• 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.
  • Check out this new user interface and functionality from Neota Logic’s portal, Workbench. There’s a video demo.

 

  • From Sterne KesslerGlobal Patent Prosecution Newsletter – October 2018: Subject Matter Eligibility of Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications in the United States, Europe, and China. “This article surveys subject-matter eligibility requirements of AI patent applications in the United States, Europe, and China.”

 

  • This article appears in Law Week ColoradoAI in IP Opens Questions of Liability. “Artificial intelligence is filling the role of attorneys at law firms more and more. And that includes in situations that could get a law firm into trouble.” David London of Hogan Lovells is interviewed.

 

  • Yolanda Cartusciello contributed this piece to LexisNexis’s Business of Law Blog: AI in the Legal Sector. It’s a brief summary of the state of AI in the industry as discussed at the Somerville Forum this past June followed by her thoughts as to where we’re headed and how fast.

 

  • Dan Bindman postedClients ‘must be told whether legal advice is AI or human’. “Sir Geoffrey Vos, the Chancellor of the High Court cautioned: ‘We will, as a necessary safeguard, need to introduce systems that allow the client to know when they are receiving advice generated by [AI] and when they are receiving advice that emanates from a human lawyer.'”

 

  • From KennedysArtificial Intelligence: time for Alternative Insurance? “AI goes across every aspect of insurance, but here we concentrate on the three sectors we consider it has particular impact.” They are construction, healthcare and transport. “AI offers many opportunities, including a reduction of certain risks. Insurers will need to accommodate the shift in allocation of risk and new policies will need to reflect the changes in behaviours to enable the insurance market to benefit from all that AI can offer.”

 

  • International Family Law Group launch Australian AI technology. “Settify allows clients to provide information on their relationship status anywhere, any time. The online system  will assimilate this information and provide a clear set of instructions for  the lawyers. This is particularly beneficial for clients as it cuts initial costs and helps to speed up the process of their case.” “Created by family lawyers and launched in Melbourne in February 2017, Settify has won more than 3,400 new matters for its partner firms, representing legal disputes worth more than AUD7.2bn (£4bn) in aggregate. The technology has won several awards for innovation and is now ‘the new norm’ in Australia and New Zealand, with over 100 firms adopting the system since its inception, including most of the independently ranked ‘top tier’ and ‘pre-eminent’ firms.” More here.

 

  • Here’s more on Suffolk University Law School’s Learned Hands, “a new game that will help train an artificial intelligence model to spot legal issues and help close the access-to-justice gap.” “(T)he game takes 75,000 legal questions posted on Reddit dealing with family, consumer, criminal and other legal issues and asks the user to determine what the issue is.”

 

  •  postedAre Humans The Weak Link In Technology-Assisted Review? “If there is any shortcoming of TAR technologies, the blame may fairly be placed at the feet (and in the minds) of humans.”

 

  • This from the ALA’s Legal Management magazine: AI Shaping the Way Law Firms Function. The article is something of a primer, beginning with a definition of AI, then how AI is being used in law firms, followed by the question of AI and jobs, and ending with the suggestion that firms can gain competitive advantage via AI.

 

  • Kenneth Jones of Tanenbaum Keale postedHow Bridging The Gap Between Legal Operations And Technology Entities Is Benefiting The Legal Industry. “We in the legal technology field are seeing more and more unique combinations of entities working to deliver process improvements in the industry. It is important to note that the tighter alignment between legal and technology professionals — two classes of professionals who traditionally speak very different languages — seems to be a symbiotic relationship which is yielding better technology applications and services as time goes on. Bridging this gap seems to be an organizational strategy which is benefiting the industry as a whole.” Jones explores various aspects of this relationship in some depth.

 

  • Here’s a case study from iManage/RAVN: Howard Kennedy Improves Knowledge Management with iManage RAVN Insight.

 

  • Press release: “The California Lawyers Association (CLA) and Fastcase today announced a partnership that will provide free access to Fastcase’s nationwide legal research system for all members of the nation’s largest statewide voluntary bar association.”

 

  • From another vendor, Litera, this news: “Litera Microsystems has announced that Litera Desktop, its full document drafting suite, continues to replace multiple vendors at firms around the world. So far this year, firms totaling nearly 20,000 users have replaced multiple point solutions with a single vendor. These firms, including leading global law firm Clifford Chance, are experiencing how the full document drafting suite delivers greater client services.”

 

  • This is from the Thomson Reuters series AI ExpertsRecognizing the limitations of artificial intelligence. It’s a thoughtful (and not completely optimistic) discussion of the state of AI and its future, with a serious dose of ethics and governance thrown in.

 

  • According to this story from CBS, Robocop has arrived on the streets of NYC. At least this time he’s not armed. Robotic Security Forces On Patrol In NYC Prompt Privacy Concerns For Some.

 

  • AI writes a law firm TV commercialThis Is Every Lawyer Ad. If this came on late at night, I doubt I’d notice anything amiss.

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s a bit of a breakthrough for you: Australian State of New South Wales Mandates Land Registry Shift to Blockchain by 2019. “The NSW Land Registry Services maintains the system that defines the legal ownership of both public and private land across the state, according to the report. As of the start of the new financial year, according to ZDNet, all NSW property transactions will be required, under the government’s directive, to be stored digitally, eliminating the need for paper-based Certificates of Title.”

 

  • From HuntonSenate Banking Committee Explores Blockchain. “On October 11, 2018, the Senate Banking Committee held a wide-ranging hearing entitled “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem.” The hearing featured testimony from Dr. Nouriel Roubini, an NYU professor who famously predicted the 2007-2008 financial crisis, as well as a counterpoint from Mr. Peter Van Valkenburgh, the Director of Research from Coin Center.”

 

  • From Bob Ambrogi: Starting Its Second Year, Global Legal Blockchain Group Unveils New Guides and World Tour of Briefings. “(W)ith the aim of further accelerating understanding and adoption of blockchain in legal, the GLBC is unveiling three initiatives for members: 1) A series of non-technical blockchain guides for law firms and legal departments. 2) A global series of 25 regional briefings on blockchain in law. 3) A free “Blockchain 101” course for legal professionals and staff. More here.

 

  • Thomson Reuters sponsored this post from The Guardian: Can blockchain shake up the legal sector for the better? “Blockchain – one of the buzzwords of the year – could help the legal system run more smoothly and efficiently. But data privacy and regulations may limit its impact.”
  • 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.
  • Contracts!

– Magic Circle firms Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May have joined Dentons, K&L Gates, DLA Piper and others in The Accord Project to create standards for legal smart contracts for various practice areas. Details here.

Artificial Lawyer reports that “Fasken has announced that it has adopted Kira Systems’ legal AI software to increase efficiency in contract review.”

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, Casetech “has announced a partnership” with O’Melveny to use CARA for litigation support. Details here.

 

  • Here’s a good introduction to using Blockchain technologies to secure AI data.

 

  • This post about client feedback by Michael R. Caplan, COO at Goodwin Procter mentions data security issues related to learning from one client’s data to the benefit of other clients. “Is It Client Data or Attorney Work Product?” Interesting concern.

 

  • Next Tuesday (April 10), I will have the privilege of participating on a panel with:

Kimberly Bell (Head of Operations – Legal/External Affairs Nissan Group of North America),

Patrick Fuller (Senior Director of Legal Intelligence ALM), and

Brian Kuhn (Co-Founder and Leader of IBM Watson Legal Solutions Partner, IBM Industry Platform)

at the Legal Marketing Association Conference in New Orleans. Our topic will be How Legal Departments Are Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and the Impact on Law Firms.

 

  • Very coolGot an Ethics Question? At This Company, Employees Just Ask the Chatbot. “Just a couple of years ago Convercent was a company that built technologies for compliance and ethics officers, but didn’t have a compliance officer of its own. Now Katie Smith has changed all that, and brought her own innovations to the job, including an interactive compliance website and an ethics “chatbot” named Cooper.”

 

  • Another small bit of progress as the US Congress “announced the establishment of the Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus. The Caucus will bring together experts from academics, government, and the private sector to inform policymakers of the technological, economic and social impacts of advances in AI.”

 

  •  AI is being used more and more in stock selection and trading. Here’s a recent example.

 

  • I’ve posted several times about AI-driven police surveillance in the Middle East and Asia. Here’s an update regarding such activities in the USA.

 

  • “A new documentary Do You Trust This Computer? is making its world premiere Thursday at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood, with its timely exploration of the rise of artificial intelligence and the potential perils of thinking machines.” “Some of the most influential figures in technology weigh in on artificial intelligence and talk about possible outcomes, including Google Brain founder Andrew Ng, Affectiva CEO Rana el Kaliouby, Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, entrepreneur Elon Musk, OpenAI director Shivon Zilis and Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan.”