Will Generative AI awaken the need for serious focus legal research education?

The introduction of Generative AI to the practice of law has been anything but smooth. First there was the unfortunate case of Mr. Schwartz who used Chat GPT-3 to write a brief complete with hallucinated cases which he submitted to a federal  court in New York. Judge castell of the Southern District of New York noted that the attorneys had “abandoned their responsibilities.” More recently there have been the controversies related to a Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) team study criticizing the quality of the Lexis and WL generative AI products. The study was so roundly criticized that it was revised and reissued. The HAI study’s conclusions regarding the Westlaw Precision AI and Lexis+  AI products requires a nuanced understanding of the HAI benchmarking definitions.  The HAI studies flag a wide range of issues including some which appear to be subjective. Problems noted range from a “true hallucination” to a factual error e.g. name of a judge, to the length of responses. Everyone agrees that legal generative AI products require serious benchmarking studies, but Stanford fumbled the ball.

Selling any new legal technology to law firms is hard. Selling generative AI products to law firms appears to be moving at a glacial pace and this post will explore some of the obstacles to adoption of GAI in legal. There are probably more stakeholders in the mix than I have seen for any prior technology. Most noticeable is the presence of the General Counsel/Ethics Officer who in many firms is waving cautionary flags. Then there are clients who are sending conflicting signals limiting, requiring or banning use of GAI products on their matters.  Add to this stew of ambiguity, the proliferation of judges rules restricting or establishing requirements regarding not only the use of generative AI but AI products in general. (AI is probably in  90% of the products the average lawyer uses including their smartphone).

Why are law firms are holding off generative AI adoption for legal research?

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Continue Reading Generative AI Risk in Legal Research: Is the Fault in the Technology or in Ourselves? Answer is Both

It was only a year ago that the US based Fastcase was merged with a European legal information and technology company vLex. In what I have to assume is a move to compete with Casetext and Lexis + AI, Harvey would be positioning itself to take on the Generative AI strategies of Thomson Reuters and Lexis Nexis. Both companies have anchored their AI products in their proprietary “trusted” legal content which dramatically reduces the risk of “hallucinated” answers. For obvious reasons, hallucinations are intolerable specters haunting the growth of GAI in the practice of law.

A reader tipped me off to the rumor that Harvey is seeking $600 million so that it can purchase vLex. Fastcase was founded by former big law attorneys Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal in 1999. vLex was founded by attorney Luis Faus.

Harvey was founded by former big law attorney  Winston Weinberg, CEO, and Gabriel Pereyra, president, Harvey has a low media profile, The executives rarely give interviews, they didn’t exhibit at Legal Week tech conference in New York this year, their website is spectacularly understated. My colleague Bob Ambrogi has covered Harvey regularly on his website and earlier this month reported that the company was looking to acquire a legal research company.

Does this have a real potential for disruption of the Thomson Reuters/LexisNexis duopoly?

Continue Reading Breaking Rumor: Harvey Seeking to Buy vLex? A Move for Global Dominance?

This checklist assumes that the reader has a basic understanding of key concepts related to Generative AI  (GAI) including Large Language Models (LLM), Machine Learning, neural networks, deep learning and retrieval augmented generation [Editor’s note: . Many vendors and legal tech related organizations including the American Association of Law Libraries offer webinars and resources to their members or customers.

In response to discussions with colleagues and my own discussions with vendors I have outlined below the key issues to be considered in planning for the acquisition of GAI products related to legal research. Every organization is different and my hope is that this list can provide an outline which can be adapted to the specific issues and needs across law firm, government and academic law libraries.

Outline of Generative AI Acquisition Issues

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Continue Reading Checklist for Developing a Research / Library Generative AI Procurement Plan

Acquisition will combine Henchman’s Document Management System data enrichment with trusted LexisNexis drafting guidance content to deliver personalized generative AI experience

NEW YORK, June 3, 2024 – LexisNexis Legal & Professional®, a leading global provider of information and analytics, today announced it has agreed to acquire Henchman, a legal tech company that enriches data from Document Management Systems (DMS) for faster document drafting. Henchman is a Belgium-based company, founded in 2020, with 170+ legal and corporate customers globally including top U.S. and European law firms and companies.

By acquiring Henchman, LexisNexis will deliver personalized generative AI solutions to customers around the world. Henchman core product functionality will be available to existing and new customers. LexisNexis has immediate plans to utilize Henchman’s technology with its proprietary Retrieval Augmented Generation 2.0 (RAG 2.0) platform in its flagship Lexis+ AI solution, enabling the use of trusted customer data as grounding data for generative AI drafting. Henchman’s capabilities will also be added to Lexis® Create, the Microsoft 365 add-in solution that enables point-of-workflow integration for generative AI drafting in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Teams and Copilot.

Henchman is used by leading law firms and corporations to enrich internal work product, creating a layer of intelligence on contract databases to accelerate drafting tasks.

Continue Reading Breaking News: Press Release – LexisNexis to Acquire Document Drafting Tech Provider Henchman

Today vlex and iManage,  are announcing a new partnership which will integrate and enhance their customer’s workflows and access to firm’s knowledge base. Subscribers to the two services will be able to simultaneously query their firm “know how” in their iManage DMS and the vLex public law library and generate an answer. In addition, the firm’s state and federal litigation filings will be identified in DocketAlarm,  and loaded into the correct client matter folder in iManage.

Here are more details on the two initial integration points:

Continue Reading vLex and iManage Announce Workflow Integrations to Enhance Law Firm Knowledge and insights.

Today Thomson Reuters announced the “Buy Now Program” which will enable law firms and legal departments to lock in pricing before the official rollout of their new CoCounsel Drafting solution.

 Rawia Ashraf, VP, Product, Legal Technology at Thomson Reuters provided a product walkthrough. She described the product as an end-to-end workflow solution for both transactional lawyers and litigators. The beta version of the transactional tool is currently available to 20 law firms and legal departments.

According to  a recent Thomson Reuters survey,  lawyers spend 40 to 60% of their time drafting and that 96% are dissatisfied with their drafting tools.

The CoCounsel Drafting tool is grounded in Practical Law content and will also allow firms to access their own Sharepoint document. The tool does not currently integrate with document management systems but that linkage is being developed.

Integration with Other TR products – the full functionality of the Drafting Tool  requires customers to also have subscriptions to Practical Law, Deal Proof and Westlaw when the litigation drafting tool is launched. WestKM, Thomson Reuters knowledge management solution was not mentioned as a potential component. Since many law firms still have not built workable KM solutions, is there an opportunity to address the KM gap by creating an AI enabled version of WestKM?

The Knowledge Management Gap.  many firms have not yet developed their own playbooks or curated precedent repositories, TR is prepared to help firms develop their own playbooks. As AI is integrated into the DMS products these new features should help firms identify and tag their precedent documents.

How it works.  Workflow is driven by CoCounsel drafting tool.

Continue Reading Thomson Reuters announces the “Buy Now Program” for New CoCounsel Drafting end-to-end Solution.

I have been following Fastcase since 2011 when I wrote a blogpost, highlighting their innovative approach to legal research which included visual timelines and a feature called “foresight” that identified relevant precedent without relying on keywords. Fastcase was the brainchild of co-founders  Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal, former big law associates who were driven by a passion to “democratize the law.”

Since 2011, I have written an astonishing 49 stories on my blog tracking Fastcase’s various upgrades, acquisitions and alliances.  Acquisitions include: Casemaker, Loislaw, Docket Alarm, Judicata’s “Legal genome,” TopForm, Next Chapter and Law Street Media. They expanded business intelligence, legal treatises, expert witness profiles, and corporate content by entering alliances with a host of companies, including Courtroom, Insight, JurisPro, the ABA, TransUnion, James Publishing , The Practicing Law Institute, Littler, Wolters, Kluwer, and Association of Immigration Lawyers and Matterhorn.

A year ago this month cast Fastcase merged with vLex,  the international research platform. I was really excited to talk to Ed Walters, Chief Strategy Officer at vLex and get his take on the vLex merger as well as the state of the legal tech market, advice for entrepreneurs and teaching robot law to next generation of lawyers.

O’Grady: It is a year since Fastcase merged with vLex. Has it been a win-win for both companies?

Walters: Fastcase was very successful as a 24-year-old bootstrapped company. We had not gotten a lot of outside financing, and we had grown Fastcase incrementally and responsibly as a profitable company. At the beginning of 2023 it was pretty clear, that we were coming into an age where “speed to market” and artificial intelligence were going to be more important than ever, and candidly, we just didn’t have the resources to compete as an independent, slow-growth company.

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Continue Reading The Fastcase/ vLex Merger – A Talk with Ed Walters on the State of the Legal Tech Market, Advice for Start-ups, Generative AI and Robot Law in Legal Education

Corporate legal professionals can now scale management of the entire outside counsel experience from start to finish

Houston, TX — TBD — Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions today announced the launch of LegalCollaborator, a breakthrough legal engagement and competitive bidding software that marks the next evolution in the company’s innovative approach to Total Legal Spend Management. The solution integrates seamlessly with ELM Solutions’ TyMetrix 360° and Passport platforms to not only capture early law firm engagement information and competitive pricing insights, but also provide enforcement of pricing agreements for full vendor transparency and cost management.

“With the launch of LegalCollaborator, Wolters Kluwer continues to lead the way for innovation in comprehensive software solutions empowering corporate legal departments and their law firm partners,” said Raja Sengupta, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions. “Our market-leading combination of deep domain knowledge, insights mined from industry’s deepest and broadest datasets and comprehensive enterprise legal management software help legal professionals to maximize value in every phase of their engagements.”

For the first time, legal professionals will have access to an efficient, scalable and transparent process for initiating single law firm engagements and competitive bids. LegalCollaborator removes subjectivity from law firm selection, providing a series of pre-defined templates that allow users to efficiently collect and view critical matter details such as conflict waivers, strategy, staffing and pricing structure side-by-side. A user-friendly interface will provide corporate legal teams with more transparency into their matters, driving an unparalleled ability to accomplish the desired outcome at the best possible cost. Meanwhile their law firm partners can use the solution to demonstrate the unique strategies and crucial differentiators paramount to successful matter outcomes. This generates a more competitive bidding environment that brings only the best firms to the top.

By integrating LegalCollaborator with TyMetrix 360° and Passport, Wolters Kluwer is helping organizations streamline the disconnected matter planning and competitive bid management systems that have traditionally made it difficult to successfully track spend throughout the life of a matter. For example, users can leverage AI-powered spend management tools such as ELM Solution’s LegalVIEW BillAnalyzer, as well as the $180+ billion in historical performance data found in the LegalVIEW database, to both set as well as enforce strong billing guidelines to tightly control spend. For more information about Wolters Kluwer’s please visit: www.wolterskluwer.com

This week Lex Machina   reached a significant state court analytics milestone with the addition of the 100th state court. Lex Machina .launched as a patent litigation analytics project out of Stanford. in 2008 . Since acquisition by LexisNexis, it was expanded to cover business litigation in all federal trial courts. The company took on the challenges of taming the  disparate and unruly world of state court litigation. with the inaugural state court launch of Delaware Chancery in 2018. T

Valuable New Tranche of Corporate Litigation. The reached the 100 state court mark recently with the addition of litigation analytics for Suffolk County Supreme Court and Westchester County Supreme Court (the “New York Courts”) and Oklahoma County District Court (the “Oklahoma Court”).  They previously launched the five counties within the boundaries of New York City (New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond and the Bronx) in 2020. As a former New Yorker I am astonished that it took four years to reach these two suburban boroughs.  These counties are home to some major corporate players. Westchester is home to companies much as Mastercard, Pepsi, IBM and Regeneron. Suffolk is home to the likes of Canon USA, Estee Lauder, Lenovo and Nikon USA – not to mention the Hampton’s “gold coast.” This is a valuable new data tranche.

The Filters. The enhanced state court analytics offer the standard Lex Machina benchmarking data on judges, courts, law firms, individual attorneys. Notable features of this enhanced

Continue Reading Lex Machina Now Offers 100 State Courts With Enhanced Analytics

Today LexisNexis Legal & Professional®,  is unveiling its second-generation legal generative AI Assistant on  the Lexis+ AI platform. The new AI Assistant was developed based on user feedback. And now offers a more personalized experience All existing Lexis+ AI customers will have access to the enhanced AI Assistant. The AI Assistant features enables conversational search, insightful summarization, intelligent legal drafting, and document upload and analysis capabilities in an intuitive user experience.  

Recently launched and upcoming enhancements include: 

Continue Reading LexisNexis Launches 2nd Gen Legal AI Assistant on Lexis+ AI