• 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.
  • Will an A.I. Ever Become Sentient? “The quest for artificial intelligence could yield something that not only out-thinks humanity but can also feel like us.” Interesting (long) post here.

 

  • Also from Medium: Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness and the Self. This one too is interesting but rather long.

 

  • Capital One AI chief sees path to explainable AI. “Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov, head of artificial intelligence work at card issuer Capital One Financial, disputes the notion deep learning forms of machine learning are “black boxes,” and insists sensitive matters such as decisions to assign credit can be made ‘much more interpretable’.” Story from ZDNet here.

 

  • Uber is getting back into the autonomous vehicle game. Coverage here and here.

 

  • Meanwhile, Kia is looking past vehicle autonomy to reading the driver’s state-of-mind: CES 2019: Kia prepares for post-autonomous driving era with AI-based real-time emotion recognition technology. Coverage here.

 

  • This 45-minute podcast is from   LawNext Episode 23: Dan Rodriguez on Innovating Law and Legal Education.

 

  • Here’s another rather lengthy thought piece from Mark A. CohenLaw Is Lagging Digital Transformation — Why It Matters.

 

  • Google is opening another AI lab, this one at Princeton. Coverage here and here.

 

  • Construction Dive postedThe Dotted Line: Mitigating the risks of technology. “It’s finally happening. Robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other cutting-edge technology that has empowered a number of industries has undeniably made its way to construction sites. But with new tools come new risks and new ways to manage those risks.”

 

  • Google posted this update. If you’re generally following AI, it’s worth your time. “Six months ago we announced Google’s AI Principles, which guide the ethical development and use of AI in our research and products. As a complement to the Principles, we also posted our Responsible AI Practices, a set of quarterly-updated technical recommendations and results to share with the wider AI ecosystem. Since then we’ve put in place additional initiatives and processes to ensure we live up to the Principles in practice.” The text of the post isn’t what matters here, it’s the several links that provide what I consider best practices.

 

  • Jason Tashea of the ABA Journal postedCalifornia imposes new regulations on ‘internet of things’ devices. “…(M)anufacturers of connected devices will have to include ‘reasonable security’ features to protect stored or transmitted information from ‘unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure’.” More coverage of how California’s new data privacy law could change how companies do business in the Golden State here.

 

  • This is also from Jason Tashea at the ABA JournalAccess-to-justice gap? It’s the economy. “In November, the ABA published Formal Opinion 484. From the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, the opinion approves of some forms of attorney fee financing, believing that they can help close the access-to-justice gap, defined as those who need but can’t attain legal support.”

 

  • This vendor (VerbIT) is new to me. “A VerbIT transcription process starts with an adaptive AI engine that automatically transcribes content at very high accuracy, regardless of subject matter or accent. A sophisticated algorithm distributes each file through 2-layers of human transcribers within seconds, and checks for congruence, localized spelling and other common inaccuracies. The entire process is extremely fast, and yields +99% accuracy.”

 

Law Firm Posts

 

  • From Ropes & GrayPodcast: Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Considerations. Sixteen-minute discussion of AI-driven technologies here.

 

 

  • How Fenwick Labs‘ Growth Is a Microcosm of Legal Tech’s Evolution. Post here.

 

 

 

  • This, is from Bruce Stachenfeld of Duval & Stachenfeld: Artificial Intelligence: Is It Really A Threat To Us Lawyers? “(S)omeday AI may have an impact on our profession that is more than automating drudge business, but in my view not yet, and not for a long while.”

 

  • Stewart A. Baker of Steptoe & Johnson LLP postedThe Cyberlaw Law Podcast: Blockchain Takes Over The Podcast. It’s a summary of this hour-long podcast.

 

 

  • Today’s release of the 2018 Blickstein Group Law Department Operations Survey Report reveals law departments are taking advantage of #newlaw options. Post here. I would evaluate the survey’s methodology, but to download the report one must agree to “you are opting in to receive Above the Law Sponsored Messages,” and I won’t.

 

Press Releases/Vendor Articles

  • Seal Software releases most comprehensive contract analytics platform for banks and financial services firms. Release here.

 

 

  • DFIN Elevates Artificial Intelligence Platform with Acquisition of eBrevia. Post here.

 

  • Ascertus Limited has achieved over 100% business growth in 2018, including head count and revenue. This growth has come equally from existing client retention and new business, which has been driven primarily by increasing interest in iManage Work cloud deployments as well as BusyLamp legal spend management implementations.” Post here.

 

  • Dean Sonderegger of Wolters Kluwer posted: New Year’s Resolutions For Legal Tech. “We’ve covered several different use cases for AI in this column — and while the technology holds tremendous potential, we know that there’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution for everyone and every challenge. As we continue to see new offerings enter the market, the professionals who have a clear understanding of their business will ultimately be successful in unlocking the value of these tools and driving innovation within their organizations.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer

  • The eBrevia/Donnelley Merger, Start of A Legal AI Consolidation Wave? Post here.

 

  • This is a guest post by Michael Burne, Founder and CEO, Carbon Law PartnersA New Year’s Evolution: Is the Traditional Law Firm Model Finished…? “Are traditional firms a busted flush? Well, if by traditional we mean ‘unwaveringly wedded to a construct in the face of rapid change’ – then yes. If we mean ‘a broad adherence to values and a purpose driven organisation’ – then no.”

 

  • 2019 Legal Tech Predictions from the Market. Post here. Leaders of vendors are a few law firms make their predictions.

 

  • This look back is especially blockchain-focused. Christmas News Stocking from Artificial Lawyer.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer Year in Review – 2018 – What a Year! Post here.

 

Blockchain

  • This is a good, brief overview by Thomson Reuters Legal: Blockchain and Its Implications within Legal.

 

  • “The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) announced Tuesday that it has launched a new industry specification group for blockchain.” Post here.

 

  • “Earlier this month, Malta held its blockchain conferenceDELTA Summit, attracting more than 3,500 industry experts and government officials. The Summit operates as a platform for investors and experts to share their experience and opinions, specifically on the controversially debated issue of regulation, with fellow entrepreneurs and investors of all ages.” LOTS of topics are covered in this post.

 

AI and Blockchain Prognostications and Looking Back (also see Artificial Lawyer above)

  • From Health IT SecurityBlockchain, HIPAA Regulation Lead Top 10 Stories of 2018. “(T)o get a sense of the topics that matter most to executive and clinical leadership, HealthITSecurity.com compiled the top stories from 2018. Here are the most read stories of 2019, leading down to the most popular article.”

 

  • This, from Medium: 2018 in Review: 10 AI Failures. Several are law-related.

 

  • Team Ripple posted this rather technical look back: 2018: The Year of Breakthroughs in Blockchain.

 

  • From iappTop 10 Privacy Perspectives of 2018.

 

  • The Big Four’s Big Year: Expansion, Immigration and Evaluation. “Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC all made moves in 2018 aimed at building their law practices.” You really should read this summary. It includes coverage of law firms hiring from the Big 4!

 

  • This is by Frank Ready of ALM: Blockchain Made Big Strides in the Legal Services Market During 2018.

 

  • Market intelligence firm Tractica posted: Artificial Intelligence Deployments Have Expanded to Include 258 Unique Use Cases Across Enterprise, Consumer, and Government Markets. “Annual Artificial Intelligence Software Revenue Will Total $8.1 Billion Worldwide in 2018.”

 

  • This commentary is from Information WeekPredictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2019. I found these especially interesting.

 

  • 5 Legal Tech Trends to Watch in 2019. This post is from Sysero.

 

  • From Rachel WolfsonBlockchain And Crypto Leaders Share Their 2019 Industry Predictions. This post isn’t very long and it’s quite interesting.

 

  • This one is from ComputerWorldBlockchain in 2019 and beyond: 5 predictions. “After a year where cryptocurrencies lost 80% of their value, and the hype around blockchain as a panacea for business transaction problems has cooled, 2019 will be a year of building real-world solutions.”

 

  • Crypterium posted this look ahead: 4 Major Blockchain Trends to Watch for in 2019. It’s short and straightforward.

 

  • IBM Artificial Intelligence Chief Shares His Predictions For 2019. 4-minute video here. Interesting thoughts re progress toward General AI.

 

  • Wow. This tool sounds like a serious way for in-house counsel to leverage AI to better choose outside counsel. There’s No Such Thing As A Competitive Legal Market — But There Are Ways To Make It Better. “Bodhala’s legal analytics offer in-house counsel a wealth of information about the entire Am Law 200, high-quality boutiques, as well as a number of local firms that clients can easily customize to find exactly what they want. The platform also leverages machine learning technology to make predictive calls about opportunities to lower costs with other firms. Beyond talent procurement, the product offers spend optimization features that grant clients an opportunity to really market test quotes for legal services.” Press release here.

 

  • From Gerry Riskin: Next Step in Law-Firm AI Implementation? Getting the Lawyers on Board. “Even at DLA Piper, one of the major users of legal technology (such as the contract and document analysis programs available through Kira Systems), Director of Innovation Adam Hembury estimates that his firm is using only one percent of the overall potential AI support currently available to its lawyers.”

 

  • From WombleInnovation in construction and law: unlocking new value. “To address this, law firms are exploring the use of: Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered tools that provide machine learning capabilities. These are being widely adopted by the legal profession and over the next few decades software systems such as that provided by Kira Systems will apply machine-learning techniques to many of the routine tasks presently undertaken by lawyers, in a way which improves accuracy and limits risk. …”

 

  • State Bar of Michigan On Balance podcast: NEXT Conference 2018: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Automation. “Nicole Black talks about artificial intelligence and other legal technology.” “She shares tips for automating your practice, with and without AI, and ethics advice to keep in mind when using the cloud and social media.” Here’s a link to the 13-minute podcast.

 

  • Must you disclose what your bot is up to? California weighs in on AI. “The California Legislature recently tackled this issue and the dilemma between the legitimate and productive use of ‘bots’ and the misleading and often socially disruptive use of this technology. In Senate Bill 1001, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28, the Legislature took the approach of requiring disclosure when a company or a political advocacy group is using a ‘bot’ to communicate with people. The operative language of the law is it is illegal for ‘any person to use a bot to communicate or interact with another person in California online …. to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.'” The post is by Glen W. Price of Best Best & Krieger.

 

  • This, from EntreprenuerWhy Big-Name Investors Like Mark Cuban Are Disrupting the Legal Profession. “It does not seem an obvious or exciting industry for big-name investors. But, some of the most famous entrepreneurs — now including billionaire Mark Cuban — are putting their money into disrupting the legal profession.”

 

  • Five9 Aims To Unlock Insight From Contact Center With Artificial Intelligence. “Five9 has offered new AI features, such as the Five9 Genius, that delivers contextual and intelligent routing using unstructured data from emails, chats and other data channels to derive customer intent. It includes real-time natural language processing, business rules, and open AI connectors to create more intelligent routing and agent guidance.” Much more here.

 

  • The objectives of this video from Law Technology Today are:
    • Learn practical tips on how to bring innovation to legal services
    • Discover the key elements of innovation initiatives
    • Hear best practices in the evaluation, deployment, and adoption of technology
    • Understand the building blocks necessary to be successful

It features Jim Lupo of Northwestern Law, Tariq Abdullah of Walmart, and Wendy Curits and Daryl Shetterly from Orrick.

 

  • Press releaseCorporate Counsels and Contract Management: A Guide to Making the Case for Technology. “Exigent’s new guide, Corporate Counsels and Contract Management: A Guide to Making the Case for Technology, dives deeper into the ins and outs of legal technology. It provides some key questions to ask to identify the right solution for your business, including: What are your security needs? What functionality is and isn’t necessary? How much training will members of your organization need to use the new technology?”

 

  • This, from contractworks: An Introductory Guide to Contract Risk Assessment. “How to analyze, measure, and score your contract terms to identify risks, maintain compliance, and improve operational oversight.”

 

  • Artificial Intelligence – A Counterintelligence Perspective: Part IV by Jim Baker: “Instead, in keeping with the counterintelligence focus of this series, I want to discuss two important baskets of implications and risks related to XAI (explainable AI) and ethical AI:  (1) effective management of certain operational, privacy and reputational risks; and (2) adversaries’ use of black-box AI.” Post here.

 

  • Teaching Technology Today: One Law School’s Innovative Offerings. “Lawyers of the future, regardless of practice area, need to be proficient in legal technology.” Here’s what Hofstra Law’s doing about it. Check out the courses!

 

  • What’s Artificial About Ethical AI In The Legal Industry? Everything. “Lawyers are trained and have studied ethics. They must be utilized to succeed in creating ethical AI programs.” Here’s the post by Andy Neill of HighQ.

 

  • Lisa Morgan interviewed Joe Lynyak of Dorsey & Whitney and other experts for this postPrivacy Compliance May Get Tougher Soon. “Organizations have had a tough time trying to comply with the European Union’s GDPR and now they have to consider the potential effect of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).”

 

  • Calif. Looking to Tech to Increase Access to Justice. “How technology can increase access to justice while protecting the public is the focus of a newly appointed California Bar task force. The question is how the legal services industry can integrate new tech to become more efficient and responsive while avoiding ethical roadblocks against fee-sharing with non-lawyers and other arrangements.”

 

  • This, from Freshfields: People Analytics: The Opportunities and Legal Risks of a Brave New World. “Advances in technology and artificial intelligence are allowing companies to solve strategic issues in ever quicker, more innovative ways. These advances are just as applicable to people management. People Analytics is the application of digital tools and algorithms to data about or relating to people, including through profiling. The data that is collected, processed and interpreted by People Analytics tools can allow employers to make better HR decisions and run their businesses more efficiently through cost reductions and enhanced operational capabilities. In our briefing we discuss the benefits, the challenges and the legal risks associated with the use of People Analytics.”

 

  • Frances Wilding and James Ward of Haseltine Lake postedUK: Updated Guidelines For Examination At The EPO In Force 1 November 2018. “In the 2018 Guidelines, a group of sections relating to CII have been significantly revised and newly added: … New section added about the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, aimed at better defining the criteria for their patentability (G II, 3.3.1).”

 

  • This, from Craig W. Adas and Alex Purtill of Weil Gotshal: Valuation Issues in Acquiring Artificial Intelligence Companies.

 

  • “Further, regarding emerging technology, 68% of solos and 72% of lawyers in firms with 2-9 attorneys report it is “very” or “somewhat” important to receive training and education on emerging technology like blockchain and artificial intelligence.” More from the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report here. (It’s huge.)

 

  • From Gwynne MonahanFalling for Legal Technology Recent updates and releases. “…(L)egal technology product updates and release announcements over the past month.” Just in case I missed something.

 

  • Press release: “Consilio, a global leader in eDiscoverydocument reviewrisk management, and legal consulting services, has announced it has acquired DiscoverReady, a premier eDiscovery, document review, and compliance solutions provider. The combined company will operate more than 70 offices, review centers, and data centers around the world in 11 countries. The company’s global operations will continue to serve investigation, litigation, and compliance matters of all sizes and complexities, anywhere in the world.:

 

  • Lawyers safe from brave new AI world… for now. “James Kwan, partner at Hogan Lovells, said there are ‘few laws’ that explicitly ban robots from being decision makers. He alluded to the Code of Civil Procedure in France, which makes references to arbitral decisions being made by a ‘person’, as one that does appear to reject the prospect. ‘Other laws may have implicitly excluded the possibility,’ he added. However, Kwan referenced proposals going through the European Parliament that would afford ‘legal status’ to robots and ensure that highly capable AI have recognised rights and responsibilities. ‘It’s amazing that we have even got to the point where we can have a discussion on this,’ Kwan said, adding: ‘I think lawyers are safe for the time being’.” Story here.

 

  • This, from Bernard MarrHow The UK Government Uses Artificial Intelligence To Identify Welfare And State Benefits Fraud. “Investment in data strategy, technologies that support machine learning and artificial intelligence, and hiring skilled data professionals is a top priority for the UK government. Ministers of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have rolled out and tested AI to automate claims processing and fight fraud within their department.”

 

  • Criminal justice system ‘really creaking’, warns outgoing CPS chief. “She would also see how technology can be improved to support everyone’s roles: ‘Digital forensics offer us valuable evidence in cases, but at the moment they simply take too long. And everything from faster Wi-Fi connections in court to the use of Artificial Intelligence could make everyone’s roles easier and the system faster and more effective for victims, witnesses and defendants.'” Story here.

 

  • “Charles Ciumei QC of Essex Court Chambers in London said the use of prediction tools “to assist human judicial decision making” was more achievable than “robot judges”.” Post here.

 

  • This, from Shanti Berggren of Optus Legal: Law, the digital age and change to come. “It is technology that facilitates our Optus Legal Team operating nationally allowing some of our lawyers to live and work away from our Sydney headquarters. In short, technology is changing legal culture and what it means to be a lawyer. But how should that change be managed?” The story has some answers.

 

  • Press release: Dentons Rodyk will use XION.AI’s deep learning bots as part of its wider technology initiative designed to enhance productivity and further innovate its legal service offerings in the region. It is part of the firm’s strategy to leverage on technology to optimise legal services for its clients.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:
    • AL Caffeine, Feat: Relativity, QDiscovery, Taylor Wessing, TLT, Luminance + AI Art. Post.
    • TL, DR: The 14 Key Lessons From Juro’s Legal Operations eBook. Post.

 

  • Not AI, but pretty cool tech: (New Zealand’s) TMJAM launches real time IPONZ trade-mark filings. “New law tech company TMJAM disrupts traditional intellectual property lawyering with an advanced platform allowing the public to file their own trade mark applications online.” Story here.

 

  • EPIC calls for US adoption of AI guidelines. “In its letter to the NSF, EPIC argues the principles match up well with AI strategies already laid out by the U.S. “By investing in AI systems that strive to meet the [universal] principles, NSF can promote the development of systems that are accurate, transparent, and accountable from the outset,” EPIC President and Executive Director Marc Rotenberg writes.” Full story here.

 

Blockchain

  • Here’s a collection of TED talks about blockchain.