Jack Heller reviews recent research conducted by Casetext identifying a major concern on the part of judges concerning the rigor and accuracy of current legal research by litigators. Judges believe attorneys miss important cases often, and when they do, it has real consequences in the course of a litigation.
In his article Ken Grady describes one possible future for the legal services that embodies radical transformation. He bases this new paradigm on Elon Musk’s premise: the only things unchangeable are the laws of nature. In the case of your law practice this means that regulations, custom, habits, and processes and procedures are all the focus of actionable change. Grady suggests specific ways that the innovative use of current technology and how you approach your work and client services can effectively and positively impact the not too distant future of your profession.
Itai Gurari discusses Judicata’s latest technology solution – Clerk – that evaluates briefs filed in court, grading them on three dimensions: Arguments, Drafting, and Context. The grading reflects factors like how strong the brief’s arguments are, how persuasive the relied upon cases are, and the extent to which the brief cites precedent that supports the desired outcome.
“AI” has become an ever-present marketing buzzword in many sectors, not least of which in the legal arena. Machine learning applications are promising to deliver remarkably accurate software and data solutions while downplaying the critical intersection with the human component. Itai Gurari discusses and illustrates his approach for applying AI to the delivery of accurate legal research by having a human in the loop who is continuously iterating on the technology. In this scenario, the users can rely on a person whenever the problem gets too hard and the technology starts to fail, rather than on an overarching one-size-fits-all machine learning solution.
Our exposure to and reliance upon an increasingly ubiquitous range of technology is intertwined with issues related to intellectual property law. With smartphone cameras used to capture and share what their respective creators otherwise claim as intellectual property, to the devices, services and applications that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT), Ken Grady raises significant and as yet unresolved concerns about how the rule of law will be applied in response to the use, and misuse, of AI and digital personal assistants.
Legal AI pioneer Itai Gurari’s article is a commentary and a lessons learned that is critical to our communities of best practice as we seek to effectively assess both the promise and significant drawbacks of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of the legal sector. As Gurari clearly articulates, building reliably intelligent legal software requires more than just the application of the latest trendy tools. It requires building systems that are robust and that respect the use cases for which they are designed.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has permeated all facets of our lives – professional, family, social – more quickly and expansively than many are willing to acknowledge. The repercussions of IoT are multifaceted – and directly impact issues that span privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property rights, civil liberties and the law. Law and technology scholar Joshua A.T. Fairfield discusses the ramifications of allowing our environment to be seeded with sensors that gather our personal data using a plethora of devices we now consider to be essential conveniences.
Nicole Black’s article addresses how solo and small law firms can effectively implement business process improvements using applications for critical tasks including time-tracking, billing, and invoicing.
Andrew Arruda, CEO/Co-founder of ROSS Intelligence talks about how new artificial intelligent methods currently under development to leverage deep learning and neural nets will be game changers in the area of legal research.
Smart computing is changing the nature of legal work even as the profession struggles to understand its scope. Machines sophisticated enough to communicate intelligibly and naturally with human hosts, technology with the processing power to wrangle big data are enhancing the way attorneys do their jobs and affecting the way they think. Law practices are now set up in paperless offices, cases litigated in hi-tech courtrooms, research done almost exclusively online, demanding higher levels of technical competency and professional responsibility. The vocabulary of technology is filling the legal landscape: algorithms, analytics, artificial intelligence (A.I.), automated decision-making, avatars, big data, cloud computing, code, cognitive computing, computer-aided, computer-generated, creative computing, cyborg, data driven, data mining, data science, data trails, deep learning, electronic discovery (e-discovery), expert systems, machine learning, metadata, mobile technology, mosaic theory, natural language, neural networks, paperless and virtual offices, pattern matching, predictive analytics, robotics, self-replicating technologies, smart data, smart technology, source code, and supercomputers. So, time worn lexicons and practice libraries are infiltrated with the latest computer terminologies and technical manuals. The work of lawyers, judges and government officials increasingly relies on the processing power of microchips. So, the Bartleby of tomorrow is taking shape today. From document assembly to document drafting, the borderlands of decision-making, data analysis, and communication will mark the progress of law and raise new questions for the administration of justice. And the breadth of information competence will need to expand with each new generation of technology. This article by Ken Strutin is a significant, comprehensive and expert guide to recent and notable works on the automation of lawyering, the administration of law and legal thinking.