• 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.







  • 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.

The College of Law Practice Management just announced the winners of this year’s InnovAction AwardsLawGeex for its contract review automation and NetApp, Inc. for its process automation bot. Congrats to both for winning this very competitive award! (The ceremony will be at this year’s Futures Conference, October 25-26 in Boston.)


  • From DWF: Big data, big opportunities. “The adoption of data analytics has grown exponentially, but concerns over security and privacy remain. Read the second in our series of articles that explores how technology is being harnessed to drive the transport of the future.” There’s a link to a “full report” discussing the results of a survey, but there is no information at all about the methodology, even in that “full report”.


  • More extraordinary fundraising news: ‘Not to be outdone by Kira Systems’ piddly $50m fundraising last week, Justin Kan’s one-year-old legal tech startup Atrium yesterday (10 September) announced that it has raised $65m and says it is making good progress in realising its vision of transforming the legal industry, or, as TechCrunch’s headline puts it somewhat hysterically, replacing lawyers with machine learning.” More coverage here and here.


  • Here’s a link to 2nd Annual Blickstein Group/Exterro Study of Effective Legal Spend Management. There are 59 respondents and no information about methodology or response rates is provided, so be very cautious interpreting the results. The very best case is that they are accurate within +/- 13%. So, if 50% say “yes” to a question, we would conclude that between 37 and 63% of all eligible respondents would have said “yes”, and that’s assuming no non-response bias and other methodological problems.


  • This story from Real Estate Weekly focuses on Goodwin’s Salil Gandhi’s thoughts about technology and that industry.


  • In this post, LexisNexis’ Kris Satkunas reports: “We look at all of the different types of decisions that have to be made in a legal department, and we help categorize those decisions into five different levels of maturity – based on how the department goes about making them.” “There is plenty of buzz about the possibilities in this area, about starting to use artificial intelligence to make truly data-driven decisions. In many cases, the technology doesn’t exist yet to be able to get to the fifth level, but we can at least take steps to move in that direction – toward that optimal place, even if it’s not fully automated yet. I think that is where the industry is heading.”


  • Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus’ Rob Williams postedWorkplace Harassment Is Nothing New, but it’s a Different Beast With Social Media. “Now we’re using artificial intelligence, predictive coding, sampling data – all being pulled and culled by the computer.”


  • Here’s discussion of use of Thomson’s new Westlaw Edge in a personal injury firm.


  • This somewhat scholarly post from a group at Mayer Brown (United States: If Only: US Treasury Department Report Creates A Wish Tree Of Financial Reform For Fintech). “As the Report points out, the artificial intelligence (“AI”) revolution is here. Treasury offers insight into the problems it anticipates from the use of AI in the financial services ecosystem.” Those insights are detailed in the piece.


  • Womble’s Theodore Claypoole posted, How AI Shapes the Future of Wealth Management. “Artificial intelligence (“AI”), from predictive analysis to recommendation engines, will soon provide better decisions, more attentive client service, and a broader customer base for wealth managers willing to trust them. Asset managers are already implementing AI into their businesses.” The piece discusses those applications and provides a bit of background on AI generally.



  • Here’s a thought piece from HBR: Collaborative Intelligence: Humans and AI Are Joining Forces. “While AI will radically alter how work gets done and who does it, the technology’s larger impact will be in complementing and augmenting human capabilities, not replacing them.”



  • A2J: “Is there a place for smart contracts in improving access to legal services for (middle and lower income clients)? In an announcement at last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt SF conference, Rocket Lawyer says yes….” “Already the easiest way to create and sign legal documents, now Rocket Lawyer will make contract performance and resolution of disputes, secure and affordable, by becoming the first mainstream legal technology company to integrate blockchain technology into everyday legal transactions at scale.” There’s a link for you to try it out.


  • From Above the Law, an interview with Linda Selker: “Today, I am excited about the potential of smart contracts and how blockchain technology can even further extend horizons for more convenient, personal, inclusive, portable, and expedient user experiences in virtual, decentralized commerce ecosystem without borders.”


  • Hunton Andrews Kurth posted this announcement: FTC to Commence Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. “The notice, published in the Federal Register, does not specifically mention blockchain or distributed ledger technology specifically, but the broad list of topics that the FTC lists as areas in which it seeks comments could easily accommodate market developments due to the emergence of blockchain technology and related applications.”


  • From The RecorderArbitration Innovation? JAMS Preps for Future Blockchain, Crypto Disputes With New Practice. “The ADR group’s new practice leader is Zeichner Ellman & Krause CISO Daniel Garrie, who argues ‘you need to change the rules’ of disputes for new technologies.”


  • Mark Radcliffe and Victoria Lee of DLA Piper posted: The Big Legal Issue Blockchain Developers Rarely Discuss. “Software licensed under open source licenses (OSS) is fundamental to the success of blockchain projects.” “However, OSS licenses are generally quite different from traditional proprietary software licenses. The importance of selecting the right OSS license and complying with the terms of that license is rarely discussed by the blockchain community.” They do so.
  • Don’t miss this postWhy Alternative Legal Provider Market Share May be Limited, by Ron Friedmann. He presents some compelling arguments, contrary to a lot of recent thinking.


  • According to South Africa’s Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, their enterprise search engine, Insight (powered by RAVN) “ensure(s) that legal information is leveraged and disseminated efficiently to lawyers to fulfill their tasks more quickly and more accurately.”


  • From Cleary’s FinTech Update, “(i)n its report on Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation released on July 31st, the Treasury Department (“Treasury”) generally embraced AI and recommended facilitating the further development and incorporation of such technologies into the financial services industry to realize the potential the technologies can provide for financial services and the broader economy.” Full (detailed) report here.


  • Womble’s Oliver Rickett and Caroline Churchill wroteIndustry 4.0 and the regulation of artificial intelligence. “This article looks at where AI regulation might be implemented and, specifically, what impact both AI has, and its regulation would have, on the manufacturing industry and what role the UK might have in this ever changing sector.”


  • From Harvard Law Today, “Operationalizing innovation in legal organizations.” Questions discussed include: “How is “innovation” operationalized within legal organizations? What are law firms and companies looking for regarding professional backgrounds and skill sets for innovation hires? What are the career paths for these individuals within organizations? By what metrics should “quality” in legal services be measured?” The discussion is based on a survey of 150 individuals (no more methodological details are provided), and should be treated as qualitative and exploratory in nature. “The survey’s target audience is a set of newly emerging innovation professionals. On the in-house side, these individuals are often called ‘heads of legal operations’. On the law firm side, they are often called ‘chief innovation partners’.” The article basically reports what was discussed without providing any conclusions.


  • This piece is an infomercial for Westlaw Edge. It’s a brief description of a very important AI-based product.


  • From Foley Hoag‘s Gwendolyn Wilber JaramilloUnited States: Foreign Investment And Export Control Reform Update (Part 1 Of Series). “Key elements of the NDAA discussed in this series of Alerts include:” … “4. Establishment of National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence: will conduct a national review of advances in AI and machine learning, address national security needs related to AI, and make recommendations including on how the U.S. can maintain a technological advantage in AI.”


  • I’m surprised more hasn’t been written about applications of AI in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Here are some thoughts on that topic from Kluwer Law Arbitration. Bottom line, “So what does AI mean for ADR? There are a good few possibilities – all of which could be true. AI could be a tool for the mediator or adjudicator to embrace, it could be another stage in a bigger resolution process change or it just might be our competition. So are such changes positive or negative? It is hard to know without a crystal ball.”


  • From Mark A. CohenLegal Innovation is the Rage, But There’s Plenty of Resistance. It’s an interesting study of why change is not happening, how and why is actually is, and how things may change. “(Lawyers) have an opportunity to leverage their legal knowledge in ways that did not exist previously—as data analysts, legal technologists, legal operations specialists, and scores of other positions yet to emerge. It’s an exciting time to be in the legal profession. It is also past time for the profession to focus on what’s good for consumers, not themselves. That would be ‘legal innovation’.”


  • 100th law firm signs up to use Smarter Drafter, the Australian artificially intelligent lawyer. “The software is powered by a unique AI (artificial intelligence), which the team have called Real Human Reasoning™. Smarter Drafter codifies the legal decision making and content of expert lawyers who have worked in top tier law firms like Baker Mckenzie and Clifford Chance. The system works by guiding lawyers through a Smart Q&A, then producing an advanced legal document instantly. Smarter Drafter is only available to law firms in Australia. The largest law firm using the system has over 150 lawyers. The smallest firm is a sole-practitioner….” More here.


  • Kim A. Leffert and Corwin J. Carr of Mayer Brown postedElectronic Discovery & Information Governance – Tip of the Month: Defensible Disposition of Data: Guidance from the Sedona Conference Scenario.


  • I have a bit of a backlog from Artificial Lawyer (seems they don’t recognize the US’ Labor Day in the UK!), so here goes:

– “Artificial Lawyer recently caught up with Shawn Gaines, the Director of Product and Community Marketing, at ediscovery platform Relativity and asked him if he could tell us some more about the company’s ambitious growth strategy to create a ‘legal tech app store’.” Article here.

This link includes several stories, including these: “Noah Walters, a law student doing a JD/MBA in Canada has developed a site called the Blockchain Law Society to serve as an educational platform for blockchain law-related issues across jurisdictions and that helps connect lawyers with blockchain clients.” and “Legal AI company, Diligen, has extended the company’s contract review platform to also include real estate documents.”

Guest post by Gordon Cassie, co-founder of Closing Folders: Legal Transaction Management Software is Finally a Thing. …(L)legal transaction management software (LTM for the acronym fans) is ready to be inaugurated as the newest category of Legal Tech software.”


  • Here’s the final installment of Bob Ambrogi’s Roundup of Company and Product News from ILTACON, Part 4: FileTrail, Workstorm, Casepoint, SeeUnity.


  • From Above the Law’s Small Firm Center, Thomson Reuters’ Amy Larson penned, Three Ways to Remove the Pain from Legal Research and Delivering on Client Expectations. Good suggestions here, and it’s no surprise whose products are recommended.


  • This opinion piece urges Trump to get serious about AI as a national security issue. AI Weekly: Trump, forget Google — focus on national security.


  • Here’s an interesting idea, how might we combine AI and crowdsourcing to come up with better prediction than either alone? Crowdsourcing in the age of artificial intelligence: How the crowd will train machines.


  • This development is another step towards the holy grail of General AI. New Artificial Intelligence Does Something Extraordinary — It Remembers.


  • From the WSJTop 25 Tech Companies to Watch 2018. “Three industries—AI, blockchain and cybersecurity—dominate the list of companies that look like emerging tech leaders.”


  • This is another very practical application of AI — far from the legal arena. Earthquakes. More here.


  • And what might those earthquakes impact? How about “risky dams”? It seems AI may be able to locate those too. Story here



  • Here’s another pretty easy to understand explanation of how Blockchain works. This one gets a bit deeper than most.


  • From Artificial Lawyer:

    – ChainLink: Solving the Smart Contract Fiat Money Problem. “Smart contracts that operate via a blockchain have one little problem: you can’t normally use British pounds, dollars or Yen (i.e fiat money), to conduct business with them. Instead you have to use a cryptocurrency, something that not everyone wants to do. But, ChainLink is working to get around that problem using what the blockchain world calls an ‘oracle’….” Here’s how it works.

– “Blockchain developer the Tezos Foundation has announced that it will issue an undisclosed sum as a grant to Clause to develop a smart legal contract layer on top of the Tezos blockchain.” Details here.


  • From Knobbe Martins‘ Bridget A. Smith: Banks Hate Cryptocurrency, But Are Filing Patents Anyway. “The major investment banks have criticized cryptocurrency and blockchain. For example, in their 2018 form 10-k filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan all noted the risks that blockchain and cryptocurrency posed to their bottom lines.”


  • Here are a few more thoughts as to how AI and Blockchain may speed each others’ development. How Blockchain Technology Can Transform Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Blockchain has had a mark on the financial sector with cryptocurrency as well as throughout the future of software development. As it continues to improve the way that we encrypt, examine and handle large datasets this can play a particularly important role in the development of AI.”


  • Here’s a bit of clickbait from Forbes: Economist Nouriel Roubini Says ‘Blockchain Is Useless, All ICOs Are Scams’. “For Roubini, blockchain is nothing but useless and over-hyped technology. It will never go anywhere because of the proof of stake and the scalability issues. No matter what, this is not going to become another benchmark because it is just too slow.” The author presents contrary views.


  • From Roger Aitken via Forbes, this is a deep dive into smart contracts: ‘I Fought The Law’ & Blockchain Won: Smart Contracts For Businesses Handling Legal Have Conviction. “The digital revolution might be changing just about every aspect of society. But for some aspects, the changes can come slowly. Take for instance the legal and justice systems.” “Fortunately, the sector is not entirely opposed to digitization. Digital justice – encapsulating how the justice system and court rooms the world over can leverage technology to save money – is steadily gaining traction (i.e. including PA systems, large screens, video conferencing and high definition displays).”


  • More from Mayer Brown’s Rebecca Eisner: Mayer Brown’s Tech Talks, Episode 1: Staying Ahead Of AI. The 24-minute lecture is aimed at “technology lawyers.” It starts with the basics of AI and gets to (the paltry) regulation of AI, AI IP, and specific legal applications. Good speaker with good material!


  • This article (What the ML Patent Application Boom Means for Tech) reports that in spite of a lack of precise numbers, it’s clear that there has been a substantial upswing in AI-related patents. “Lauren Hockett, … a partner in the San Diego office of intellectual property law firm Knobbe Martens, says … “My practice does involve a large number of machine learning and artificial intelligence patent applications, and that’s really blossomed over the past two to three years.” “Most of the applications I’ve prepared and filed in the machine learning and artificial intelligence space are relatively recent. Most of those are still waiting in line.” The patent backlog and reasons for it are discussed in-depth as are patent litigation (and the use of Machine Learning patents) as business tools/weapons.


  • This is an excellent post from ALM’s Erin Hichman and Patrick (still proud of that high school portrait) Fuller. AI: The Next Big Thing Is Already Here. It features “…five key takeaways to help keep your firm on top with technology.” “For law firm leaders, the question is not if they should invest in AI, but rather where should they start? Learn from early adopters both in and outside the legal industry to make smart AI investments.”


  • “Above the Law and Thomson Reuters launched Law2020, a four-part, multimedia exploration of how artificial intelligence and similar emerging technologies are reshaping the practice and profession of law.” “To accompany these articles, we have launched the Law2020 podcast, in which I interview distinguished legal and technology experts about AI’s effects on different fields and issues within the law. The episodes and experts are as follows:

1. Access to JusticeDaniel Linna, Professor of Law in Residence and the Director of LegalRnD – The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State University College of Law.

2. Legal EthicsMegan Zavieh, ethics and state bar defense lawyer.

3. Legal ResearchDon MacLeod, Manager of Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton and author of How To Find Out Anything and The Internet Guide for the Legal Researcher.

4. Legal AnalyticsAndy Martens, SVP & Global Head Legal Product and Editorial at Thomson Reuters.”


  • Shearman & Sterling has posted a link to “How can we ensure that big data does not make us prisoners of technology?” by Charles Randell, Chair of the FCA and Payment Systems Regulator. A brief summary is here.


  • Pillsbury’s Tim Wright wrote this piece for ComputerWeekly.com: AI: Black boxes and the boardroom. “Isaac Asimov, the famous science fiction writer, once laid down a series of rules to protect humanity from AI. Perhaps it is time businesses did the same. After all, we can’t know the future, but we can prepare for it. And with AI, the future is now.”


  • From the ABA Journal, Nicole Black of MyCase: Finding treasure with litigation data analytics software. “There is a treasure trove of litigation data that for years was virtually inaccessible. While court rulings and filings were available and individual documents could be accessed and viewed, the technology needed to search and analyze the data and provide useful, actionable information simply did not exist. In 2018, that’s no longer the case.”

Also from Nicole Black: The Duty of Legal Technology Competence: How To Keep Up and 3 Ways Law Firms Can Improve the Client Experience Using Technology.


  • Chatbots for law firms: “Tom Martin created LawDroid, a chatbot that drafts and files California incorporations over Facebook Messenger.” Details here.


  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Legal AI company, LexPredict, has launched a new User Interface (UI) for its ContraxSuite NLP/ML platform to make it easier for a broader range of people, especially those who are not tech experts, to use the system. More here.

– Legal data collaboration company, HighQ, has just announced legal AI company, Kira Systems, as its launch partner for its new AI Hub platform, which allows supported third-party AI engines to be integrated into legal processes and workflows within HighQ. Details here.

Here’s their detailed summary of the first session of ILTACON 2018, 1st Legal AI Session Write Up, Looks Like ILTACON Loves AI.



  • “Chinese tech companies may outpace their foreign counterparts in developing blockchain technology with the help of government moves to foster intellectual property protections, IP attorneys told Bloomberg Law.” “Between 2008 and 2017, Chinese companies submitted 550 patent applications on blockchain technology around the world, surpassing the U.S. and South Korea to become the world’s largest applicant worldwide, according to a report by Chinese media site Sina.com.” Details here.

This promises to be quite a week in legal AI. Today’s post is the prelude to what I expect to be a deluge of news from ILTACON 2018. I’ll be traveling all day Tuesday, so getting a slow start on my ILTA coverage.


  • Early news from ILTACON via Artificial Lawyer: “Thomson Reuters has developed an application that creates ‘smart documents’ using Contract Express and the blockchain capabilities of Integra Ledger.” “….(T)the aim is to have the POC work seamlessly with NetDocuments.” Details here.


  • A2J news from Artificial Lawyer: “Australia-based legal tech company, Legaler, has raised $1.5 million to help build blockchain-based solutions for the future of legal services and to boost access to justice.”


  • Hogan Lovells announcedThe Hogan Lovells law firm advised on the first ever blockchain technology-based transaction on the Polish office market. “The parties involved were Business Link (the Landlord), and Ricoh (the Tenant). … The innovative solution based on blockchain technology was implemented in order to ensure the safety of the lease transactions, the indisputability of the commercial and legal conditions, as well as the reduction of agency and consultation costs.”


  • From Mayer Brown’s Rebecca Eisner, this is an interesting financial services-focused discussion of the need for AI laws and regulations, and how one should (cautiously) proceed until more are in place.


  • Legal Futures reports that “(t)he company charged with digitising the (UK) courts (CaseLines) is to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) to assist lawyers in understanding complex evidence, ….CaseLines … will use the technology to create a ‘mind map’ – a visual way of presenting information said to mirror more closely the non-linear way the human brain handles data.” “Paul Sachs, chief technology officer of Netmaster Solutions, the company behind CaseLines, (said AI is) a ‘terribly powerful’ tool to extract data such as ‘nouns that are not simple nouns, verbs that are not simple verbs, so places and people and so on.” “What I want to do is to create a mind map… which a lawyer can then basically use as a search tool to search the evidence in a way that is very practical.”


  • Here’s the final installment of Information Age’s Artificial intelligence in the legal industry: The future – Part 3. It covers the rise of Chief Technology Officers, how to facilitate the inevitable infiltration of AI into firms and the importance of data. “As with any other business, in any other industry, failing to innovate and improve will lead to extinction. Transform or die. … AI will soon become the standard. Those who don’t have and use it will, by definition, be sub-standard and in turn will be left behind by their clients, their competitors and the entire legal industry. Those that don’t adopt AI will fall behind their competitors, lose their clients and be entirely disrupted.”


  • This is my third inclusion of the Riverview/EY news. It’s one of the most thoughtful pieces yet, so I’d be remiss not to include it. The post discusses Riverview’s revolutionary focus on data, and (in my opinion) even more important: “Since its inception Riverview has advocated an ethos to which it has stayed faithful throughout, which is quite simply to put its customers at the centre of the design and evolution of its business model. Unlike any other organisation in this market, it set out from day 1 with an unwavering focus on defining value from a client perspective and then seeking to develop a model to deliver services, profitably, in line with this. The best and most prominent illustration was its decision to loudly and proudly eschew the billable hour. Standing by this has involved swimming against the market tide and genuinely taking risks in the pricing of work, not by reverse-engineering hourly charges but by putting faith in its ability to make efficient use of people, process and technology.  Failure is inherent in this approach – risks are risky, and don’t always pay off – but it simply leads to learning, recalibration and improvement.” More here.

Here’s a related story about the Big Four as threats to mid-sized law firms, and how those firms perceive the encroachment into their clients. “(L)aw firms may be able to seize on opportunities to collaborate with non-law firm competitors.”

Amazon Prime Day (actually a day and a half) officially starts at 2 PM CT today (but some things are already on sale), so you may be tempted to finally take the plunge and add Amazon’s Alexa to your home environment. All of the Alexa units are about half their usual prices, starting at $30. Google has responded with price drops on its Google Home units, starting at $34.

So which, if either, should you buy? General wisdom is that Alexa is best for shopping (I have found it ‘not so easy’), and Google is best for information and music (yes, it is). Here’s an examination of both in some detail. (I have Google, Alexa and Siri all over my home and car and use them all a lot, so I’m a pretty good judge.)

One highly influential factor should be your general tech environment. If you have Amazon Prime and generally use Amazon Music stuff a lot, Alexa is not a bad choice. If you (and your home) are Android, Google is probably the best fit. If you are an Apple/Mac/iTunes person, you’ll find Siri superior in terms of music and especially security. One of the reasons Apple tends to lag the others a bit in terms of tech is their superior focus on keeping things secure.

Strictly in terms of personal assistants, Google is best, followed by Alexa and then Siri. Because I am generally an Apple guy, I find myself using Siri most, but I rely on Google for my morning briefing. My home automation is set up for all three, but again, I most often use Siri. All three continue to improve very quickly.

With Siri, your hardware is limited to your iPhone, iPad, Mac (with video baked in) and their HomePod speaker ($349). Google has several speaker options but for video you need to connect to your TV. Amazon has several speakers and two video options.

Regardless of which you may choose, now’s a great time to time to buy!

And now, on to the rest of AI!!

  • Post of the day, this from Michael Mills. Siri, Esq.—The AI Robots are (not) Coming. The clever title is misleading, the AI solutions ARE coming and they will take some jobs. The article is a good update on the state of AI in law.


  • Last week I posted about the major new AI releases by Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis. Here, from Artificial Lawyer is a good overview of the implications of these releases and related moves by their smaller, more agile, competitors. And here’s Bob Ambrogi’s in-depth look at Lexis Analytics.


  • From Hogan Lovells: Artificial intelligence and data analytics in fraud and corruption investigations. “This update explains how the process of gathering, sorting and evaluating enormous volumes of data has changed, and why skilled human intelligence is likely to remain a required component of an accurate analysis.”


  • Law Technology Today posted this interesting editorial about the evolution of legal service providers. “Regardless of where your firm is now—BigLaw or SmallLaw, OldLaw or NewLaw—if you are still around in 2050, it’s likely you will be practicing SmartLaw.”


  • Fasken is promoting it’s use of AI to better serve clients. “At Fasken, our Legal Innovation team understands that AI is about more than robots and autonomous driving. With AI tools, performance gets better over time as the technology learns and improves from experience. We’re embracing the disruption, taking new approaches and using the benefits from a number of tools to transform our legal services for our clients.” This post discusses a webinar on the subject, but I could not find a link.


  • From ABFJournal, “While some lawyers may be leery of or intimidated by artificial intelligence tools, a panel of experts has demystified the technology and described the ways in which it can expand the legal services market. Karim Guirguis and John Hartgen recap a recent American Bankruptcy Institute panel discussing the role of artificial intelligence in bankruptcy.”


  • Ganado Advocates took a leading role in drafting Malta’s blockchain legislation, making it one of the world’s most blockchain-friendly countries. Here’s an interview with one of their partners on the subject. “The purpose was to make Malta a blockchain hub, attracting a number of investments in the country. And, I mean, the aim of the regulation has already attracted lots of interest. As a law firm, we’ve been inundated with requests and have already been working on a number of transactions. And we anticipate that this will go on and progress even further now that the laws are in place.”


  • “Blockchain technology has the potential to significantly disrupt the U.S. real estate market. Vasiliki Yiannoulis of the law firm Withers, discusses how this new technology will impact the industry within the next few years.”


  • From K&L Gates: “AI systems are increasingly utilized to help streamline certain diagnosis, treatment, and administration procedures. In this episode, Ryan Severson discusses some of the key legal issues associated with AI and how the landscape is expected to change over the next few years.”


  • Mayer Brown Tech Talks, Episode 1: Staying Ahead of AI with Rebecca Eisner. 24-minute webinar here. It’s mainly an overview of AI generally, with some legal considerations near the end.


  • “POLITICO hosted a conversation on the role of government and its implications for AI growth in national public safety, privacy and civil rights. Watch the full video here to see how artificial intelligence is accelerating rapidly — from social media bots to facial recognition technology to driverless vehicles.”


  • From Jeffrey Catanzaro of UnitedLex: What junior lawyers need to know about artificial intelligence. “… AI and other associated technologies are creating huge opportunities – especially for younger lawyers – but it’s important for those who are newly qualified not only to recognise those opportunities but also to appreciate how the job is changing.”


  • Finally for today, here’s an interesting slant on legal tech: With A Defined Go-To-Market Strategy, Legal Tech Can Conquer The Industry. “The most glamorous figure in the legal profession used to be the trial lawyer. Now it’s the nerd.”
  • From Mayer Brown, this 24-minute video presentation: Staying Ahead of AI with Rebecca Eisner. It’s a discussion of AI generally, followed by the implications for “technology lawyers.”


  • Ed White of Clarivate Analytics prepared this piece: Artificial intelligence and the future of the patent system. He outlines three major changes to the patent world and concludes: “These issues taken together challenge the utility of the patent system. If not addressed, they could potentially devalue it and lead to decline in its use.  There is simply way too much data for a human to read, analyse and understand.  It is clear we need help.  Step up artificial intelligence (AI).” He then gives a basic explanation AI and how it can help address these issues.



  • This post (AI crucial to value-based care, but security challenges and time constraints remain) from Healthcare IT News includes an interview with Buchanan Ingersoll’s Pam Hepp. “AI can be beneficial because it incorporates predictive outcomes coupled with decision-making tools, but providers need to be willing to adopt and use such technology, and that is often a difficult ‘sell’ for many practitioners….” She goes on to discuss some of the issues inherent in these applications of AI and big data generally.


  • Naughty lawyers: “The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained final judgments against attorney T.J. Jesky and his law firm’s business affairs manager, Mark F. DeStefano pertaining to the illegal sales of UBI Blockchain stock. Both Jesky and DeStefano profited.” …”the SEC says the pair made approximately $1.4 million by selling shares in UBI Blockchain Internet during a 10-day period from Dec. 26, 2017 to Jan. 5, 2018. The sales halted when the SEC stepped in and temporarily suspended trading in UBI Blockchain.” Coverage here.


  • From Artificial Lawyer, the second best news for Kira this week (the first, of course, being the addition of Allison Nussbaum to their team!): Allen & Overy Formally Adopts Kira Systems for AI Doc Review.


  • Also from Artificial Lawyer, this post by Victoria Duxbury, Associate Director, Knowledge Development Lawyer at Bryan Cave: AI Contract Review is for Life Not Just for (the Pre-) Christmas (Rush). It’s an interesting discussion of moving from the fundamentals of contracts with systems such as those from iManage/RAVN and Kira Systems to a “move away from traditional, static Word-based products to live reporting will offer us all greater visibility, more fluidity and an opportunity to truly collaborate: what’s not to like about that all year round?”


  • Here (audio and transcript), Ari Kaplan interviews Emily Foges, the CEO of Luminance, re AI and the law firm of 2030. She discusses Luminance’s offerings, obstacles to adoption and then moves on to her predictions for 2030. “I think it is going to be a really exciting place full of bright, enthusiastic, interesting lawyers who have been freed up from the shackles of all of this tedious, repetitive work that increasingly young lawyers have to deal with now and are really applying their minds to really creatively solving problems on behalf of their clients and adding huge amounts of value to their clients.”


  • Fasken will elaborate in an extended version of this, and next month’s bulletins will be published in the August 2018 issue of DRI’s For The Defense. For now, here’sPart 1: Could Artificial Intelligence be Considered an Inventor? (Spoiler alert! Short answer: “maybe.”)


  • This, by Kayla Matthews, is a fascinating read with several legal implications: How Blockchain Technology Could Help Prevent Medical Fraud. “Health-related fraud affects people at every level of the industry, whether they are the people receiving care or those giving it. Even though some of the possible solutions outlined here haven’t been widely used yet, they demonstrate why blockchain technology could turn into such a reliable tool for making medical fraud cases less abundant and costly.”


  • Thomson Reuters just posted this fun and informative infographic. 7 Things Legal Professionals Need to Know About AI. (There’s a link to a white paper on the subject.)

Happy GDPR day! I’m sure you’re getting plenty of news about it already, so I’ll try not to go there.


  • HT to Elonide Semmes for this, the Ad Age Year in AI Fact Pack. If you’re at all involved in advertising or branding, at least a skim will be worth your while.


  • From Holland & Knight: “Artificial Intelligence Rapidly Transforming South Florida Law Firms.” (Biz Journal subscription required.)


  • Mayer Brown has released, Technology Transactions: Thriving in an Age of Digital Transformation. Press release here. Link to request the guide here.


  • From the UK’s Joseph Hage Aaronson: Robotics and Tax Compliance. “From introducing digital tax accounts to creating a Digital Strategy, the goal is to help customers get their tax calculations right and make tax easier.”


  • Bernard Marr has another post about AI and law. Here’s How AI And Machine Learning Are Transforming Law Firms And The Legal Sector. “Now is the time for all law firms to commit to becoming AI-ready by embracing a growth mindset, set aside the fear of failure and begin to develop internal AI practices. There are many who believe innovation is the key to transforming the legal profession.” “It’s clear that AI and machine learning are already transforming law firms and the legal sector.”


  • Here’s a rather academic piece, Law and Autonomous Systems Series: Paving the Way for Legal Artificial Intelligence – A Common Dataset for Case Outcome Predictions, by Ludwig Bull (Scientific Director at CaseCrunch), an AI startup specializing in legal decision predictions and Felix Steffek (University Lecturer at the Faculty of Law and a Senior Member of Newnham College, University of Cambridge). “This article provides an overview of our current project, which aims to contribute to artificial intelligence (AI) research in law. We are preparing a standardised dataset of 100,000 US court cases to test AI approaches for analysing court decisions and predicting case outcomes.” “This article deals with three issues: What are the characteristics of the dataset, and what is the process of its creation? What are the benefits of our dataset for the research and application of AI in law? How can private actors, institutions, lawmakers and researchers put the dataset to good use?”


  • From Law.comWhat’s Next: Our Robot Overlords Should Be Regulated. “Litigators don’t usually draft legislation. But that isn’t stopping Bradford Newman, a Paul Hastings partner focusing on employment and trade secrets law, from putting forward a proposal to regulate artificial intelligence by taxing companies that benefit from AI and granting legal protections to machine-generated IP.”


  • Not a day goes by that I don’t see a post about the impact on AI on jobs. Trying to keep this blog fresh, I only post few of those. But it has been a while, so here (rather lengthy but good), here (tech-specific) and here (law-specific) are three with a bit of a fresh perspective.


  • Here I go citing Westworld again. This time it’s from a post by Adam R. Banner of Oklahoma Legal Group, a criminal defense law firm in Oklahoma City. He notes that “Under the terms of service in the HBO series, the fictional company operating the park, Delos Destinations, has the right to collect, control, and use guest saliva, blood and other ‘secretions and excretions.’ If that sounds fairly ominous, it’s because it most certainly is. Facebook’s terms of service (thankfully) pale in comparison to those of Delos as far as what the company can and can’t do with the personal data it collects on its users.”


  • Here‘s a real AI Friday thought piece from the “National Review,” Transhumanism: A Wail of Despair in the Night. “Its promise of a kind of immortality is an ersatz version of Christian hope for a resurrection in a glorified body.”


  • Artificial Lawyer reports that PactSafe ” is developing novel ways of signing legal documents including a ‘smile to sign’ application that uses facial recognition.” “The application, which also works on mobile devices, allows businesses to send contracts over text message, giving people the ability to then sign by return via a text message by simply replying ‘I Agree’.” Much more here.


  • I’ve mentioned document management provider iManage (they’ve gone well beyond that initial category) several times in my posts. Yesterday they were recognized for their good work: “iManage, the company dedicated to transforming how professionals work, announced it was named Technology Supplier of the Year at the British Legal Awards ceremony this evening in London. This award honors the contribution suppliers make to improving the delivery of legal services.”


  • Here’s an interesting question re IP: “Could intelligent machines of the future own the rights to their own creations?” Paresh Kathrani Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Westminster weighs in here. The answer is a bit complicated.


  • Still more from the UK: Sir Geoffrey Vos, chancellor of the High Court said in a speech forecasting the spread of online dispute resolution and ‘smart contracts’ based on blockchain encryption, that “judges will need to learn about computer code to handle disputes.” He also stressed the importance of online justice in maintaining the credibility of the courts. “We will need to move fast to develop online dispute resolution and other forms of speedier alternative dispute resolution, before the millennials lose faith in the way the older generation is content to deliver justice.”


  • Danish law firm Bech Brunn took advantage of their presence at the IBA conference in Sydney to conduct a survey of 52 firms from 17 countries on their use of AI. “The survey showed that artificial intelligence technology has already been implemented by several law firms around the world, and that it is considered significant to the future practice of law.” Details from this informal polling here.


  • In AI, so much is changing so fast. This post describes a course offering at MIT that combines hardware and software design to facilitate fast and efficient AI.