• This is the biggest news from last week’s LegalWeek in NYC: Legaltech19: New global matter standard to provide “common language” for law firms and corporate counsel. “The Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance is building matter coding that includes area of law and process codes, which it says will foster innovation and provide consistency for buyers and sellers of legal services – needed for better pricing and analytics.” “SALI members include: Association of Legal Administrators (founding member); Allen Matkins; Bloomberg Law; GSK; Greenberg Traurig; Holland & Knight; Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn; Husch Blackwell; Intapp; Legal Marketing Association (founding member); Level 2 Legal Solutions; LexisNexis; McKool Smith; Pepper Hamilton; Perkins Coie; Prosperoware; Schulte Roth; Shell; Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis; Wolters Kluwer.” More analysis here.

 

  • I heard these exact words at LegalWeek last week–so true: Blockchain Smart Contracts Aren’t Smart And Aren’t Contracts. Here’s the explanation by David B. Black.

 

  • Also from LegalWeek (and Inspire.Legal), here’s Bob Ambrogi’s general take on both events: Legal Tech For The Legal Elite: Observations Of Two Conferences. “Conversations about innovation in legal technology and practice continue to be stuck in the same echo chamber.”

 

  • According to CoinDesk, lawyers will be earning certificates in blockchain and cryptocurrency: Lawyers Rush In: New UNH Blockchain Program Nabs Big-Name Speakers. “(T)he program, which will feature of slew of industry players as guest lecturers – including Hester Peirce of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ethereum Foundation researcher Vlad Zamfir and MyCrypto CEO Taylor Monahan.”

 

  • Deloitte’s tech podcast, “Deloitte On Cloud” is almost always worth the time. “This week is all about and .” Link here.

 

  • There’s more evidence of Deloitte’s tech chops here: Deloitte’s technology trends disrupting business. Post.

 

  • And if you have energy clients, check this from Deloitte: “On this , explore 8 of the biggest impacting the power & utilities industry in 2019. From to see what your organization should anticipate.”

 

  • This is from Bloomberg LawIBM Watson in Quiet Talks With Law Firms to Expand AI Offerings. Expect an announcement later this year covering US and UK firms. Hype?

 

  • This, from The Law Society GazetteTraining lawyers for tomorrow. It’s a very interesting and substantive article about the future of legal tech and women lawyers in the UK. “(L)aw firms and providers are looking at ways to improve diversity and meet new challenges concerning the role technology is playing in delivering legal services.”

 

  • Law.com’s LegalSpeak podcast postedMove Over Big Law. It’s Time for an ‘Alternative.’

 

  • And check out this podcast from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog for Cat Moon’s thoughts on tech, innovation, teaching and a bit of poetry. Good stuff. (Cat’s part starts at about the 24-minute mark.)

 

  • LawTechNews postedWilson Sonsini Launches Software Developer Subsidiary to Automate Legal Services.

 

  • It has been a while since I’ve posted one of AI’s essential mantras, ‘it’s all about the data‘. So, here’s 57 Million Reasons To Get Your Organization’s Data In Order. This one‘s about compliance, but still….

 

Law Firm Posts:

 

 

  • DechertUS Blockchain Enforcement and Litigation Update. Post.

 

 

 

  • Ward and SmithIn-House Counsel Insights: What In-House Counsel Need to Know About Blockchain. Post.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • The Legal World Meets The Scientific Method at Inspire.Legal. Post.

 

  • Intuitive Automation Platform Autto Seeks to Shake Up Market. Post.

 

  • WSGR Lite? The Birth Of A New Tech-Led Business ModelPost.

 

  • Can Legal Tech Help A2J? Find Out at This PSU Fundraiser Event. Post.

 

Press Releases and other Vendor Content:

  • Synapse Technology Corporation’s Artificial Intelligence Security X-ray Platform Offers Risk and Liability Protection to Clients via DHS SAFETY Act Award. Post.

 

  • On To The Next Wave Of Analytics: A Conversation With Nik Reed Of LexisNexis. “Context is the legal industry’s only case-law language analytics tool.” Post.

 

  • AI Goes to Court: A Conversation With Lex Machina and Dorsey & Whitney (Part 2). Post.

 

  • Sparqa Legal: Platform aims to give SMEs legal advice without lawyers. Post.

 

  • Review: Analyzing Judicial Behavior Through Context on Lexis Advance. “In a product review for LTN, Sean La Roque-Doherty says reviewing judges’ rulings on motions and the outcomes of challenges to expert witness testimony in Context is like talking to a litigator steeped in practicing law before a judge.” Post.
  • 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 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.
  • LexisNexis’ Lex Machina “announced a major new expansion that provides analysis of insurance litigation.” Details from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: “Canada-based legal AI pioneer, Kira Systems, has completed its SOC2 Type II reporting certification to help remove any fears customers may have over data security.”

 

  • This piece from The National Law Review reminds lawyers that it is their duty to keep up with technologies such as AI. “Comment 3 to the ABA Model Rule 5.3 was amended in 2012 to take into account situations where it is necessary for attorneys to rely on vendors. “When using such services outside the firm, a lawyer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the services are provided in a manner that is compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations.”

 

  • From Hydraulics & Pneumatics (my first from that publication!): How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Construction. “Artificial intelligence is expected to alter business models in the construction industry in areas including logistics, customer relationship management, support, workflow automation, and finance. Even more, artificial intelligence can help in recreating realistic situations for training, reducing injuries and costly mistakes and making operations more efficient. This can enable operators to better use existing labor resources, helping with the skilled labor shortage in construction.” The article explains current constraints to adoption.

 

  • Don’t forget to swallow your AI: This swallowable chip uses glowing bacteria to spot hidden illnesses. “Researchers at MIT have been working on a chip that could one day be offered to patients with suspected gastrointestinal bleeds instead of an endoscopy. The researchers have created a prototype of the chip that can be swallowed like a pill, sampling a patient’s gastrointestinal environment for signs of bleeding as it travels through their digestive system.”

 

  • Trump’s trade war with China has AI implicationsTrump focuses on technology exports, foreign investments in ongoing trade war. “Already threatened by escalating U.S. taxes on its goods, China is about to find it much harder to invest in U.S. companies or to buy American technology in such cutting-edge areas as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.”

 

Blockchain

  • From Waller: “When it comes to digital coins or tokens, it’s best to approach with caution, ask plenty of questions and conduct extensive research before making an investment, warns the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”).”

 

  • And now, blockchain-based insurance against security failures of smart contracts: Ethereum-Powered Insurer Nexus Is Winning Over Blockchain Skeptics. “With Nexus, Karp is trying to revive mutual insurance, a model that dates back to the 17th century and, many argue, aligned the interests of participants better than today’s profit-maximizing insurance firms. Nexus is one of a handful of blockchain startups, at various stages of development, aiming to use the technology for this purpose.” Much more here.

This piece provides a good summary of today’s most important applications of AI in the provision of legal services, a bit of a look into the near future and a discussion of the ethical considerations inherent in AI and the law. As is often the case with rapidly evolving technologies, laws and regulation substantially lag AI’s capabilities (not just in the practice of law). A few governments (e.g., the UK and EU) are taking steps to catch up, but none are where they need to be.

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Ethical Conundrums in AI