TechLaw Crossroads

Exploring the intersection of technology and the law.

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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 Blackbolier’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…
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…
 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.  *****************************************************************   Legal departments are facing multiple challenges now, as the COVID pandemic continues and businesses across many sectors are struggling.    With so much uncertainty in the economy, it is critical for legal departments to engage in meticulous…
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…
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…
On October 15, LexisNexis announced and launched Juris 3.0. Juris 3.0 is the latest generation of LexisNexis’ billing, accounting, and financial management software for law firms.   Juris’s three major updates are: An integration with ClientPay for online payment acceptance to streamline credit card and e payment processing better. An improved reporting module that provides firm leaders real-time view of billing and payment information. Upgrades to the email template to improve email billing workflows.   Usually, I don’t get too excited about back-office software and platforms for law firms since I focus more on the practice of law. But…
Like most of you, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the virtual, Zoom world these days. We have hearings, do depositions, have meetings, and mediations all online. It saves time and money and, of course, is the only real option these days.   I’m continually amazed at how little attention people pay to their sound and appearance in online venues.   But for all the time we all spend online, I’m continually amazed at how little attention people pay to their sound and appearance in online venues. Most litigators wouldn’t think of going to court without a coat…
BlackBoiler, an automated contract markup technology provider, today announced it has secured $3.2 million in funding from strategic investors, including agreement cloud company DocuSign. BlackBoiler plans to use the funds to further develop its patented software capabilities and accelerate team growth.      Dan Broderick, BlackBoiler’s CEO and founder, and his team must be congratulated for this significant new funding. But after recently talking to Dan and Verun Mehta, CEO of Factor (see my recent post), I’m beginning to wonder whether this lasting legal disruption brought about by Covid that everyone keeps talking about is really…
This morning, Factor, (formerly Axiom) one of the most prominent alternative legal service providers, announced the appointment of Carol Lindstrom, former Vice-Chair of Deloitte, to its Board of Directors. Lindstrom’s appointment comes as Factor closed on a new investment from Carrick Capital Partners – one of the largest recent investments in the global legal solutions market – which will allow Factor to quickly capitalize on the opportunities and momentum it has built since the beginning of the year.         To say Lindstrom is a heavy hitter would be a gross understatement and follows Factor’s recent…
Are you still using a screen and projector in the courtroom and in your live presentations? If so, this is one you might want to change.   As lawyers and all in the legal business, we are constantly called on to persuade, teach and communicate with others. Like us, most of the people we interact with consume content in ways many lawyers have been slow to adopt. This can put us at a disadvantage.   Take screens and projectors. Many of us still use them to put evidence and information in front of an audience. But now that courthouses are…
  “Some people see things as they are never and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not.”     For months, ILTA (the International Legal Technology Association) remained committed to its annual in-person conference in Nashville on August 23 through 27.  As most of you know, the ILTA Conference is on the largest in the legal tech space.     As 2020 drug on and the pandemic got worse, we all saw most events either canceling or going virtual. ILTA stubbornly and almost single-handedly hung on to the idea that we would be back…
One of the more fascinating keynotes at this week’s ILTA virtual conference was a panel discussion among three representatives of the big four accounting firms: Peter Krakaur, Managing Director of EY Law, Mark Ross, Principal, Deloitte, and Juan Crosby, PWC NewLaw Services Leader. The title of the talk was Legal’s Next Disruptor? Demystifying the Big 4. Or as I put it before, is the Big 4 the proverbial big bad wolf? If you may be wondering, the answer whether will the Big 4 be the next legal disruptor is not only yes. Its hell yes. (It’s…
As most of you know, this year’s ILTA conference is totally virtual. I don’t know whether it’s the outstanding content, the innovative approaches ILTA has rolled out or whether I’m just used to living virtually, but I’ve been impressed (more on this later).   Yesterday’s keynote (there is a keynote every morning) was a nuts and bolts discussion about law firms’ future. The presenter was Richard Punt, former CEO of Peerpoint. He  has a long history in legal and is now the Chief Legal Strategist and Market Development for Thomson Reuters. He has a ringside seat to…
As most of you know, in the United Kingdom, you are frequently reminded to “mind the gap” when stepping on and off trains. It’s a precaution to watch out for the gap between the train and the platform, so you don’t trip and fall flat on your face.   I was reminded of this this admonition recently. LexisNexis has rolled out a premium research service called Lexis+. I had a chance to talk to Jeff Pfeifer, LexisNexis’ Chief Product Officer and David Ganote, LexisNexis’ Senior Director of Product planning, about the product and the design process.  …
I have talked before about legal tech products that either try to do too much or are so nonintuitive that lawyers who bill by the hour won’t use them. One problem often begets the other: in attempting to do too much, a product often becomes too cumbersome to learn and use. I have found examples though of legal tech developers that get it right. Casepoint, for example, which I have written about before. More recently, LexisNexis’ Product Liability Navigator has found the sweet spot as well.     Add to these examples the platform being offered by a company…
I recently wrote and published a piece on my blog about the LexisNexis Product Navigator, an analytical program I thought was very impressive. After I published that post, I learned more about the team at LexisNexis that put it together. The product was designed and built by the User Experience (UX) Group at LexisNexis and Michael Oberle, a Senior UX Designer II, along with the Product and Development Team. The UX team includes UX Designers, UX researchers, and Visual and Product Designers. Michael and I exchanged several messages about the product, which was his first while with LexisNexis. According…