It’s early January, which for me means CES, the giant consumer electronics show.  (CES used to Stand for Consumer Electronics Show but now it’s just CES). CES calls itself the world’s largest and most important tech event, where the entire technology ecosystem gathers to conduct business, launch products, build brands, and network

Each year

Let me say at the outset: I am a big fan of online court proceedings. It allows greater participation. It reduces costs. It reduces disruption for everyone. It moves the wheels of justice. But online proceedings also offer the opportunity for greater public access to and transparency of our court system than ever before.

Remember that we have the idea in this country that court proceedings are by and large open to the public. Open online proceedings allow everyone and anyone to observe and comment on judicial proceedings. What could that mean? What could that do? And while this is good, just as we have seen with social media which has brought more openness and wide audiences for all sorts of commentary, there are dangers lurking.


Continue Reading Online Court Proceedings and Open Access: Great Benefits But What Cost?

Last week, I had a chance to talk to Dan Broderick, CEO and co-founder of BlackBoiler, the contract automation and AI company. We talked about the recent patents secured by BlackBoiler and more importantly Dan’s views where in house legal departments may be headed.  I have written about the BlackBoiler product more than once;I am always impressed by Dan’s knowledge about automation, AI, and the legal tech market.

I called Dan since, on the heels of its Series A funding, BlackBoiler announced last week it was recently issued its 6th and 7th patents for its AI-assisted contract review technology. Blackboiler claims that none of it’s competitors – LawGeex, ThoughtRiver, ContracPodAI, Lex Check – own IP in this space, even though they claim to offer similar products. To date, BlackBoiler has been granted seven USPTO allowances and has additional patent applications pending in Canada and Europe.


Continue Reading Patents and Predictions: My Conversation with Dan Broderick, BlackBoiler CEO

Water, water, everywhere, 
Nor any drop to drink. 

Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Data is a lot like the above line about the ocean from the 1834 Rime of the Ancient Mariner. There is data everywhere that would help us to make better decisions if only we could get to it. Some of this data is public and accessible. But much of the data from which lawyers could most benefit is locked away in private silos in aw firms and businesses’ files.  The inability to access this data creates a real gap in attorney understanding and knowledge. Bridging this gap would provide tremendous insights, increase efficiencies, reduce cost and even reduce the amount of work some lawyers do. And it looks like that’s where we are headed.


Continue Reading Mining Private Data: The Next Big Thing in Legal Data Analytics

Earlier this week, I saw an article by Dan Roe with Legal.com about how contingency fees were on the rise in business and commercial litigation since the beginning of the pandemic.

But lest some think this means BigLaw may be getting ready to stride into a lucrative new area that frees them from the tyranny of the billable hour and downward rate pressure, think again.


Continue Reading BigLaw and Contingency Fees: A Culture Clash

There are lots of contract preparation automation tools out there these days as clients and (maybe) a few outside lawyers seek to make this whole contract drafting  process more efficient. In the past, I have written about Blackboiler’s automation tools. Others in the market include Juro and Spotdraft.

I recently came across a new entry into this competitive space made by a company called Avvoka. Avvoka is a startup that automates contract drafting, analysis, collaboration, and management tasks. The difference with the Avvoka product is that it’s designed to enable anyone in a business to at least begin the contract preparation process. The product focuses on the users in a business, not the lawyers.


Continue Reading Avvoka: Contract Automation for Business People


Many have speculated what the legal world will look like
if and when the pandemic lets up. Some believe we will continue with the virtual world with more and more court proceedings and arbitrations being online. Others think we will go back to the physical in-person world for most activities. But a sizable number believe we will have a hybrid world. This means some participants will be physically present in a courtroom or conference room while others will be online. This hybrid approach reduces risk on the one hand and enhances convenience on the other.
But hybrid may be the least likely alternative.
 


Continue Reading Future Court Proceedings: Online, In-Person or Somewhere In Between?

 Economic uncertainty is forcing businesses to take a hard look at spending including legal spend. In today’s Guest Post, Aaron Pierce, General Manager of LexisNexis CounselLink, talks about the results of the recent LexisNexis CounselLink 2020 Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report and analytical tools that are available and being used to manage legal spend. Law firms best be prepared to be scrutinized like never before. 

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Legal departments are facing multiple challenges now, as the COVID pandemic continues and businesses across many sectors are struggling. 


Continue Reading GCs Keep Close Eye on Outside Spend Amid Economic Uncertainty

I’ve been re-reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. I know there are criticisms of the book, but Isaacson is a good writer/storyteller. I realized Jobs engineered a return of Apple to dominance by doing two things really well. He forced the organization to make decisions quickly without endless debate.Second, the organization was decentralized. There weren’t silos or profit centers. These attributes let Apple get ahead even though it made mistakes along the way.

Of course, Apple was able to do these things because Jobs forced the whole organization to work together for the good of the whole organization. He had a vision for the organization—to make high qualitative usable products—that he and Apple relentlessly adhered to.


Continue Reading Law Firm Leadership: How To Knock Down Silos

This is the season for legal
tech announcements, whether they be about new or improved products or significant mergers, acquisitions, and funding. One announcement recently caught my eye, though, not because the product was cool or the merger lucrative. It was because it involved a big legal tech company simply doing good. Doing the right thing.
 
On October 19, LexisNexis and the National Bar Association (NBA) announced a multi-year agreement to advance the rule of law. The goal is to create programs and initiatives to combat systemic racism and racial inequality. When I dug deeper, I discovered this agreement came about mainly due to the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation’s efforts. We all know about LexisNexis, the behemoth legal tech company with a myriad of products and legal customers. I didn’t realize that LexisNexis also created the Rule of Law Foundation. The Foundation is a not for profit entity whose mission is to advance the rule of law around the world.


Continue Reading The LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation: Doing Good for the Sake of Doing Good