• Lawyers Are Drowning in Data. What Can They Do About It? “The ‘Why Lawyers Are Adopting AI Faster Than You’ panel at this year’s Legalweek will examine at how firms can use AI to find the needle in some pretty big data haystacks.” Link.

 

 

 

  • Briefing: China looks to build ‘smart courts’ with AI. “A Shanghai court has adopted an artificial intelligence-enabled assistant to help improve courtroom efficiency and accuracy.” Post.

 

  • This software thinks like a lawyer—so you don’t have to pay one. “A Chicago law firm (Actuate Law) is rolling out a subsidiary that offers clients software designed to mimic their lawyer’s thinking—at a fraction of the price.” “….(I)ntelligent software that walks them through whether they have a legal obligation to report a data breach.” “Although Quointec has no outside funding so far, the partners created the new venture to allow for such investment in the future without violating professional regulations.Post.

 

  • LawNext Episode 26: Mark Cohen’s Strategies for the Global Legal Marketplace. “On this (hour-long) episode of LawNext, Cohen joins host Bob Ambrogi to talk about a range of topics. They discuss Clearspire and the lessons Cohen learned from that. They also talk about what Cohen sees as the “skills gap” in law and why it is that law schools and law firms are failing to address it. In the fact of a rapidly changing global legal economy, Cohen offers insights on how law firms should adapt.” Post.

 

  • From The Law Society GazetteAccountants winning in ‘rapidly expanding’ alternative legal services market. “So-called alternative legal service providers – including the Big Four accountants – are growing more quickly than previously predicted and moving up the value chain, research on both sides of the Atlantic reveals today. The new entrants, offering such services as litigation support, legal research and document review with the help of new technology now make up a $10bn (£7.6bn) a year market, the Thomson Reuters study found.”

 

  • Also from The Law Society Gazette: How legaltech can help you compete against larger firms. “Continuing the discussion on the evolution of the legaltech sector and how it could revolutionise the legal industry, Law Society partner and equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs explains how the rise of legaltech is closing the gap between large and small legal firms.” Post.

 

  • I thought the 2019 forecasts were behind us, but here’s an interesting report from CBInsightsArtificial Intelligence Trends. Lots of infographics.

 

  • This lawyer got a gig in Silicon Valley by promising to automate a lot of legal grunt work — now he’s got his own company. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could have associates who could code and automate their own jobs and would make the firm more efficient?” Post.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • New York Bulletin: Data is Not the New Oil + LSBs Are Splitsville. Story here.

 

  • Pew: How Stanford + Suffolk Law Schools Are Improving NLP for A2J. Story here.

 

  • TR: ALSP Market Now $10 Billion-Plus, Law Firms Major Customers. Story here.

 

  • New York Bulletin – AI Workshop + Do We Need an FDA for Algorithms? Story here.

 

  • Australia Launches ALTACon Legal Tech Conference. Story here.

 

  • Legal AI – Its Definition and Its Value to the Legal World. Story here.

 

  • Global Insurer Allianz Launches Injury Claim Automation Tool. Story here.

 

  • ALM – Legal Market Will Split In Two + ALSPs Will Grow – NY Bulletin Extra. Story here.

 

Posts by Law Firms:

  • Alston & Bird: … Teams Up with Georgia State University on Data Analytics.Alston & Bird and Georgia State University have announced a joint effort to develop broad-based competency among the firm’s attorneys in leveraging data science and analytics to help drive new levels of client service and satisfaction.” Post.

 

  • Andrea PerronaceTechniques for Patenting Blockchain in Europe, the United States, China and Japan. Post.

 

  • Baker Donelson: 90-minute CLE video post: Analyzing the Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Legal. (5 ‘Micro-Presentations’.) Post. (Poor audio.)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Baker McKenzieThe Year Ahead – Innovation: A new generation of legal analysis tools is emerging. Post.

 

 

  • Dentons: Chloe A. SniderSmart Contract Series – Legal Implications For Consideration, Part 1: Definition And Enforceability. Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases, Posts and Articles by Vendors:

 

  • Clio releases new client management platform to ‘help lawyers ensure the future success of their business’. Post.

 

  • Allianz to use Artificial Intelligence to deliver a true end-to-end automated solution for Stage 3 injury claims. Post. — and — “Allianz Insurance has launched a new digital platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable its injury claims handlers to process Ministry of Justice Stage 3 claims at a single click of a button.” Story here.

 

  • Thomson Reuters: Introducing Litigation Analytics. “Unlock data-driven insights on judges, courts, attorneys, law firms, and case types to better develop case strategy and manage client expectations.” Post.

 

  • Relativity Brings Reduced Data Fees, Unlimited Analytics, and a More Flexible Licensing Model to RelativityOne Customers. Post.

 

  • Emerging from Harvard Law/MIT, Evisort AI Tech Company Posted Tremendous Growth in 2018, Announces Upcoming New Product Launch. Post.

 

  • Zero Now Helps Lawyers Bill More Time in Bellefield, Intapp, Carpe Diem and Other Time Entry Tools. Post. — and — Ryan Steadman of Zero: Business as Usual: 5 Law Firm Activities AI will Seamlessly Transform. 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.
  • If you’re a student of AI you should at least skim through this summary of MIT’s recent Platform Strategy Summit. It presents an excellent overview of the state of AI (and a bit of blockchain) from academic and business perspectives (even Thomson Reuters). “Most corporate app development effort today is spent on keeping things running, not on changing and innovating.” (Many cool infographics!)

 

  • This article (Does the legal profession have a moral duty to innovate?) appeared in Canadian Lawyer: “The panel also discussed the fact that more than 30 states in the U.S. have adopted the American Bar Association’s model rule that imposes a duty of technology competence on lawyers. The Federation of Law Societies in Canada is said to be looking at changing the model code of professional conduct in Canada to impose a duty of technology competence similar to the ABA’s rule.”

 

  • This piece (Are big data and artificial intelligence throwing down a new regulatory gauntlet?) from American Enterprise Institute is likely to set you to thinking about the regulation of information technologies in new ways. ‘…(I)f there is a principle to guide the future regulation of big data and AI, it is to focus on first understanding information asymmetries and how they affect the distribution of the gains, rather than the technologies that they are associated with.”

 

  • From The Law SocietySix ways the legal sector is using AI right now. The usual applications are discussed here, plus a bit about threats and a forecast. Interesting definition” “When we talk about AI in 2018 (and for the purposes of this article), we mean clever forms of computerised automation and search.”

 

  • More Reynen Court news hereClifford Chance and Latham Invest in ‘App Store for Legal Tech’. “They are putting an undisclosed amount of money into Reynan Court, the highly touted tech venture that provides law firms with a single platform to manage the procurement, deployment and management of third-party apps. The CIOs of both firms have joined the tech startup’s board of directors.” Coverage from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

  • This, from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA): Law firms must be able to explain decisions made by AI. (There’s a link to a larger paper.) “While AI has not been 100% accurate in various tests, the SRA said it has never proven any less accurate than work carried out by humans, and in some cases, it has been more so. Looking at some of the issues AI’s use would raise, however, the SRA said firms may find it difficult, where decisions were made by “self-learning AI”, to explain the “assumptions and reasoning behind some automated decisions”.”

 

  • This, from Missouri Lawyers WeeklyNew services or products that support Missouri’s legal community: Manu Stephen. “…(T)he Inventr app uses artificial intelligence to help companies discover patentable inventions in 24 hours. … The app also helps companies to find attorneys to work on their patents by providing the companies with a list of attorneys who have been vetted and preselected by Inventr.”

 

  • “Over 2,000 U.S. adults answered the online survey earlier this month. The survey was conducted by the Harris Poll at the request of Your Lawyers Online, an online legal service provider that guides clients through family, animal and estate planning law.” 69 Percent of People Would Use Online Legal Services Over Attorneys. Other juicy stats here.

 

  • And speaking of surveys, surprise! Report Proves What We Already Knew: Clients Will Pay Any Fee Hike To Get Brand Name Firms. “This has long been the conventional wisdom among legal industry observers, but the new Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group Report went out and actually gathered some hard data to see if our gut instincts are correct. It turns out… they are.” More results survey here.

 

  • A2J: Start-up aims to help NFP sector identify legal nature of problems. “A law graduate will next year launch an artificial intelligence-backed (AI) product that uses natural language processing (NLP) to help not-for-profit agencies identify precisely the legal nature of a problem, potentially cutting out time-consuming confusion.” Story here.

 

  • Artificial intelligence set to free solicitors from lower-level work. “The report, Technology and legal services, suggests that rapid developments in AI will mostly be focused on back-office functions.” More here.

 

  • IBM Unveils Its Vision For The Future Of Artificial Intelligence. “IBM, which has been working on artificial intelligence since the 1950s, is not only keenly aware of these shortcomings, it is investing heavily to improve the basic technology. As Dario Gil, Chief Operating Officer of IBM Research recently wrote in a blog post, the company published over 100 papers in just the past year. Here are the highlights of the technology being developed now.” This is a fast, interesting read.

 

Posts by Law Firms

  • Two of my posts in a row for Dentons‘ Giangiacomo Olivi. Here’s his latest, Non-Personal Data Regulation, AI and the data economy: an Italian perspective. “This new piece of legislation aims to strengthen the principle of free circulation of non-personal data in the EU for the benefit of businesses and the public alike, with a view to foster the European data economy and the future Digital Single Market.”

 

  • Also from Dentons, Eric J. TanenblattAndrew Shaw and Crawford Schneider wrote: Federal Autonomous Vehicle Bill Moves Closer To Passage. “The support of the American Association for Justice, an influential trial lawyer advocacy group, is a welcome sign for the bill. The new-look legislation, circulated Monday night, was altered to reaffirm state and local authority over motor vehicle operation, mitigate concerns about the effect of federal preemption on state common law and statutory liability and constrain the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses related to death or bodily injury.” Post here.

 

  • Winston Maxwell and Gauthier Vannieuwenhuyse of Hogan Lovells postedRobots Replacing Arbitrators: Smart Contract Arbitration. The 10-page scholarly journal article is here. “Given the current legal framework, fully robotised arbitration will not become a reality in the near future. However, prospects of automated expert determination are much more likely. They will lead the way to speedy, less-costly and accurate calculations or determinations, to the benefit of parties in various specific sectors.”

 

  • This, also from Hogan: The emergence of intelligent systems in health care. “With artificial intelligence being implemented across the health care continuum, FDA and other agencies find themselves contending with the prospect of regulating a moving target.”

 

  • Alan S. Levins and Amanda M. Osowski of Littler Mendelson posted: Self-Driving Trucks And Labor Law—A Look Ahead. “Welcome to the future: The year is 2020 and an organized—i.e., unionized trucking company—”L2M2″ has announced it is acquiring a convoy of autonomously powered—i.e., “self-driving”—transportation vehicles.” Post here. (Seems I’m failing at putting my futurist stories in one place.)

 

(More law firm posts under Blockchain below.)

 

Prognostications

  • From Inc.: Here Are 27 Expert Predictions on How You’ll Live With Artificial Intelligence in the Near Future. “It might make life better or it might be the end of us. Either way, it’s coming and here’s what it’s going to look like.”

 

  • This post includes a section on AI, so I did not include it with the Blockchain predictions below. Blockchain And Crypto Industry Predictions For 2019.

 

  • Here’s a half hour podcast in which Elie and Joe talk to Ralph Baxter, former head of Orrick and current board member of Intapp, about the future of the legal industry. (Ralph joins about 7 minutes in.)

 

(More predictions under Blockchain below.)

 

Press releases

  • Lex Mundi Partners With Diligen To Offer Artificial Intelligence Contract Review Tool. Release here.

 

  • Evisort launch Document Analyzer: advanced AI data mining, search and reporting tech. Release here.

 

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

 

  • Innovate UK backs bid to create “thinking” legal AI. “Contract review business ThoughtRiver has been awarded funding from the government for a £400,000 development project to develop “thinking AI”.” Story here. Coverage from Artificial Lawyer here.

 

Blockchain

  • BakerHostetler‘s Robert A. Musiala Jr. publishedCryptocurrencies Continue To Permeate Capital Markets As Blockchain Permeates Settlement Systems. “…(T)he long-sought approval of Bitcoin ETFs appears unlikely in the near future, based on recent comments from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who cited continued concerns over a lack of adequate investor protections, including difficulties mitigating risks related to cryptocurrencies being stolen or manipulated on exchanges.”

 

  • Scott H. Kimpel of Hunton Andrews Kurth posted: Blockchain Legal Resource: CFTC Publishes Primer On Smart Contracts. “The Primer discusses their functionality, use cases, regulatory environment and potential risks.” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From  Marc D. Powers of BakerHostetlerBlockchain Platform For Energy Commodities Announced In U.S., Restrictions Ease In Foreign Markets. This post includes several useful links.

 

  • Also from BakerHostetlerJohn C. McIlwee posted: More Blockchain Uses For Digital Advertisers, Software Licensees And Marine Insurers. This post is mainly a summary of a recent report, and here’s a link to the referenced report.

 

  • Neil Gray and Maxwell J. Eichenberger of Reed Smith posted Blockchain: Immutable Ledger, But Admissible Evidence? “(A) brief overview of blockchain technology, then addresses the current evidentiary hurdles blockchain records face, and concludes with considerations for attorneys seeking to enter blockchain receipts … into evidence and businesses implementing blockchain solutions.”

 

  • Amazon got quite a bit more serious about Blockchain in 2018, including its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering: “a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using open source frameworks such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum in just a few clicks.” Story here.

 

  • First Blockchain loan closes in Latin America amid transparency concerns. “Itaú’s US$100m proof-of-concept loan, provided by Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo, utilized the R3 Corda Connect blockchain platform, a paperless system that allowed the banks to assess revisions, comments and approve the club loan digitally.” Story here.

 

  • Several law school faculty from around the world contributed to: The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain. “Part of the attraction of distributed ledger systems, such as Blockchain, lies in transcending law and regulation.” Link here.

 

  • Blockchains should have ‘privacy by design’ for GDPR compliance. “Some believe that public permissionless blockchains cannot be GDPR compliant, and that private blockchains might be the answer to blockchain’s regulatory woes. Even so, private blockchains bring into question the very meaning of what a blockchain is. There is no simple answer.” Story here.

 

  • Here are some prognostications about Blockchain: Top 5 blockchain predictions for 2019.

 

  • And here4 Major Blockchain Trends to Watch for in 2019. (Not the same as those above!)

 

  • And much more here10 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Change The Legal Industry.

 

From Artificial Lawyer 

  • RelativityOne Goes Down Under With Australia Partnership. Story here.

 

  • Back to the Future For Legal AI + Automation. Story here. (Again, I’ve put prognostications is a different section.)

 

  • Slaughter and May Publishes Innovation Guide. “The 32-page report, spearheaded by Slaughters partners, Rob Sumroy and Ben Kingsley, and produced in association with Tromans Consulting, the strategy and innovation consultancy, explores both the theory behind innovation and looks at real world examples of what businesses have done and what can be learned from them.” Post here, and here’s the link to the full report.

 

  • AI Co. Diligen Wins Major Business Boost With Lex Mundi Deal. Story here and here.

 

  • Legal AI Co. Seal Launches Financial Services NLP Suite. Story here.

 

  • What is ThoughtRiver’s New ‘Thinking AI’ + What Will It Do? Story here.

 

  • Kira Systems – AL Product Review – Part One. Story here.
  • Here’s Bob Ambroji’s take on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ entry into A2J: A Potentially Major Lifeline For Low-Income Legal Tech And A2J. Bob discusses how Pew will attack several specific A2J obstacles. “Pew’s express commitment to increase access to free online legal tools and to develop new platforms to help people interact with the courts is a lifeline the justice system badly needs.”

 

  • Marks&Clerk’s Graham McGlashan posted: UK: Intellectual Property’s Vital Role In Healthcare’s AI-Driven Future. “…(A)geing populations and complicated comorbidities continue to put pressure on healthcare budgets, … the potential rewards for those devising the innovations that overcome those challenges can be significant and protecting innovation in this space with intellectual property (IP) will be vital.”

 

  • This piece from Legal Futures (High Court judge: ethical and legal framework for AI “imperative”) discusses several views concerning AI regulation in the UK, one reason for which being, “…the impact of humans getting things wrong was ‘unlikely to be catastrophic’, while AI failures could have a much bigger impact.”

 

  • Former FTC commissioner and now partner at Covington, Terrell McSweeny postedCompetitive Edge: Antitrust enforcers need reinforcements to keep pace with algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. “The Federal Trade Commission should consider creating an independent and fully staffed office for the chief technologist or even a Bureau of Technology to enhance its required technological expertise and support its competition mission.”

 

  • Here’s a post from the ACC with recommendations from Stephanie Corey for in-house teams; these are also relevant to law firms: 5 Steps to Metrics: Building a Data-Driven Legal Department. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew!” she warns. “Start small, because going through all these steps is hard and it takes time.” She adds, “A few meaningful metrics is better than 25 metrics that are used for nothing. Change them if they need to change, and stop if they’re not being used. Metrics should evolve with your changing department, and at the end of the day will show all the great progress you and your team have made.”

 

  • Speaking of in-house legal departments, Altman Weil’s 2018 Chief Legal Officer Survey has been released. (Link to download here.) To me, the most interesting thing about it is that though “data” is mentioned dozens of times, “blockchain” and “artificial intelligence” never appear. Not once.

 

  • In this post from Above the Law, Thomson Reuters’ Joe Borstein interviews LegalMation founder James Lee. It’s a deep dive into the product’s genesis, and also discusses applications. “…LegalMation uses machine learning to automatically draft responsive litigation documents such as answers, responses, and interrogatories (which would take hours for a junior associate). For example, within moments of uploading your opposition’s complaint, you will have a competent draft response, which goes so far as to pull out key quotations from the complaint and question their basis in fact….”

 

  • In this post from Information Age (The legal implications of ‘creative’, artificial intelligent robots), Bertrand Liard of White & Case, “discusses artificial intelligence in the context of copyright, patents and existing IP rights.”

 

  • As I have reported several times in the past, “… the GLBC (was formed) to help in developing standards and policies that govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law.” According to this release from K&L Gates, they’ve signed up too.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: Clause Joins Kaleido, the Platform that Makes Private Blockchains ‘Easy’. “…(I)f your firm has people who can get their heads around the mass of jargon and understand some of the technical aspects, then perhaps this could really speed things up and get people over the line into real, working uses of the tech, rather than just pilots.”

It has been almost a week since my last post. The College of Law Practice Management‘s Futures Conference was awesome, but my absence means I’m going to have to break the latest news into two posts, with the second to follow Wednesday.

 

 

  • Above the Law, in partnership with RSM, has produced an eBook, Using Data Analytics to Combat Fraud. Here’s how to download your copy.

 

  • In this post from Information Age (Applying AI and ‘new maths’ to solve complex real-world challenges), James Loxam of Luminance discusses the challenges around the application of AI with special emphasis on Cybersecurity. “What we’re now seeing is the emergence of AI-powered technology which is reading and understanding contracts and documents in the same way a human can. Machine learning algorithms are giving the technology the ability to learn and teach itself from the data it is shown, without needing explicit programming. The technology is only as good as the human operating it, but it is fair to suggest that the human is no longer as good at their job without the technology.”

 

  • LexisNexis has released the results of a new survey: Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype. Register for the report download here. The methodology description is sparse and not very clear, but I believe they conducted 30 in-depth interviews with in-house counsel and 110 responded to an online survey. Assuming no non-response bias (always a big assumption), the overall findings are probably accurate within about +/- 10 percentage points. (E.g., “37% of GCs do not know what technology their law firm is using” should be read as “between 27 and 47% …”) The breakdowns into respondent categories should be ignored.

There is some interesting third-party data reported. For instance, “Crunchbase estimates that over $1.5B has been invested by venture capitalists into legal start up. This number excludes private equity investments nor does it look at the money spent by law firms and larger corporates operating in this space.”

 

  • “Artificial Intelligence software provider, Neota Logic and leading law firm, McCann FitzGerald have announced a partnership with University of Limerick to deliver the first-ever third-level legal tech course from spring 2019. In what is a first for the legal industry and legal education in Ireland, students will have the opportunity to learn how to design, build and test digital legal solutions using the Neota Logic System, a no-code development platform for the automation of professional services.” Details here.

 

  • Press releaseUS service makes data available on 100,000 lawyers’ litigation history. “Bloomberg Law’s enhanced Litigation Analytics tool now enables users to search, review, and analyze company representation information for more than 100,000 attorneys at over 775 law firms.”

 

  • “(T)he French data protection authority, the CNIL, the European Data Protection Supervisor and Italian DPA, the Garante, co-authored a new declaration on ethics and data protection in artificial intelligence. Along with the declaration’s six principles, the ICDPPC, ‘in order to further elaborate guidance to accompany the principles,’ will establish “a permanent working group addressing the challenges of artificial intelligence development,” an ICDPPC release states.” Much more from The International Association of Privacy Professionals (iapp) here.

 

  • From DLA Piper‘s Ileana M. Blanco: Artificial Intelligence: from diagnostic programs to sex robots – unresolved liability questions. “No lawsuits involving AI have been found to date. It is foreseeable that traditional defenses – such as that there was no safer alternative design or that the product was “unavoidably unsafe” – may be available to potential defendants. This area of law remains unsettled – definitely one to monitor in the coming months and years.”

 

  • Here’s a post from Norton Rose announcing yet another enhancement to their chatbot, Parker. “Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a new chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that has been trained to respond to queries in relation to emerging regulatory developments in the insurance sector. The chatbot is the latest iteration of the firm’s NRF Parker chatbot and will operate under the name of ‘Parker Insurance’. It is intended to help clients navigate new laws and regulations relevant to the insurance sector. Parker will continue to evolve and learn in order to develop its knowledge of the sector.”

 

 

  • This 40+ page white paper from Deutsche Bank (Regulation driving banking transformation) is an excellent case study of how today’s tech can transform an industry (banking being the industry in this example). There are chapters on Cloud, AI and Blockchain; and discussion of the state of regulation of each. “(T)the financial services industry will be transformed by technology. The extent to which this will happen, and the extent to which all participants experience the benefits, will depend on a wide range of factors. Regulation is almost certainly one of the most important.”

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • UK Well-Positioned To Compete with AI Superpowers US + China – Report. Story here.
  • SimpleLegal Launches ‘Auto Correct’ Billing App to Fix Dodgy Invoices. Details here.
  • Bloomberg Law to Offer Lawyer-Client Representation Analysis. Post here.
  • The Third Wave of AI, Big Data and the Dodo. More here.

 

Blockchain

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth posted this in-depth look at French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”)’s initial assessment of the compatibility of blockchain technology with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). “In its assessment, the CNIL first examined the role of the actors in a blockchain network as a data controller or data processor. The CNIL then issued recommendations to minimize privacy risks to individuals (data subjects) when their personal data is processed using blockchain technology. In addition, the CNIL examined solutions to enable data subjects to exercise their data protection rights. Lastly, the CNIL discussed the security requirements that apply to blockchain.”

 

  • This post by Ron Friedmann presents John Alber’s interesting analogy between evolutionary biology and Blockchain. I found the closing paragraph especially useful: “How we record, transact and enforce agreements has been a constant almost since the inception of the common law. Yet we let the digital age be born and grow to maturity without ever considering that perhaps our paper‐bound and extraordinarily inefficient service model for managing agreements might need changing. It took computer scientists to reimagine how to make agreements concerning digital assets. With the digital age exploding around us, what else about the law needs reimagining? Everything? Where do we begin? What do we have to learn to continue to stay relevant? And does KM need reimagining too? Is it also a relic from another age?”

 

  • I can’t wait to see a demo of this. Neota Partners With Legal Consultants for AI-Based Billing Tool. “Neota Logic and legal pricing consultants Burcher Jennings and Validatum teamed up to launch Virtual Pricing Director, a collaboration years in the making.”

 

  • Here’s more news from Neota Logic: Legal tech education: Neota partners with three new universities. “Neota Logic will today (19 October) announce three new education partnerships, with The University of Limerick, Ulster University and London South Bank University, which has launched a new law and technology option for students. Over the course of a semester, students at these schools will learn how to design, build and test digital legal solutions that solve a specific access to justice problem.”

 

  • Slaughter and May expands scope of its technology entrepreneurs programme. “The first two cohorts of the programme, originally named Fintech Fast Forward, focussed on UK-based start-up and high growth companies operating in the fintech sector, including paymentstech, insurtech, regtech, data analytics and AI. Under its new name, Fast Forward, the programme will be expanded to cover young companies operating in a diverse range of emerging technology sectors including IOT, cryptography, cyber, robotics, machine learning and DLT, as well as fintech.” More here.

 

  • Corrs postedAlong for the Ride: Considering the Legal and Practical Consequences of Self-Driving Vehicles. “If you’re over seven years of age – and have completed an online registration process – you can be part of Australia’s first Automated Vehicle Trial, by taking a ride on the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC) Intellibus, a fully automated, electric shuttle bus launched on public roads with the support of the WA State Government and the City of South Perth.”

 

  • Gavelytics Partners with CourtCall, Expanding Judicial Analytics to New States, Markets. “Remote court appearance provider CourtCall will offer a ‘simplified version’ of Gavelytics judicial analysis as it expands to Florida, Texas and California.” Details here.

 

  • From LittlerWhat Construction Attorneys Need To Know About AI. (Subscription required.)

 

  • This post isn’t as “legal” as the title might suggest, but it’s an interesting consideration. Artificial intelligence — Who is responsible for the outcomes?

 

  • Thomson Hine postedDepartment of the Treasury Releases Interim Rules Expanding Scope of CFIUS and Creating Pilot Program for Certain Transactions. “While the text of ECRA does not define the term “emerging and foundational technologies,” the following industry sectors could be included: artificial intelligence….”

 

  • Neil Rose postedNew tech demands code of “cyber ethics” for lawyers.

 

  • More from the Mintz seriesStrategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 2: FDA’s Approach to Protecting Patients & Promoting Innovation. “Artificial intelligence—AI—is the future of everything. But when patient health is on the line, can we trust algorithms to make decisions instead of patients or their health care providers? This post, the second in our blog series about AI in health care, explores FDA’s proposed regulatory model that is supposed to be better suited for AI (and similar technologies) while still protecting patients.”

 

  • This from HR Daily Advisor: “Like it or not, it’s time to prepare your employees for the fourth industrial revolution, where automated technologies and artificial intelligence are becoming mainstream. Below is more information about what you can do to accomplish this as an L&D professional.”

 

  • From WombleA.I. in the TCPA Crosshairs: TCPA Class Action Challenges Hotel’s Use of IVY Concierge Artificial Intelligence SMS Platform.

 

  • This from the International Association of Privacy Professionals: Perspective: Should robots have rights? “(California) Bill 1001 implicates a hitherto-abstract, philosophical debate about when a simulation of intelligence crosses the line into sentience and becomes a true artificial intelligence.”

 

  • This 5-minute podcast is from Shook Hardy: Can Robots Be Sued? Q&A With Cory Fisher.

 

  • Fully digital conclusion of contracts via Alexa becomes possible for clients of insurtech firm Deutsche Familienversicherung. “Customers can now not only receive advice from Alexa, but can also simultaneously conclude an insurance contract within only a few seconds.” Story here.

 

  • At least in the UK: “There may need to be some coverage disputes before professional indemnity (PI) insurers work out how to deal with bad advice given by artificial intelligence (AI) systems used by lawyers, a leading City firm has warned. It said the widespread use of technology that utilised AI ‘contributes to additional complexity and uncertainty for insureds and insurers when assessing risk and apportioning liability’. More here.

 

  • From Legal Futures: Law firms look to leverage data in battle with new providers. “Law firms big and small are increasingly viewing artificial intelligence (AI) software and particularly the exploitation of data as integral to business health, a survey has found. The annual law firm benchmarking survey by accountancy and consultancy firm Crowe, also found a growing fear of non-lawyer legal services providers, especially among City firms.” I could not find the survey methodology, so let the reader beware.

 

  • “Above the Law and Thomson Reuters present Big Data and the Litigation Analytics Revolution, the fourth and final installment of our Law2020 series, a multimedia exploration of how artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies are reshaping the practice and profession of law.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:
    • “Global legal tech company, Thomson Reuters (TR), has partnered with contracting automation platform Synergist.io, in a move that will see the Germany-based startup integrate with the well-known Contract Express document automation system.” Story here.
    • We Are All Lawyers Now – The Rise of the Legalish. Interesting perspective here.
    • Language and Machine Learning – A Lawyer’s Guide. Post by Johannes Stiehler, CTO, of text analytics company Ayfie
    • More A2J news! California Starts Special Task Force on A2J Tech, Legal AI Founder Joins.

 

Blockchain

  • China’s Internet Censor Releases Draft Regulation for Blockchain Startups. ” The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a draft policy on Friday, called “The Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services” and is now looking for public feedback before it will take effect.” Story here.

 

 

  • What Carl Sagan has to do with regulating blockchain smart contracts. “If policymakers seem flummoxed by the rise of cryptocurrencies, wait until they get to smart contracts. Just ask Brian Quintenz, commissioner for the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. At a conference in Dubai this week, Quintenz expressed a sense of awe at the vast unknown that blockchain-based computer programs have created for his agency. “Post here.

 

  • Blockchain developments in Nashville:
    • “Stakeholders in the creation, growth and connectedness of blockchain- or distributed ledger-enabled jobs and wealth creation in Tennessee gathered twice within the past 24 hours with representatives of Tennessee Economic and Community Development (ECD) to explore the technology’s status, the state’s competitive assets and its potential strategic options.” “A nonprofit organization is to be formed to support the collaborative’s aims, according to Waller Lansden attorney Kristen Johns, who is the prime mover in this emerging initiative. Waller cosponsored the event with Brooklyn-based Consensys, a distributed-ledger-oriented tech company.” More here.
    • And check out Tokenize Tennessee here.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blockchain

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Thomson Reuters sponsored this post from The Guardian: Can blockchain shake up the legal sector for the better? “Blockchain – one of the buzzwords of the year – could help the legal system run more smoothly and efficiently. But data privacy and regulations may limit its impact.”
  • From Goulston & Storrs‘ Retail Law Advisor,  penned Augmented Retail – The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience. The use of these technologies by Amazon, American Apparel, Ikea, Williams Sonoma and Sephora are discussed.

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Here are the latest headlines from Artificial Lawyer:

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

 

Blockchain

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

 

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

 

  • From Anastasios Antoniou of the Oxford Faculty of Law: Bridging the divide between code and law in distributed ledger ecosystems. “Code and law have been entangled in a silent tension ever since the advent of cyberspace.  The centralised architecture of cyberspace paved the way for law to prevail.  The latest manifestation of this tension, however, appears to be opening up a Pandora’s box.  Blockchain and law are on a silent collision course that must be addressed. This post argues that in bridging the divide between code and law in blockchain, a radical rethink of regulation is imperative.”
  • I had to post this from Steptoe’s CYBERBLOG, if only for the title: Episode 232: “I’m afraid you can’t say that, Dave.” Will AI save the Internet from Vladimir Putin – and Matt Drudge? “It’s a deep conversation that turns contentious when we come to his prescriptions, which I see as reinstating the lefty elite that ran journalism for decades, this time empowered by even less self-doubt – and AI that can reproduce its prejudices at scale and without transparency.”

 

  • “According to the 2018 LexisNexis Australian Legal Tech Survey, across the board the Aussie legal profession is seeing a significant repositioning in the responsibilities set for junior lawyers when compared to past years, creating a shift in their law firm’s set up.” “The changing nature of work for junior lawyers is clearly a key driver of change within the legal industry, as 44 per cent of the respondents identified the removal of grunt work as a key implication of technologies such as analytics and AI”. More here.

I could not find any description of the survey’s methodology, so caveat emptor.

 

  • From The Law Society GazetteCall for regulation of police prediction algorithms. “A study published by the Royal United Services Institute and the Centre for Information Rights, University of Winchester, says that while machine-learning algorithms in policing are in their infancy, there is potential for the technology to do more: ‘The lack of a regulatory and governance framework for its use is concerning.’”

 

  • Brian McElligott of Mason Hayes & Curran posted this pieceIreland: AI From The Lawyers’ Perspective. “Machine learning, and to a much lesser extent artificial intelligence, has well and truly landed. The challenge for lawyers and their clients is how to navigate a legal and regulatory environment that is playing catch up and how to simultaneously steer innovators on a path to protection that may be paved with gaps.”

 

  • Dean Sonderegger of Wolters Kluwer wrote Building The Case For Innovation Within The Law Firm. I really appreciate this sort of mathematical demonstration of how driving out a bit of cost can translate to a firm’s bottom line.

 

  • I did not see this coming. This post from DLA Piper (Sharpen the nails: 8 ideas for empowering jurors In complex trials) includes, “Beyond simple note-taking tools, lawyers should consider more modern options, such as giving jurors access to interactive tablets to use for note keeping, and finding suitable ways to use artificial intelligence to assist jurors in maintaining and retrieving the evidence they hear and see during trial. … Allowing jurors the use of appropriate AI – for instance, teaching them how to search for trial testimony and admitted exhibits, or allowing them to query the judge – would allow more efficient deliberations.”

 

  • Holly Urban, CEO at EffortlessLegal wrote this piece for Law Technology Today: Five Ways for Law Firms to Become More Efficient. All five make sense for law firms and in-house legal departments.

 

  • John Frank Weaver of McLane Middleton prepared this scholarly piece: Everything Is Not Terminator We Need the California Bot Bill, But We Need It to Be Better. “There are some specific revisions that would make the Bot Bill a constitutional bill, a better bill, and a bill that we need.” He presents in-depth arguments for each suggested revision.

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer: “After a very successful closed Beta programme, covering 161 users from 24 countries, they will be opening Clause to all on September 26th i.e. tomorrow. It will still be called a Beta programme, but in opening to all it will massively scale up the opportunity to use this tech and to give the team feedback to perfect the product.” Details and a demo video here.

 

  • From Sky News: Driverless car makers could face jail if AI causes harm. “Under the Health and Safety Act of 1974, directors found guilty of “consent or connivance” or neglect can face up to two years in prison.” “Companies can also be prosecuted under the Act, with fines relative to the firm’s turnover. If the company has a revenue greater than £50 million, the fines can be unlimited.” Several lawyers are quoted in this story.

 

  • intapp and The Lawyer just released this research report: Navigating a new reality in the client-empowered era. There is a section devoted to “An eye to the future: the emerging applications of artificial intelligence (AI).” “Clearly, firms are already reaping benefits from intelligent automation, whether through time saved or performance of the firm. The advent of artificial intelligence capabilities opens new possibilities above and beyond the ways in which law firms are currently automating workflows.” “In the future, using AI, we’ll be able to enhance the accuracy of the narratives suggested by time capture, so the process becomes even more automatic.” There is also a summary of some findings here. And here.

These survey results are based on the responses of 111 firms out of 300 who were solicited to participate. Not bad. The findings presented as percentages/proportions should generally be considered accurate within about +/- 10 percentage points.

 

  • Also from Artificial Lawyer: ‘Don’t Shoot the AI Puppy!’ – The United eDiscovery Case. “Last week, doubters of legal AI tech had a fleeting moment of validation – or at least they thought so – after a major ediscovery project involving United Airlines appeared to go wrong, leading some to suggest that there had been an ‘AI Snafu‘ after only 17% of the millions of docs analysed turned out to be ‘responsive’ i.e. of any potential use to the case. The problem with pointing the finger at the technology is that experts think (see response below from leading ediscovery consultant, Jonathan Maas) that this had far less to do with the Technology Assisted Review (TAR) itself and more about the way the humans involved ran the matter and used the tech.” Details here.

 

  • Here’s another interesting piece from Artificial Lawyer (It’s Not A Legal Snowflake – AI + Legal Costs Prediction): “To succeed in this environment, law firms must cost out litigation matters more accurately and competitively than they have ever done in the past. In fact, getting this right is mission critical. Fortunately, modern technology can provide an unprecedented degree of transparency and precision in cost estimation. The key is using artificial intelligence to unlock the predictive power of billing data.”

 

  • This (Data Localisation: India’s policy framework) is a thorough look at India’s new data protection policies. “Digital India and building a thriving Digital Economy in India, building strong competencies in artificial intelligence, protecting nation’s security and data of its citizens are very critical and is now becoming mandatory for India.”

 

  • This from Kennedy’s: Legal AI Beyond the Hype: A Duty to Combat Bias. “(T)o what extent have firms considered whether the AI they are licensing, building or selling (if that is what they are doing) has the potential to produce biased results?”

 

  • When asked, “(w)hat do you think is going to be the biggest game changer in the legal industry?” Martin Felli of JDA Software replied “(t)he use and application of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the in-house environment, allowing legal departments to implement solutions to permit their clients to engage in self-help without having to involve the legal department on every item, such as NDA reviews and processing.” Here’s the rest of the interview.

 

  • Press release: “Thomson Reuters and ModuleQ announced today a partnership to assist professionals with time sensitive insights. The companies are integrating their AI technologies to help provide proactive distribution of mission-critical business information to clients’ front-line personnel.”

 

  • In this post, Mike Quartararo of eDPM Advisory Services urges law firms to proactively contact their clients about innovation, before they call another firm or one calls them.

 

  • Here’s another pitch for Westlaw Edge — this one with a government focus. Westlaw Edge: Helping Overburdened Government Attorneys Work Faster And Smarter With The Power Of AI.

 

  • To liven up your Wednesday and broaden your perspective on the range of AI’s impact, here’s a story about AI and the cannabis business and two (here and here) about AI and sex.

 

Blockchain

  • IBM and MIT in consultation with the Congressional Blockchain Caucus prepared this reportThe Impact of Blockchain for Government: Insights on Identity, Payments, and Supply Chain. “How can blockchain benefit government? How can government lead the way to a broad-based blockchain evolution that drives economic vitality? In this report, Thomas Hardjono—Director of the MIT Trust: Data Consortium—addresses these and related challenges by drawing insight from three roundtable discussions in 2017-18 among key leaders and stakeholders, hosted by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.”

 

  • Over 75 New Banks: JPMorgan Expands Blockchain Payments Trial. “(A)ccording to a report from the FT on Tuesday, a large group of major banks – including Societe Generale and Santander – has joined the trial in response to the rising number of rival payments offerings coming to market.” More here.

 

  • From Entrepreneur: Smart Contracts: Here Are the Practical Applications of This Exciting Blockchain Technology. “Ever wanted to leave the lawyers out of your client transactions? Now you can.” “Smart contracts aren’t just the future of business; they are already in play. These agreements save time and money while improving communication and transparency. And you don’t need to be a programmer to get in on the action.”

 

  • Tom Kulik of Dallas’ Scheef & Stone posted Why Blockchain Is No Panacea For The Digital First Sale Doctrine (For Now). “…(T)echnology and the law don’t evolve at the same rate, and the digital first sale doctrine is no exception.  As this technology matures, it will inevitably pull copyright law forward in fits and starts…”

 

  • Here’s a deeper dive into Ron Friedmann’s argument that legal tech is in the midst of “evolution” rather than a “revolution”. It’s an interesting read, well-reasoned with several examples. “…(I)n-house counsel change buying habits slowly, which in turn slows legal innovation.” I love that he focuses on the “voice of the client,” as should we all!

 

  • Machine Learning Makes its Way (Slowly) into e-Discovery by David Raths is a rather thorough discussion of the evolving acceptance of technology-assisted review (TAR) and the development of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). Good stuff if you’re interested in eDiscovery.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi pulled together this impressive list of legal tech companies HQ’d in the LA area. Who knew?

 

  • From Osborne Clarke’s Deborah Harvey and Amy Stray comes, this discussion of the need for autonomous vehicle regulation: Developing a regulatory landscape for the future of mobility.

 

  • If you find autonomous vehicles may be a bit scary, how about Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)? In this article, Blank Rome’s Sean T. Pribyl ” discusses the International Maritime Organization’s regulatory scoping exercise to evaluate existing legal frameworks in order to assess the safe, secure, and environmentally sound operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships.”

 

  • Maayan Lattin of Davis Wright Tremaine prepared, NIST to Begin Workshops to Develop Voluntary Privacy Framework for New Tech Platforms like AI and IoT. “The agency’s objective is to develop a voluntary framework that permits providers of AI, IoT and other innovative technology solutions to better identify, assess, manage, and communicate privacy risks to help ensure consumer confidence and trust.”

 

  • From Neota Logic, THE NEOTA LINK – News & Views on AI in Law & Compliance. It’s news about Neota, its offerings and its clients.

 

  • Kerrie Spencer, staff contributor to Bigger Law Firm Magazine prepared this discussion of the ethical issues inherent in legal AI.

 

  • This is an advertorial (infomercial?) from Thomson Reuters re their new Westlaw Edge: Know More Than Your Opposing Counsel and Win. And here’s another, Key Reasons To Use Litigation Analytics.

 

  • The Law Society Gazette’s Joanna Goodman believes we are Reaching a Tipping Point. “Lawtech is approaching a crossroads in terms of technology development, investment and adoption. The start-up dynamic is maturing as a new generation of legal businesses emerges.” Several convincing examples are given, and the thoughtful article separates the substance from the hype.

 

  • Meanwhile, also from the GazetteNew Solicitors not Prepared for AI. Law Society president Christina Blacklaw: “‘At the moment we’re training lawyers for 20th-century practices, not even for current practice,’ she told an international conference on AI in London last week. ‘There is a mismatch with what they are doing in practice today, let alone what they will be doing in future.’”

 

From Artificial Lawyer

– New York-based smart contract pioneer, Clause, has joined forces with consumer legal platform LegalZoom, to provide smart legal contracts to the general public and small businesses. More here.

This sponsored piece from ContractPodAI explains how their automated contract management platform results in fast ROI.

 

Blockchain

From Artificial Lawyer:

– Digital signature giant, DocuSign, has launched an Ethereum blockchain integration and has also set out in detail how it will be working with legal AI company, Seal Software, with which it formed a partnership in June this year. … ‘Intelligent Insights’, … ‘goes beyond keywords to ‘understand’ concepts in agreement clauses, as a human analyst would’. Details here.

– The Accord Project, the smart legal contract consortium co-created by Clause, has announced the launch of a new working group for the real estate and construction industries to be chaired by Philip Freedman, Partner and Chairman of innovative UK law firm Mishcon de Reya. Story here.

 

  • Here’s Volume 35 of K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer, summarizing three blockchain news stories.