On Monday night Bloomberg Law hosted a “semi-secret” preview of their still to be named “brief analyzer.” I will cut to the chase and recommend “B Brief” as a name for the analysis tool. After all, the point of a brief analyzer is to make lawyers more efficient. The product is expected to be released as a beta test in September and to launch by the end of the year – depending on feedback from the beta testers. Bloomberg Law President Joe Breda and his executive team held an event in a “speak easy” style restaurant on Blagden Ally in the hipster heart of DC. A select group of librarian and tech journalist invitees received a mysterious key in a rather MI-5 invitation several weeks before the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference. In a darkened back room, the invitees received a preview of the “brief analyzer” product and were invited to give feedback.
Like other brief analyzers the process is launched by dropping and dragging a document into the analyzer tool. The tool extracts and analyses the citations, text and concepts in the document.
Bloomberg’s product demo focused on the workflow for analyzing an opponent’s brief rather than the process for finalizing a brief that is being drafted. Most of Bloomberg’s competitor’s in this space have launched their products focusing on the brief drafting process, the analysis of an adversary’s brief was included as an additional use case.
The bottom line is that for either process, the analyzer tool is designed to speed up the review process and help lawyers focus on the most important precedents. Bloomberg has woven additional Bloomberg Law research and drafting tools into the brief analysis workflow.
Here are the key features of the Bloomberg Brief Analyzer:
“Drag and drop” starts the process.
The table of contents of the document is extracted from the document and can be used to navigate the recommendations.
“Cites” demonstrates the extraction of relevant authority from the brief.
“Suggested opinions” identifies opinions that are related and may have been missed.
“Points of Law” allows a researcher to link from a citation to a related AI generated Bloomberg “point of law.”
“Suggested Briefs” recommends related briefs in the Bloomberg Law system.
“Suggested practical guidance” links to related Bloomberg Law “practical guidance – which is a “know how’ and practical guidance resource created by Bloomberg Law.
“Focused Search” allows a researcher to use keyword to focus on specific issues.
An opinions tab allows a researcher to research across all opinions.
A “table of authorities” function will allow researchers to download and print all cited cases.
Favorite Feature One of my favorite features is in the “suggested content” section. Instead of using a “symbol” Bloomberg provides a textual explanation. e,g. “similar language.” or “same jurisdiction.”
What’s Next Before launch they will add highlighting and recommendations for books and treatises. At this time the system can only process standard and readable PDF documents. Word documents will be added to the format types which can be analyzed before launch.
Security. In response to security concerns they will encrypt the document being analyzed and give users the option of storing the brief results or deleting the results from the system when the process is completed. All documents are stored In the US owned and US based servers in the non-public cloud.
Included at No Additional Cost. Bloomberg’s pricing policy means that this feature like all others will be available to all subscribers as soon as it is launched.
This was the “season of the brief analyzer” at AALL. Thomson Reuters announced the launch of their new product Westlaw Edge Quick Check right before the AALL meeting. At this point, the TR product has more features than the Bloomberg Law product – but it will only be available to subscribers who have upgraded to Westlaw Edge. Lexis was also providing previews of a soon to launched brief analyzer in their exhibit hall booth which will be launched in the near future. The most mature product in this space is Casetext CARA which has expanded its brief analyzing functionality since its launch in 2017. Since that time a number of startups have entered this space including Ross with EVA, Judicata with Clerk, Vlex with Vincent. CARA is the only product that analyze documents without citations e.g. complaints and return recommendations.
The larger vendors Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg had not entered the brief analyzer market until this year. It is clear that as the competition in this space heats up every vendor is focused on development some advanced feature which will enable them to leap ahead of the pack. Law firms are the ultimate beneficiaries of this competition.