Today Casetext is launching CARA AI which offers significant changes to both the CARA and Casetext research experience. Today CARA is being transformed from a citation analysis tool into a full fledged legal research engine.
I had a chance to talk to Casetext co-founders Jake Heller and Pablo Arredondo about the launch . Heller, the CEO of Casetext describes these enhancements as “helping attorneys at any phase of their research find better authorities faster.” Arredondo, who is the Chief Legal Research Officer described CARA AI as offering a solution like Google, Apple and Amazon Prime — “CARA AI gives you only what you need.”
Key features include:
- Seamless integration of CARA AI contextual search into the traditional research workflow.
- The ability to execute searches by loading briefs, motions, complaints and answers.
- An enhanced user interface, upgraded algorithm and increased speed.
Speed The press release states that these enhancements make Casetext the “fastest research platform.” They did not provide any data to back this statement up, but the demo I saw showed the new platform delivering near immediate search results and document retrievals. I have to agree –CARA AI is lightening fast.
Drag and Drop: Beyond Briefs to Documents without Citations.
Two years ago CARA wowed the market with their Brief as search functionality. Drag and drop a brief into CARA and though an algorithm and citation analysis CARA delivers a report identifying relevant precedents which are missing from the brief. It was pretty impressive, but at its initial launch the product could not be limited to specific jurisdictions.
The Drop Kick CARA’s evolution makes today’s relaunch even more impressive. CARA AI can analyze litigation documents which are completely lacking in citations! An attorney can now drag and drop a complaint into CARA AI and get a list of recommended authority based on the specific legal issues, facts and the jurisdiction in the complaint. Even the most advanced research platforms from Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law require lawyers to read a brief/complaint/motion – identify the issues, facts and jurisdiction and key in the relevant terms. Over the past twenty years, advanced legal research platforms have successfully eliminated the need to understand Boolean logic and protocols, but until today no one had eliminated the need for a lawyer to identify keywords in order execute a search. Nonetheless, keywords can and should be used in CARA AI to focus results. Nonetheless the fact remains that CARA AI can identify the relevant legal, factual and jurisdictional concepts as the result of a a “drag and drop” process which enables an entire document to be analyzed by an algorithm… even a document such as a complaint which is lacking case law citations. The CARA AI “tires still need to be kicked” in the marketplace, but the preview demo I saw showed me a product that warranted further examination by researchers and lawyers.
Is Legal Research Becoming Dangerously Easy? I have to confess, “I think in Boolean.” I learned online research in a command driven, dial up, analog environment. Habits die hard. I still cling to the notion that familiarity with traditional legal research tools and methods provide a useful framework of analysis. Those of us who are responsible for teaching legal research to the next generation of lawyers, may find themselves taking a deep breath after seeing CARA AI. We face the prospect of machines delivering research results based on a document which an associate may not have actually read! Reminding lawyers to read original documents and to assess the recommendations of any algorithm against their own reading of primary sources may be the only legal research rubric to be taught in future decades.
CARA has moved their “wow” technology from the final review stage to the beginning of the drafting process. The transformation of the product over the past two years is impressive. Is delivering an actual draft of a response to a brief, motion or complaint, somewhere in their development pipeline? I asked Heller whether a drafting tool with in the Casetext development plan.
Here is his response: “For now, our focus is surfacing the right information, and letting attorneys decide how to shape that into their legal argument. Most brief-writing requires the necessarily human skills of judgement, persuasion, and argument… a process [which] is very seldom rote and formulaic. That said, helping attorneys draft is another step toward helping attorneys be more efficient and spend less time researching, more time lawyering…so you bet that it’s on the long-term roadmap!”