where AI Law should be and not just focus on the technology.”

 

  • This, from Legal FuturesFrom lawyer marketplace to global law firm? “An online lawyer-matching business (Lexoo) targeted at companies has secured £3.4m in its latest funding round with an investor predicting that it could become ‘a virtual and distributed tech-driven global law firm’. Lexoo will use the funding to invest in new technology, including automated contract drafting and project management tools to further increase efficiencies of its lawyers.”

 

  • “The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been awarded £700,000 in taxpayers’ money to support innovations involving artificial intelligence to transform the legal services market for small businesses and consumers.” “According to the department, the SRA’s project, Data-Driven Innovation in Legal Services, ’will seek out and accelerate ethical AI-powered business innovations that support its regulatory objectives. The focus will be on growing the large underdeveloped legal services market for small businesses and consumers, where AI and automation can have a transformative impact’.” More from The Law Society Gazette here.

 

  • From Darren Hau of Marks & Clerk: Patenting AI: the EPO’s new guidelines: “In its annual update of the “Guidelines for Examination”, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided further guidance for its examiners in relation to the patentability of inventions relating to mathematical methods and computer programs. This updated guidance is of particular relevance to inventions relating to the fast-growing field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In part 1 of this article, we provide a summary of the key points from the updated guidelines that are relevant to AI inventions. Part 2 will follow, in which we will provide an in-depth assessment of the impact of the new guidelines on the patentability of AI inventions.”

 

  • “The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold its annual Legal Issues Forum with the 2018 theme Legal and Ethical Issues of Artificial Intelligence, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at the FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.” Details here.

 

  • Since the release of Westlaw Edge, Thomson Reuters has been on an AI publishing tear. Some of the material is by their own folks and some by third parties touting the advantages of Thomson’s approach or their specific products. Here‘s another: Artificial Intelligence: The Debate Between Point and Platform Solutions by Sally Gonzalez.

 

Here are the latest headlines from Artificial Lawyer:

  • Legal Tech Leaders: Sam Moore, Innovation Manager, Burness Paull. Story here.
  • Meet LegalForce, Japan’s First Ever Legal AI Platform. Story here.
  • SRA Targets Legal AI A2J Applications with ‘Innovate Testbed’. Story here.

 

Blockchain

  • How Can Blockchain Thrive In The Face Of European GDPR Blockade? “In an almost direct clash of intentions, the GDPR has effectively banned the use of blockchain technology in Europe because of its immutable nature. The GDPR offers the power back to the individual to edit and delete data which falls into the hands of centralized authorities, but when there is no centralized authority, there is no need for data to be moved around. This is the crux of the GDPR’s clash with blockchain. So, what happens to Europe and the next technological wave?” The post by Darryn Pollockdescribes the situation in some detail and says the regulations should change, but does not offer specific suggestions.

 

  • Here’s a brief summary of the second and the final day of Ripple’s Swell conference, including a link to this 20-page report. (“Conducted in August of 2018, the Blockchain in Payments Report analyzed data from 676 respondents across 22 countries who are directly involved with payment services at their organization.” There is no mention of the response rate of other methodology. Assuming no problems there, 676 responses should support robust analysis.)

 

  • From Anastasios Antoniou of the Oxford Faculty of Law: Bridging the divide between code and law in distributed ledger ecosystems. “Code and law have been entangled in a silent tension ever since the advent of cyberspace.  The centralised architecture of cyberspace paved the way for law to prevail.  The latest manifestation of this tension, however, appears to be opening up a Pandora’s box.  Blockchain and law are on a silent collision course that must be addressed. This post argues that in bridging the divide between code and law in blockchain, a radical rethink of regulation is imperative.”
  • 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 Shearman & Sterling: “Shearman & Sterling today launched “the FinTech Foundry,” a program dedicated to supporting the FinTech-related activities of their clients and the wider global FinTech ecosystem that consists of financial institutions, FinTech start-ups, accelerators and incubators, venture capital and private equity investors, and policymakers. Blockchain, crypto assets, big data and artificial intelligence are just a few of the FinTech activities Shearman & Sterling advises on.”

 

  • White and Case published this in-depth report: Digitalising the mining & metals global supply chain: Rise of blockchain and the smart contract.

 

  • From Dentons, this very large post: Big data in the energy sector: GDPR reminder for energy companies.

 

  • From Legal Insider: “Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a pilot to test how data extracted from judgments and smart analytics might help prepare clients facing litigation.The firm has partnered with Solomonic, a data and analytics platform, to provide its lawyers with hard data and analytics on all the sitting judges in the Commercial Court – as well as the most recent eight retirees – going back more than five years.

 

  • Gide announces the creation of Gide 255, a new team dedicated to digital transformation, headed by Franck Guiader. “Gide 255 covers in particular the growing stakes of blockchain, ICOs, artificial intelligence, automation and various aspects of data processing.”

 

  • This is an interview with Kate Hutchinson, Director of Marketing at CDS during which she explains why eDiscovery vendors are getting into smart contracts. (It’s all about the data.)

 

  • In this post, Nichole Black of MyCase reviews a recent book by Michele DeStefano, (Professor of Law at the University of Miami): Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in the Law.“(The author) explains why the legal industry is in the middle of an unavoidable transformation, and why lawyers are so resistant to accepting this indisputable fact. Then she suggests that lawyers must learn to innovate in order to succeed in the new world order, and provides a framework for legal institutions to use in order to create a culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation.” The review is an interesting read in itself.

 

  • In this Legal Talk Network podcast, “Abby Rosenbloom talks to Peter Geovanes, Dera Nevin, and Andrew Sprogis about their innovative roles and how to set a precedent when you’re the first one in their position. For law firms looking to add new roles, they offer their advice from establishing strategic goals to firm leadership providing resources and support.”

 

  • From Legal IT Newswire: “ZentLaw, an alternative law firm founded by Monica Zent, has introduced ZentLaw Labs, an innovation lab which aims to bring tech acumen and startup thinking to law. Among the lab’s first projects being announced today are two artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bots. One bot is built for enterprise clients to help them solve their legal resourcing needs by taking them through a series of questions to assess their specific requirements. The other bot is aimed at startups and is calibrated to serve their routine requests. The latter aims to disrupt the way legal services are delivered to startups by providing practical and actionable guidance through the bot to common issues that startups raise.”

 

  • From Bob Ambrogi: “The international legal research platform vLex today introduced the beta version of Vincent, an AI-powered legal research assistant that analyzes legal documents you upload and finds relevant research results. Vincent is in the same vein as CARA from CasetextClerk from Judicata, and EVA from ROSS Intelligence in that you upload a brief, legal document or court opinion, and it finds and it analyzes the document and uses the document’s language and citations to find related cases, statutes, books, journal articles, contract models, and more.” Details here.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer

– “Global law firm Clyde & Co has today announced that it will be providing legal services to new global banking and energy blockchain platform, Komgo SA.” Details here.

LexisNexis has announced the six new participants for its third Silicon Valley Legal Tech Accelerator programme.” They’re listed here.

  • This post from Osborne Clarke’s Will Robertson, Mark Taylor and Tamara Quinn (Profiling and automated decision-making under GDPR) is a solid discussion of these important topics. “Profiling and automated decision-making (or ADM) are two areas of the GDPR that have caused a fair degree of confusion for businesses, often with perceived negativity and assumptions that the law significantly restricts most forms of computer-led analysis of data subjects and their activities. Not necessarily so. As per the general flavour of the GDPR, the law has undoubtedly tightened and places a greater burden and requirements on businesses wishing to carry out profiling or ADM activities. However, there’s still plenty of opportunity for those willing to understand the detail of the law, and more generally align their business models to the core themes of the GDPR.”

 

  • Here‘s a brief but interesting post about future improvements to legal search. How Much Better Can AI Make Legal Search?

 

  • From Baker Donelson’s Clinton Sanko: Legal Artificial Intelligence is Buzzing. Are You Ready? “This blog is focused on promoting responsible and knowledgeable adoption of legal AI.” This post is a somewhat skeptical review of current legal applications of AI. More to come.

 

  • Press releaseiManage Acquires Elegrity, Leader in Risk and Compliance Management. “Broadens capabilities in risk management to better protect law firms throughout the client and matter lifecycle.”

 

  • Here‘s a thought provoking post from Griffin Hamersky’s Ivy B. Grey: Innovation Is A Red Herring Without Cultural Change. “Though changing culture may be the toughest challenge law firms have ever faced, the potential rewards are enormous. No combination of automation, artificial intelligence, and firms from other sectors will be able to compete with the law firms that get this right.”

 

  • Legal AI Firm McCarthyFinch Goes to War in Law at TechCrunch Disrupt SF Battlefield. “McCarthyFinch showed off its AI-powered platform: a virtual lawyer that can be trained and plugged into any legal process, from financial compliance to contract automation. ‘Our AI platform learns up to 100 times faster than traditional AI, using far smaller data sets,’ said Nick Whitehouse, CEO and co-founder of McCarthyFinch. ‘Most importantly, its results are entirely explainable, defensible and trustworthy.'” Big claims! Press release here and coverage here.

 

  • Legal Tech: Key Takeaways from a Unique Secondment from Aird & Berlis LLP to Diligen, a Legal Tech Company. No big surprises, but an interesting read. “There’s been a big divide historically between lawyers and non-lawyers (the term that, thankfully, is beginning to be replaced by “other professionals”), but this separation is breaking down as the legal profession begins to better understand that other professionals bring so much value to the table.”

 

  • Excellent points made here by Jean O’Grady: AI in Legal Research – Does Casetext’s “Document As Query” Search Improve Efficiency and Results? “While some of the conclusions may be valid  – I have a recoil reflex when I smell ‘the fog of hype” which sadly hovers around so many discussions of legal AI.”

 

  • Here’s one last post regarding ILTACON 2018, a review of the conference’s stories of success and failure from Tessa Ramanlal, solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills and co-founder of ANIKA. “For a conference firmly rooted in AI, blockchain and all things legal tech, I was surprised that the focus of ILTACon 2018 was predominantly human. Human successes, human failures, and human communities in this evolving world of legal tech.”

 

  • From SKW Schwarz, Artificial Intelligence: operational blessing, employment law curse? discusses the implications of the German government’s recent definition of “cornerstones for an artificial intelligence strategy.” “There are, however, several areas of employment law where the use of artificial intelligence affects the response to typical disputes in a way that is different from the past.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Irish Firm McCann Launches New Neota Logic Compliance App. Story here.

Minority Report’ AI System, Intraspexion, Boosts ‘Pre-Crime’ Tech with dtSearch. Story here.

 

  • This post from Covington’s Jadzia Pierce is largely a teaser for an upcoming webinar. “…an equally important reason for utilizing AI may stem not from these practical considerations, but rather from the ABA Model Rules: in a comment to the Duty of Competence under Rule 1.1, lawyers are required to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” (emphasis added).”

 

  • “The (US) military’s research arm said Friday it will invest up to $2 billion over the next five years toward new programs advancing artificial intelligence, stepping up both a technological arms race with China and an ideological clash with Silicon Valley over the future of powerful machines.” Details here.

 

Blockchain

  • Google has announced the launch of a system to search for and collect data from the Ethereum blockchain, including data on transactions from self-executing contracts. It will operate via its BigQuery enterprise data analysis platform. Artificial Lawyer coverage here.

 

  • JAMS Launches Smart Contracts, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Practice. “…the first of its kind among institutional ADR providers. The practice is focused on creating protocols that support the use of ADR in disputes arising from blockchain transactions, including smart contracts.” Press release here.

 

  • Posted by Steve Harvey, senior business developer at Legal Futures Associate Allianz Legal Protection, this is a consideration of the balance that must be struck between tech and people in the many applications of blockchain in insurance and law.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “In what is the most significant sign yet of wide-scale adoption of the technology, online consumer law company, Rocket Lawyer, announced yesterday that it will be partnering with smart contract pioneer OpenLaw and blockchain developer ConsenSys, to roll out a variety of blockchain-based applications, starting off with a ‘Rocket Wallet‘ to link to the Ethereum blockchain.”

 

  • This surprised me. I post a lot about Silicon Valley, Shanghai, London, etc. as AI hubs. Turns out NYC is doing pretty well. See this post (New York Is the Capital of a Booming Artificial Intelligence Industry) from Bloomberg. “If you’re looking to get into AI, set your sights on New York, according to the report. Surprisingly, New York—not San Francisco—boasts the highest percentage of AI and machine learning positions in a single metro area, with more than 11 percent of national job postings.”

 

  • AALL Annual Meeting Session Recap: Powered by AI, Built in the Law Library. “Fastcase CEO Ed Walters has had enough with the magic and the unicorns and the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, or AI.  He urged attendees at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) session, “Powered by AI, Built in the Law Library,” to think of AI like pivot tables in Excel: they’re just tools. They’re not magic, but they can be to those who don’t understand them.” Good insights and examples in this piece.

 

  • The folks at Artificial Lawyer prepared this recapILTACon 2018 – Legal AI Comes of Age. “This time the most remarkable thing at ILTACon was how accepted it has all become, which in turn also signalled a far more mature understanding of the tech involved and the questions that needed to be grappled with. In short, the debate has moved on now to substantive issues around data quality needs for NLP training and real opportunities grounded in discussions around improvements to profit margins.” Definitely worth reading. (Blockchain is included.)

 

  • This summary (Changes to Law Firm Business Model Could Spur Innovation) of an ILTACON 2018 keynote panel includes some examples of modest inovation.

 

  • Also from ILTACON, via law.com, these four “Stories of Innovation: The Power of Personal Stories to Influence Behavior Change.” The examples are from Orrick, Troutman Sauders, Littler Mendelson, and Freshfields. Some funny, all interesting.

 

  • From Reed SmithProposed amendments to the ePrivacy Regulation. “The ePR will repeal and replace the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive 2002/58/EC. The ePR will align Europe’s ePrivacy regime more closely with privacy regime set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR took effect on 25 May 2018.” Amendments to three articles are discussed.

 

  • On Fridays, I try to provide some thought pieces and primer sorts of stuff. So, here’s Artificial intelligence definitions – upgrade your AI IQ, a good, pretty comprehensive, set of introductory definitions.

 

  • From Casepoint’s David Carns, here’s an interesting overview of the general implications of legal tech for “Law 3.0.” “(W)hile the Law 3.0 technology stack enables the digital transformation of real business processes and workflows, it does not replace those processes and workflows. It enhances them. It gives legal practitioners a big boost in speed and efficiency, but it will never replace the people who are practicing law.” Hmmm. Some might disagree.

 

Blockchain

  • “Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the World Bank have claimed the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred, and managed via blockchain.” “According to CBA, the “$AUD Kangaroo bond”, Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument (bond-i), which uses a private Ethereum blockchain, was created, allocated, transferred, and managed through its life cycle solely using distributed ledger technology. The two-year bond raised AU$110 million.” More here.

 

  • From Artificial LawyerPwC Legal Switzerland Joins the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium. “PwC Legal Switzerland has been exploring the impact of blockchain technology on various industries and ‘recognises the transformative potential of blockchain in the legal sector’.”

 

  • From Loeb & Loeb: Mini Law Lesson: What the Heck is Blockchain? It’s a five-minute video. (Focus on the content, not the production values.) Very high level.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi posted this Access-to-Justice news: Legaler Raises $1.5M To Build Blockchain To Help Bridge Justice Gap. Australia seems to do more than just about any other country re A2J tech.

 

  • Here’s Volume 34 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer. If you’re really interested in news about blockchain and law, you should be following these posts.

 

  • DWF’s Dominic Watkins contributed this brief post to the UK’s Food ManufactureLegal implications as blockchain disrupts food.
  • Congrats to Artificial Lawyer for turning two today (that’s about 100 in AI years!). From AL today:

Case Crunch Team Splits Up, CourtQuant is Born. “Simply put, it looks at old cases and predicts how new cases will likely perform based on models developed from patterns in the old cases.” Details here.

This sponsored content from Leverton describes their product, “an AI-powered data extraction platform, that applies deep learning/machine learning technology to extract and structure data from real estate leases, financial, insurance, and more corporate documents in 30 languages.”

Solomonic is described here. It’s a “new legal tech company provides lawyers with the ability to make data-led predictions on commercial and tax-related disputes by tapping previous case information to give a steer on possible outcomes for a new, similar case.”

 

  • For those new to legal AI, this post from Law.com is a good, brief introduction to what law firms are up to. Looking Beyond Document Review, Legal Is Branching Out With Artificial Intelligence.

 

  • The subject of this press release doesn’t sound like AI per se, but it’s Big Data (for a law firm). “EffortlessLegal LLC, a Chicago-based tech company bringing advanced automation and machine-learning products to the legal space, introduced today the launch of EffortlessIntake, a cloud-based product designed to automate a law firm’s intake process.”

 

  • Citing Allen & Overy as an example, this post from HBR (A 5-Part Process for Using Technology to Improve Your Talent Management) presents several useful prerequisites for successful adoption of data-driven tech in talent management.

 

  • Here’s a very useful guide to “litigation analytics”, including five types of these analyses and overviews of the leading vendors in the space. “The recent maturation of the foundational technologies needed to support machine learning have made advanced data analytics and sophisticated language processing possible on a scale never before seen. Using these tools, massive amounts of data can be sifted through, organized and analyzed in mere seconds.”

– On a related note, “Litigation outcome prediction has taken a further step into the mainstream with a partnership between a major litigation law firm and a start-up that presents lawyers with data on how judges have ruled in the past. Solomonic, which specialises in data science and litigation analytics, is scheduled for commercial launch in the autumn.” (Also, see post above re Solomonic.)

 

  • Wolters Kluwer’s Dean Sonderegger prepared this post discussing where legal technologies stands on the diffusion/adoption curve. Spoiler alert: he thinks we’re pretty far along.

 

  • Here’s the next installment of Thomas Fox’s AI, Compliance & the Value of Collaboration: Part III — AI Driving Compliance Process. “It is through this business process improvement that AI will help to drive greater business efficiency and, at the end of the day, greater corporate profitability.”

 

  • New York Law School “will launch its Business of Law Institute in fall 2018.” Courses and programs will include “Upper-level seminars on Compliance and Bank Regulatory Matters, Smart Contracting and Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity and Risk Management taught by outside experts in these fields.” More discussion here.

 

  • This half hour from Law Practice Advisory Podcast (Artificial Intelligence: Just Plain Smart Marketing) is largely speculative regarding legal marketing.

 

  • From K&L Gates’ Jonathan LawrenceUK Law Commission: Smart Contract Research. “The aim is for smart contracts to be relied upon even in the absence of trust between the parties concerned. This is because they facilitate a complete symmetry of information, and a completely transparent process.”

 

  • Valerie Kenyon of Hogan Lovells posted this piece, The connected home: From smart fish tanks to connected kitchen appliances, product companies must navigate GDPR and Product Liability Directive compliance, cyber risk, and other IoT challenges. 

 

  • Foley’s Peter Vogel posted this very brief post to their “Internet, IT & E-discovery” blog. Do you like the idea that Facebook is increasing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

 

  • Here’s a wake-up call re China’s AI ambitions. China’s AI focus will leave US in the dust, says top university professor.

 

Blockchain

  • BigLaw firms are working together to influence how blockchain technology will operate in the future. This post describes several such groups.

 

  • Singapore Airlines has launched a Blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet developed in collaboration with Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village.
  • This post from Ron Friedmann (Exploding Legal Surveys and Conferences) is a good way to start the week. Ron asserts that one of the common findings of these ever-proliferating surveys is “that large law firms and corporate law departments have already transformed, if not been disrupted.” He rightly concludes that this is “hogwash.” I suggest that, as I have proven several times in this blog, many (probably most) surveys about our industry are conducted for marketing/promotional purposes — largely to generate clickbait headlines — and employ such poor research methodology as to be laughable. Again, caveat emptor.

 

  • From Oklahoma State’s Assistant Professor of Legal Studies in Business, Mike Schuster, this 3:20 video on patent laws and AI.

 

  • Check out this post from Joanna Goodman. It’s a solid discussion of AI-powered analysis tools (“the use of algorithms in the justice system”) with a deep dive re chatbots. “How will tighter data protection regulations affect development of legal services and AI‑powered analysis tools? Law firms and counsel have to walk the talk on compliance.”

 

  • In this post (AI, Compliance & The Value of Collaboration: Part I — The Compliance Role), Thomas Fox discusses “what a compliance professional can bring to an AI solution.” It’s a pretty deep dive.

 

  • With GDPR behind us (right??), next comes California’s data protection law. Here’s the best discussion of that one I’ve seen so far. Sullivan & Cromwell Discusses California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. “Businesses need to consider how to apply the requirements of the CCPA with their information technology systems that handle PI (personal information) and address potential challenges in applying the new rules to important areas like big data analytics and artificial intelligence algorithms that leverage PI.”

 

  • From McCarthy Tétrault this in-depth white paper. The title tells it all: From Chatbots to Self-Driving Cars: The Legal Risks of Adopting Artificial Intelligence in Your Business. It’s almost a year old (sorry I missed it when first published), but still very relevant. It includes country-by-country analyses, and analysis by area of law.

 

  • Also from McCarthy, this news release “announc(ing its) membership with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open source blockchain initiative and the EEA Legal Working Group, founded to bring together leading global law firms and leading legal minds to explore building legal use cases and applications using blockchain technology. In addition, McCarthy Tétrault became a contributor to the OpenLaw smart contract project.

 

  • This Artificial Intelligence Deals Tracker from CB Insights even includes “legal”. There are trends from 2013 to present and a link to sign up for the full report.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer, “The UK’s Law Commission, which was created by the Government to help study the need to reform and improve the law, has launched a special ‘scoping study’ to explore smart contracts. It will look at what needs to be done to ensure that current law is ‘sufficiently certain and flexible to apply in a global, digital context and to highlight any topics which lack clarity or certainty’ in relation to using smart contracts.” More here.
  • Kudos to Suffolk University’s law school and to Jordan Furlong for his contribution to today’s launch of Suffolk University Law School’s Legal Innovation & Technology Certificate Program. “There are six courses in the program, each delivered by an experienced legal practitioner or industry analyst who delivers ten full hours of information, instruction, and insight into the course’s subject matter.” One of the first two courses is Jordan’s 21st Century Legal Services,“You’ll learn critical market insights and strategic and tactical recommendations for operating a law firm or legal services business. The coursework will focus on the current upheaval in the market and how to compete successfully in the new legal services landscape to come.”

 

  • I’ve been encouraging law firms to start using chatbots on their websites and other client interface situations. Norton Rose has launched one called “Parker” to assist “people who have questions about the European Union data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”

 

  • There has been a decent amount of discussion lately about lawyers in the age of AI perhaps needing to become much more technical, even to the point of even learning to write programming code. Here’s an interesting post by Sooraj Shah that discusses how far down this path lawyers need to go. He uses the Big Four as something of a touchstone.

 

  • Here’s an interesting podcast from ALM: Lawyers, Fear Not the Smart Contract. Contributors include: assistant clinical professor of law at Cardozo Law School, and co-founder of the Open Law smart contracts project; CEO of Monax; co-founder of blockchain company Kadena and the lead architect of its Pact smart contracts language; and a transactional attorney from Loeb & Loeb.

 

  • University of Florida Levin College of Law publishes Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog. Today’s post by D. Daniel Sokol, Professor of Law is, “Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of AI” featuring Avi Goldfarb and Ajay Agrawal.

 

  • Firms using AI solutions:

– “To streamline its due diligence processes, Maddocks has signed on to deploy the Luminance AI platform.”

Brodies too: “Brodies deploys artificial intelligence technology from Luminance.”

  • From The Hill: “A growing number of Democratic lawmakers and civil libertarians are voicing concerns about Amazon’s facial recognition software (Rekognition), worrying that it could be misused. They fear that without proper oversight the technology could hurt minority or poor communities and allow police to ramp up surveillance.”