Legal Tech Download: IBM Watson Meets Motion Practice

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By Aebra Coe, originally published by Law360.

The world of legal technology is quickly evolving, with new products aimed at aiding lawyers coming to market in rapid succession. 

The world of legal technology is quickly evolving, with new products aimed at aiding lawyers coming to market in rapid succession. 

In recent days, developments in the legal tech world include the launch of a new ligation tool that makes use of IBM Watson, the completion of a $10.5 million fundraising round for legal technology startup Atrium LTS, and the acquisition of artificial intelligence provider Ravel Law by LexisNexis.

Here, Law360 rounds up the biggest news in legal tech.

BYU Law Launches LawX

Brigham Young University Law School on Tuesday unveiled the launch of LawX, a legal design lab aimed at creating technologies and other products to address the need for access to legal services.

The lab’s corresponding law school course will debut in the fall for second- and third-year BYU Law students. The course will be an immersive, hands-on experience for law students in collaboration with students and professors in other departments at BYU, with the goal of solving one legal challenge a semester.

The first LawX project — slated for fall 2017 — will focus on helping self-represented defendants answer a lawsuit. The project will be directed at everyday people who do not understand how to respond to a lawsuit and might not have the resources to hire an attorney, BYU Law School said.

“LawX will tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our legal system today,” said Gordon Smith, dean of BYU Law School. “Some gaps in legal services may not be attractive targets for innovation by small, private startups or larger profit-oriented businesses, but closing these gaps would make a tremendous difference to many people who feel priced out of the market for legal services.”

Jackson Lewis Offers Data Breach Service

Jackson Lewis PC has entered into a strategic alliance with data breach risk management provider Merchants Information Solutions Inc. through which Merchants customers can engage cybersecurity experts and breach coaches at Jackson Lewis to provide legal counsel in the event of a data incident, Merchants said Tuesday.

Merchants’ product SmartIDentity for Business, through which the Jackson Lewis service will be offered, helps customers mitigate legal and financial risks after a data breach through pre-breach planning, a post-breach response, and help responding to state and federal breach notification laws.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Merchants and its many subscribers as these small to mid-sized businesses are increasingly targeted by hackers. Our cybersecurity attorneys will be able to immediately step in and efficiently guide SmartIDentity for Business members through the incident response process,” said Joseph J. Lazzarotti, leader of Jackson Lewis’ privacy, e-communication and data security practice.

Atrium Wraps Up $10 Million Legal Tech Funding Round

On Tuesday, legal technology startup Atrium LTS confirmed it raised $10.5 million in a recent fundraising round. The news, first reported by TechCrunch last week, comes as Justin.tv founder and Y Combinator alum Justin Kan’s Atrium LTS is looking to launch in the legal technology space.

Kan told TechCrunch that the company’s products will be aimed at making “repeatable processes” in corporate legal work more efficient. The fundraising round was led by General Catalyst and included 100 institutional and angel investors who contributed.

“The companies around us promise customers innovation and efficiency. The law firms that serve them ought to promise the same. My founding team is ready to break down the barriers that have been keeping this $96 billion industry from adopting innovations in business and technology,” Kan says on the Atrium website. “We want to build the legal technology of the future to automate repetitive, low-value work and allow firms to deliver speed, transparency and cost certainty to their clients.”

Litigation Automated Using Watson

Los Angeles-based LegalMation launched a new technology platform Monday that automates tasks involved in the early stages of litigation by using the cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson. LegalMation debuted its application at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Global TEC Forum in San Francisco.

After uploading a complaint, LegalMation generates a draft answer, draft set of requests for production, form interrogatories and special interrogatories in as little as two minutes, the company said.

“Watson’s strength is in its ability to read like a human and understand and categorize information within context. LegalMation’s expert team of litigators and software engineers have ‘trained’ Watson and layered it with proprietary software to produce usable and quality first drafts in a fraction of the time, with increased accuracy and reliability. This is novel for the Watson ecosystem,” said Neil Sahota, IBM Watson worldwide business development leader and member of the LegalMation board of directors.

Legal Tech Partners With Legal Aid

On June 15, legal technology company One Legal revealed an extended partnership with Bay Area Legal

Aid, adding a revenue-sharing element to One Legal’s ongoing donation of technology to the organization, launched in response to steep budget cuts proposed in the current draft of the federal budget for 2018.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, and serving seven Bay Area counties, Bay Area Legal Aid, called BayLegal, may be faced with losing up to one-fourth of its total funding in the coming year, according to the organization. Through its Give Back program, One Legal is providing no-cost access to its legal services and products to BayLegal and will invite law firm customers to enroll in a program in which 5 percent of the net revenue arising from their use of the One Legal platform is donated directly to BayLegal.

“We have both an opportunity and a responsibility,” One Legal President Robert DeFilippis said. “Our organization is well aligned with BayLegal’s mission and I believe many of our law firm customers are as well. We’re just connecting the dots with our Give Back program.”

UK Law Firm Invests in Blockchain

U.K.-based international law firm Gowling WLG is among the founding private-sector members of the Blockchain Research Institute — a multimillion-dollar Toronto-based blockchain research initiative — and is the first law firm to get involved in the process, the firm said June 8.

Led by Don and Alex Tapscott, the BRI’s team is exploring the impact of blockchain on a number of sectors — including financial services, manufacturing, energy and technology — and is investigating how blockchain will change the way companies are managed, the law firm said.

In addition to Gowling WLG, other founding private sector and financial industry members of the BRI include International Business Machines Corp., Accenture PLC, Liberty Global PLC, Nasdaq Inc., TMX Group Ltd. and Thomson Reuters Corp. Founding public sector members include the government of Canada, the government of Ontario, and the city of Toronto.

“Gowling WLG is honoured to be the first international law firm to support BRI’s landmark initiative. It’s exciting to be included among an illustrious group of partners who are investigating the strategic application of blockchain technology,” said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG Canada.

LexisNexis Acquires Ravel Law

LexisNexis Legal & Professional has agreed to acquire Ravel Law, a venture-backed legal research and analytics firm that has developed artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies that enable attorneys to quickly and efficiently mine and glean insight from court documents, the companies said June 8.

The financials of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is part of a push from LexisNexis to bolster the technology offerings that power its core legal research solutions, according to a statement. Ravel Law’s AI, machine-learning and natural language processing technologies allow attorneys to sort through case opinions and other court documents to identify patterns and trends, including how judges and courts make decisions.

“We have a clear vision focused on supporting data-driven lawyers and enabling better insights and better decisions,” explained Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of product management at North American Legal Research Solutions at LexisNexis.

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Platform Overview

LegalMation provides a suite of Artificial Intelligence tools to help litigation attorneys and legal professionals practice at their highest levels. Our litigation automation solutions tackle routine litigation tasks. Unlike existing template generators and form-fillers, LegalMation's ground-breaking AI system is able to dynamically produce responsive pleadings, discovery requests, discovery responses, and related documents that are tailored to the claims, allegations, and requests in the legal document uploaded, incorporating jurisdictional requirements as well as the attorney’s own style, formatting, and response strategy.

Our litigation analytics solution uncovers deep insights into our customers' own data (the data sitting underneath the surface), drilled down to granular data points, previously not possible. The impact? Our solution fundamentally transforms how cases are assigned, budgeted, settled, pitched, and much much more.

Developed by a passionate group of award-winning litigators and highly accomplished software developers, LegalMation is focused on liberating litigators to allow them to focus on more valuable tasks in their practice.

LegalMation distinguishes itself from other Artificial Intelligence products in several key aspects.:

  • LegalMation is the first Artificial Intelligence company to focus solely on using AI to automate and enhance litigation tasks.
  • LegalMation uses cutting-edge AI to power its platform and, unlike some other legal tech platforms, LegalMation requires no human involvement to generate its output.
  • LegalMation's automation solution is not a template generator, form-filler, or other Q&A-driven tool. Rather, our A.I. solutions generate actual work product--caliber drafts of legal documents comparable to that of an attorney or legal professional that only require minor editing and basic review before filing/serving. Drafting these documents from scratch often takes an associate attorney or paralegal an entire day, but our products can produce comparable high-quality drafts in mere minutes.
  • LegalMation's analytics solution, takes an entirely different approach to data analytics. Our proprietary solution ingests a company or law firm's own existing data (billing, case results, etc.) and provides deep insights down to granular levels previously not possible. Unlike publicly available statistics, we believe our customer's own data provides truly actionable insights. After all, less than 5% of case results are publicly available.
  • LegalMation’s solutions are fully customizable to our customers' needs.
  • LegalMation’s solutions are easy to use and require no computer knowledge besides how to use a mouse and keyboard. Our products are browser-based; there is nothing to download or install. The interface is simple and clean, and designed to be accessible to even the least tech-savvy. As a result, the adoption cost for integrating LegalMation to an existing organization's workflow is very, very low.

Corporate In-House Case Study

A leading global retail giant achieves significant savings on legal fees on its high-volume litigation matters using LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool.

The Legal Operations group of a leading global retailer with significant litigation volume across the country was searching for technology tools to increase efficiency and consistency on its litigation matters, lower its legal spend, and obtain more value from outside counsel. Working with LegalMation, the retailer identified two litigation areas with large volume where the deployment of LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool could have a significant impact: employment and premises liability tort litigation.

The retailer conducted a pilot of LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool by asking select outside counsel to run complaints through the LegalMation Complaint Analysis tool and compare the outputs to those generated by the firm’s typical workflow.  LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool was able to generate an answer, requests for production and interrogatories that were almost identical to those generated by outside counsel and tailored to the facts and allegations of each.

Today, this global retailer has made LegalMation an integral part of its workflow and case assignment process. When a new lawsuit is served on the retailer in one of the jurisdictions where LegalMation operates, an in-house paralegal runs the complaint through LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool and sends the output, consisting of an answer, requests for production, interrogatories, and other jurisdiction or firm-specific output to the selected outside counsel for the matter.  Outside counsel then bills the retailer solely for the time spent reviewing and editing this initial output which generates significant savings for the global retailer.

Challenge

  • Increasing budgetary pressure to lower outside counsel legal fees
  • Obtain more value from hours billed by outside counsel
  • Lack of consistency in work product and quality from outside counsel

Solution

  • Deploy LegalMation internally to generate initial draft responsive documents in minutes
  • Integrate LegalMation into its initial case assignment process

Results

  • Up to 80% savings on outside counsel legal fees on key early stage litigation document drafting.
  • Reallocation of outside counsel time away from process/routine work to higher value strategic tasks.
  • Increased consistency and quality in work product

Large Firm Case Study

An Am Law 100 labor and employment law firm was searching for ways to become more competitive and capture more market share

Handling over 5,000 employment related litigation matters per year across the country, the Am Law 100 law firm (the “Firm”) needed a quantifiable solution to lower its servicing costs and provide more value to its national clients. The Firm engaged in extensive testing of LegalMation’s platform across multiple offices to determine its effectiveness.

Using LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool, the Firm was able to reduce the attorney time spent preparing answers, affirmative defenses, and initial written discovery (requests for production, interrogatories, and other jurisdiction-specific requests) from an average of 6-8 hours per matter, to less than 1 hour (including review time by an attorney). The Firm tested LegalMation’s tools across multiple types of employment cases across various jurisdictions and concluded that the resulting draft documents were not only produced incredibly fast, but were also consistent in quality.

Today, the Firm is able to offer more competitive proposals for its volume matters, which in turn allows it to obtain additional work from national clients.

Challenge

  • Downward price pressure in high-volume, lower-exposure matters
  • Making Alternative Fee Arrangements more competitive and yet more profitable
  • Differentiate from competitors during marketing pitches
  • Lack of work product consistency from associates/paralegals

Solution

  • Integrate LegalMation into volume litigation matters in the Firm’s busiest offices

Results

  • Up to 80% time savings on key litigation tasks
  • Higher profit margins on volume matters, particularly those on AFAs
  • More distinctive marketing
  • Higher levels of associate satisfaction

SMALL LAW Firm Case Study

A high-caliber general litigation boutique reduced paralegal and associate time and money expended on key early litigation tasks by 75%+

A general litigation boutique with around 40 attorneys needed to cut costs in order to stay competitive in a very crowded local market and also sought to minimize reliance on support staff.

Using LegalMation’s platform, the boutique law firm was able to reduce the attorney (and paralegal) time spent preparing answers, initial discovery (requests for production and interrogatories), and discovery responses, including objections, from several hours per matter, to less than 1 hour (including review time by a supervising attorney). The boutique firm tested LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool and Discovery Analysis tool across multiple practice areas and concluded that the resulting draft documents were not only produced incredibly fast but also with consistency and quality similar to its own junior attorneys and paralegals. In particular, the boutique law frim, which did not have the luxury of a large support staff, found LegalMation’s Discovery Request tool particularly helpful in dealing with burdensome discovery requests served on its clients.

Today, the boutique law firm is able to offer more competitive proposals for its matters and through the efficiency gained by LegalMation’s platform compete against national law firms with more resources.

Challenge

  • Downward price pressure due to a crowded local market
  • Limited associate/paralegal resources to handle routine drafting tasks
  • Compete against national law firms with more resources
  • Differentiate from competitors during marketing pitches
  • Lack of work product consistency from associates/paralegals

Solution

  • Deploy LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool to generate initial draft responsive pleadings, and the Discovery Analysis tool to quickly generate shells and responsive objections throughout the life of a case

Results

  • 70-85% time savings on key litigation tasks
  • Higher profit margins on volume matters, particularly those on AFAs
  • More distinctive marketing
  • Higher levels of associate satisfaction
  • Reduced staff overtime
 

Success Story

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John Smith,
Company Name
James M. Lee
Co-Founder & CEO

James M. Lee is co-founder and CEO of LegalMation. He is a founding partner of LTL Attorneys LLP, a nationally recognized litigation boutique. As an experienced litigator, he has tried numerous cases in federal and state courts. He has been recognized as a top business litigator by various legal publications including the National Law Journal. James has served as lead counsel to a number of Fortune and multinational clients including Wal-Mart, Thomson Reuters, Symantec, and VIZIO. He was formerly associated with litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel before co-founding LTL Attorneys. He is a frequent and noted speaker and commentator in the field of AI and innovations in the field of law. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, and his B.S. from the University of Southern California. At LegalMation, James serves as the key driver of the Company’s vision and strategy.

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Insurance COMPANY Case Study

A national insurance carrier achieves significant savings on its high-volume, low exposure litigation matters through its adoption of LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool

A national insurance carrier with significant litigation volume across the country for its insureds, was searching for technology, tools, and processes to increase efficiency on its litigation matters to lower its litigation costs. This national insurance carrier partnered with LegalMation to identify an area of litigation where LegalMation could have a significant and immediate impact and decided to deploy LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool for all of its third-party motor vehicle tort litigation.

LegalMation worked closely with the national insurance carrier to customize the output from its platform to generate documents that mirrored the current output of the national insurance carrier’s attorneys and paralegals.  LegalMation was able to automate the creation of an answer, requests for production of documents, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and deposition notices, all tailored to the facts and allegations of each complaint and almost indistinguishable from those manually created by the insurance company’s attorneys and paralegals.  LegalMation was able to generate this output in 2-3 minutes—a significant time savings over the insurance company’s prior practice for generating this output.

Following a pilot program consisting of processing all of its complaints for a single jurisdiction through LegalMation, the national insurance company made LegalMation an integral part of its workflow for all jurisdictions where LegalMation currently operates. In these jurisdictions, when a new motor vehicle-related lawsuit is served on the insurance company or its insureds, the assigned counsel or paralegal runs the complaint through the LegalMation Complaint Analysis tool, downloads the initial outputs, which are then reviewed by the attorney or paralegal and finalized, all within a few minutes.

Challenge

  • Increasing budgetary pressure to lower legal spend on defense of insureds
  • Obtain more value from staff counsel
  • Reduce legal secretary/paralegal overtime

Solution

  • Deploy LegalMation internally so staff/captive counsel can generate initial response draft documents in minutes

Results

  • Up to 80% time savings on key litigation tasks
  • Reallocation of staff/captive counsel time away from process/volume work to higher value strategic tasks
  • Increased consistency and quality in work product

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