Working with outside counsel is like getting thrown in a pit of rattlesnakes and hoping one won’t bite you. Anonymous

Axiom, the 14,000-person alternative legal service provider, launched in 2000, together with Wakefield Research, recently conducted and published a Study of U.S. in-house counsel. They conducted a 15-minute Survey online in January and

A loophole in Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service terms of use could expose privileged information to third-party review. Lawyers need to undertake reasonable diligent vetting of vendors and their terms. Reliance on vendor assurances alone is not enough. But what is?

Last week, I ran across a good piece of reporting by Cassandre Coyer and Isha Marathe in law.com. The report highlighted an important issue.

Legal tech vendors have aggressively marketed Gen AI products over the last 18 months. To a vendor, they all assure potential customers that the inquiries and responses are protected, that they will not be used to train the system, and that third parties will not have access to confidential materials. In short, trust us. But can lawyers rely on these assurances, and to what extent? Do they need to do more?Continue Reading Navigating Legal Tech: Can Lawyers Trust Gen AI Vendor Confidentiality Assurances?

There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil. Walter Lippmann

As most of you know, I frequently attend conferences–both legal tech related and those related to technology in general, like CES. I do this because I am interested in the field and because I like to think what I write as a former practicing lawyer is valuable. The latter idea, of course, carries the responsibility to be candid and to “call em as I see em”. I have tried to do that since I started blogging some seven years ago.Continue Reading Integrity Over Access. Why I Said No Thanks to a Conference’s Demand for Positive Coverage

We best be careful, or we will find ourselves in a closet talking to ourselves too much.

Once upon a time, I had a good client who was fond of saying, “We best be careful, or we will find ourselves in a closet talking to ourselves too much.” Meaning, of course, that you get into trouble if you don’t get diverse viewpoints from people who perhaps see the problem and the world differently than you.

My client’s wisdom was recently brought home to me in connection with the Gen AI hoopla. The last two months have been a whirlwind of conferences for me. During that time, I attended three technology conferences. One was CES, which was generally directed toward consumer electronics and technology. The other two, LegalWeek and ABA TechShow, were both directed at legal technology in particular. Continue Reading Gen AI in Law: A Lawyer Reality Check

On our recent LegalTech Week Journalists Roundtable, we went into a discussion about the increased emphasis of late on so-called midsize law firms. In particular, we talked about their needs when it comes to things like technology.

Certainly, more attention has recently been paid to this group of law firms. Clio provided a Survey entitled Legal Trends for Midsize Law Firms that focused on midsized law firms. Clio recently announced it planned to aggressively market to midsize firms in the future. An outfit called Actionstep recently released its 2024 US Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report. Thompson Reuters recently published its State of the Legal Market Report, which deals in part with midsize law firms.Continue Reading Beyond Size: Navigating the Complexities of Modern Legal Practices

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Two recent studies, one by LexisNexis and one by LawPay-MyCase, looked at the use of AI and Gen AI at two ends of the legal market. The LexisNexis study, entitled 2024 Investing in Legal Innovation Survey, looked at very large law firms and businesses. LexisNexis talked to 266 managing partners and c-suite leaders at AmLaw 200 law firms. LexisNexis also spoke to 50 legal professionals at Fortune 1000 companies and large law firms outside the AmLaw 200. The survey was done between December 6, 2023, and January 9, 2024, so it’s pretty recent.Continue Reading From Big Law to Small Firms: A Tale of Two Cities in Embracing Legal AI

I just got back from LegalWeek 2024 in New York City. LegalWeek is the annual legal tech conference put on by ALM and directed at big law firms and clients. There were lots of exhibitors, lots of parties, and fancy dinners. It’s glitzy and sales and marketing oriented.

This year, as expected, the educational sessions, discussions, and marketing were dominated by generative AI. There were ample predictions about how it will transform the legal profession. The standard refrain was that Gen AI will enable lawyers to spend more time on high level thinking.Continue Reading Innovative Vendors at LegalWeek 2024: A Focus on Customer-Centric Solutions

Every year, Thomson Reuters and the Georgetown Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession come with a report on the State of the Legal Market. I have written about the reports before; I find them enlightening and generally well done. The 2024 Report is based on data from some 179 U.S. law firms developed by Thomson Reuters’ Financial Insights platform. Data came from 48 AmLaw 100 firms, 49 AmLaw second 100 firms, and 82 midsize firms.

The 2024 Report came out in early January this year and, as usual, is chock full of interesting findings. The Report used the historical demise of Pan Am Airlines as an example to drive home a point. Law firms may be facing a tipping point, a point at which they need to refine how they do business to survive. Continue Reading The Thomson Reuters State of the Legal Market Report: Shifting Tides in Legal Practice?

A recent Bloomberg Law story by Jacqueline Thomson reminded me of the question posed by Richard Susskind a few years ago: Is a court a service or a place?” The pandemic and other factors suggest the answer is that fundamental fairness demands our courts be less of a place and more of a service.

The Bloomberg Law article highlights a unique case in which a senior federal district court judge sitting in a Boston courtroom was conducting a bench trial occurring in an Asheville, North Carolina, courtroom. The plaintiff, a former assistant federal public defender, sued the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. This resulted in all the judges in the Circuit recusing themselves. Senior Judge William Young, who is among a group of federal judges who volunteer to preside over cases remotely, was assigned the case.Continue Reading Courts as a Service: The Rise of Remote Judges

I have been amazed at the knee-jerk and head in the sand reaction of many courts to the use of Gen AI by lawyers appearing before them and the use by judges. Several judges have demanded that lawyers disclose the use of Gen AI and, if so, verify the accuracy of the citations that have been used. One judge even went so far as to demand disclosure of any AI tool, generative or not. And the 5th Circuit is considering not only requiring lawyers to disclose and verify but also requiring non-represented parties to do the same. (Like how are they going to do that?)

Of late, though, there have been more studied reactions to Gen AI in law. There is a welcome recognition of its potential benefit in judicial proceedings by both lawyers and judges.Continue Reading Navigating the New Legal Landscape: Courts, Lawyers, and the Rising Influence of Generative AI in Judicial Proceedings