TechLaw Crossroads

Exploring the intersection of technology and the law.

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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…
If productivity increases are passed along to customers via lower prices or better quality services, then the demand for whatever goods and services are being provided is likely to rise… Daniel Susskind A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond   Imagine a well-heeled consultant coming to your law firm and saying guys (yes, its usually guys. See my most recent rail on this subject) “I have great news. You can lower your rates and make more money”! He or she would likely be fired on the spot for such heresy. After all, the mantra of most law…
We all suffer daily with trying to figure out the “new normal. In the following Guest Post,  Rose Jackson discusses how to make the new normal better than normal. What we can do to improve ourselves and organizations as a result of the circumstances . How we can adapt. I recently met Rose and was impressed with her insights. I think you will be too. Rose E. Jackson, MBA, is the Chief Empowerment Officer at Professional Legal User Support Specialists (PLUSS), LLC, a technology trainer and user support professional who specializes in legal applications.  With over 30 years of training,…
In my former life as a defense product liability lawyer, I was often called on by clients to evaluate the exposure and risk of a case. Or I might need to determine whether and how many similar cases there might be out there to better assess risk. Or I might want to know what experts to vet and hire. Obtaining this information wasn’t easy, however. It took time and patience and even then was not always complete. You had to look at a variety of sources in different places. Often the results allowed you to make little more than a…
Based on the survey findings, there are gaps to fill, and there is progress to be made.” Amidst all the proclamations that the law profession has turned some sort of tech and innovation corner because of the pandemic comes a reality jarring Survey from Wolters Kluwer. The Survey, entitled The 2020 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Report, reveals that clients and law firms remain far apart in how they view the world and what they value. The Survey was performed before the crisis. But the fundamental disparity in understanding, expectation, and even values hasn’t changed. Given the mindset…
By Rich Smith Technology assisted review (predictive coding) for ediscovery still strikes fear in the hearts of many lawyers. Indeed, in the last ABA Legal Technology Survey (2018) only 12% of the respondents reported using predictive coding to process or review e-discovery materials.  Many reported  significant concerns about cost and the validity of the process. In the following Guest Post, Rich Smith discusses the use and advantages of technolgy assisted review and dispels many of  the concerns about use.  Rich Smith is a Senior eDiscovery Consultant for Page One Legal. With 7 years of legal technology experience, Rich will be…
Last summer, I wrote two pieces about the lack of gender equality in the profession generally and big law in particular. These were based on an ABA Survey, which summarized several recent trends of the profession in such areas as diversity, women, legal education, technology, and more. It was not a pretty picture. (My first piece summarized the findings, the second responded to some criticisms of my interpretations of the Survey’s findings).   A recent Survey by Burford Capital conducted by Ari Kaplan Advisors, confirms the startling gap between men and women law firm compensation, especially at the…
Amidst all the reports of downturns in the legal business with firms cutting pay and furloughing staff, there are bright spots. I recently talked with Kristin Tyler, one of the founders of LAWCLERK, and one of the more astute observers of the innovation and legal tech scene. She had lots of good news about LAWCLERK. She also had some interesting observations of where legal may be going–a subject that seems to be on many pundits’ minds these days. It’s always good to hear, though, from someone actually in the business.     LAWCLERK connects its stable of freelance…
When I was a young lawyer learning how to try cases, s senior partner would always tell me: start every case by developing a chronology. What he meant was you can always better understand the case and see things you might otherwise miss if you look at the timing of the underlying facts.   My mentor’s advice was sound, at least in simple cases. The problem was that, especially in complicated cases, the chronology or timeline–which in those days was always done on paper—quickly became so long and complicated. As the case progressed, it tended to collapse of its own…
Opus 2, which has been offering a semi-virtual integrated hearing and trail platform internationally, is now poised to also video capability, enabling completely virtually trials and hearings to take place seamlessly.   No doubt, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the face of how lawyers work at least for now. Whether it will permanently probably depends on how long we are locked down. It hinges on the future willingness of lawyers and, more importantly, clients to pay for the expense and time associated with working in a non-virtual manner. Let’s face it, a lot of costs are incurred getting to…
Curses, like chickens, come home to roost.” – Susanna Moodie, Life in Canada, 1852 Like many of you, I have watched our world and my world change and plunge into chaos. I set a goal this year to write one blog post per week. Coronavirus blew a big hole in that goal. Not because I have it, at least not yet. But because, like many of you, I have been all too consumed with worry, fear, and planning. Worry I’ll get it. Fear it will be debilitating. Fear I will not survive. Planning how to wash my hands and disinfect…
As I have mentioned before, one barrier to law firm innovation is the failure of clients to demand it. If a new OpenText survey is any indication, though, that may be changing.   OpenText is an enterprise information management (EIM) business. Among other things, it offers a variety of eDiscovery tools to law firms and companies. It recently released the results of a third annual survey directed at the eDiscovery practices of large corporations.   The critical take way: in house legal departments are consolidating their eDiscovery providers. Meaning that law firms no longer have free rein to decide who…
And you still can hear me singingTo the people who don’t listenTo the things that I am sayingPraying someone’s gonna hearAnd I guess I’ll die explaining howThe things that they complain aboutAre things they could be changingHoping someone’s gonna care Kris Kristofferson, To Beat the Devil Is the legal world really changing, or are we all still just talking about change?   Last week, for the first time in a couple of years, I attended the ABA TechShow in Chicago. It’s one of my favorite legal tech shows. Since its geared more toward smaller firms and solo lawyers, there is…
Level 2 Legal Solutions, which calls itself a legal services company, today announced the formation of new Compliance and Privacy Practice Areas. These practice areas, according to Level 2 Legal, are specifically geared towards corporate counsel and law firm needs. That in and of itself might not necesarily sound like big news, especially since Level 2 Legal has been in this space for a while. But what Level 2 Legal is doing is, in fact, a good lesson in disruption, innovation, and how to compete in today’s changing legal marketplace. Level 2 Legal started about 11 years ago as…
Bob Ambrogi and I have a running dispute. He says I was the first one to ask whether it might be malpractice to not use legal data analytics in today’s litigation world. I say he was the first one to ask that very legitimate question. But it really doesn’t matter who first coined the question. Recent results from the third annual Legal Analytics Survey by LexisNexis suggests if the answer is not already yes, it’s getting darn close to it. Here are some key stats from the Study entitled Bringing Legal Analytics Into Focus: 70% of large law firms use…