We were all blindsided as 2020 unfolded, yet the momentum of technological change and innovation assured a steady stream of new products. I have identified five trends, which I have divided into three categories: unforeseeable, continuing and surprising.

The trends I believe are worth noting — Unforeseeable: COVID-19 impacts; Predicable: state court analytics and innovative workflow tools; Surprising: legal news re-emerges as a competitive focus among major legal publishers and tech marketplaces emerge.

Unforeseeable: COVID-Related Trends

COVID alone triggered four subtrends:

  • The emergence of local law and ephemeral publications. Major legal vendors were no more prepared to track county level health department issuances and Governors’ executive orders than the average law firm. To make things worse these “documents” were issued in a myriad of social media formats, texts, tweets, Facebook pages … . What’s a law firm to do?
  • Librarians and KM professionals stepped into the vacuum and established protocols for locating and harnessing the untidy universe of COVID-19 ephemera.
  • Law firms became publishers of original COVID-19 resources (leveraging the local documents harnessed by librarians).
  • Legal publishers turned out an unprecedented number of free legal resources covering COVID-19 issues. I covered this trend in an earlier ATL post.

Continuing Trends: State Court Analytics And Workflow Tools

Workflow Tools

Continue Reading 5 (Unforeseeable, Predicable, And Surprising) Legal Tech Trends In 2020

Two months ago, Lex Machina  launched an analytics module for the New York County Supreme Court, one of  the most important commercial litigation jurisdictions in the United States.

Today Lex Machina is announcing the completion of coverage for all five New York City counties (contiguous with the 5 New York City Boroughs).

  • New York County Supreme Court (Manhattan) released on September 29th
  • Kings County Supreme Court (Brooklyn) released on October 27th
  • Queens County Supreme Court (Queens) released on November 24th
  • Richmond County Supreme Court (Staten Island) released on December 8th
  • Bronx Supreme Court (the Bronx) released on December 8th

All of the New York City county courts  handle civil litigation involving contracts, torts, tax, and commercial matters. Legal Analytics are
Continue Reading Lex Machina Expands Analytics to Cover All New York City Counties

Did anyone imagine that eight months into the pandemic we would still be needing new ways to capture, monitor analyze the ever morphing legal issues around COVID? Today Fastcase is launching COVID-19 Case Alerts, an editorially curated email alert service to keep subscribers aware of new civil opinions, selected pleadings, breaking news, and analyses of legal issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a dangerous and fast-changing pandemic, and it’s more important than ever for firms to be ahead of the curve when advising clients. There is no excuse for missing key developments, especially now,” said Ed Walters, Fastcase CEO. “Our team will be curating these COVID-19 Case Alerts and providing them for free to attorneys using Fastcase through their bar association.”

Each business day, excluding holidays, Fastcase will deliver a snapshot of the day’s legal developments on COVID-19. This includes decided cases from Fastcase, new complaints and pleadings from Docket Alarm, new blog posts from the LexBlog network, and legal news from Law Street Media, consolidated into a single, daily alert.

Here are some examples of the COVID-19 Alert Coverage:
Continue Reading Fastcase Launches COVID-19 Case Alerts

Fastcase  acquisition of Judicata  will bring a new era of innovation and advanced legal reasoning technologies such as, citation analysis, legal analytics and brief analysis to Fastcase 8 and Docket Alarm.

Several years ago I wrote a post  about Judicata, a small California start up which described its mission as “as mapping the legal genome.”   They used their analytics and  citation analysis tool to grade law firm briefs. How that for chutzpah?. Judicata knows how to stretch the legal research and analysis envelope.

Fastcase today announced the acquisition of Judicata technology assets “with the mission of extending Judicata’s California research and analytics tools nationwide in the Fastcase platform.”

Judicata founder, Itai Guriari  worked at Jones Day then at Google working on Google Scholar before founding Judicata in 2012 with Adam Han and Blake Masters. The team spent the last decade building out “industry-leading research analytics and workflow tools for California law.” Chief technology officer Ben Pedrick  and the Judicata team will join Fastcase to scale those solutions nationwide. Gurari  will be VP of Research and Development and lead  Fastcase labs.

I asked Fastcase CEO Ed Walters to provide some insights into the strategy behind this acquisition.  “Judicata has
Continue Reading Fastcase Acquires the Judicata “Legal Genome” – Watch Out For Fastcase 8!

Since 2011 Fastcase has been honoring 50 legal trailblazers each year.  Fastcase  describes the  award recognizing “pioneering people who have made important contributions to the legal profession, for practitioners and the public.” The honorees for the Fastcase 50 Class of 2020 represent a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, law librarians, judges, bar association leaders, legal innovators, and people who are passionate about reforming and automating the law.

I want to give a shout out to librarian colleagues:

Cynthia Brown, Senior Director of Research Services, Littler Mendelson

Michelle Cosby, Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Andre Davison, Research Technology Manager, Blank Rome LLP

Diana Koppang, Director of Research & Competitive Intelligence, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

Kim Nayyer, Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Associate Dean for Library Services, Cornell Law
Continue Reading The 2020 Fastcase 50 List of Innovators, Visionaries and Leaders in Law

Today Fastcase and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft are announcing a partnership which will enhance the content available to “Cadwalader Cabinet” subscribers. The “Cadwalader Cabinet “is an integrated legal research and intelligence service for financial services lawyers and compliance professionals. It provides news, workflow tools and a collection of over 250,000 documents. It was created over

Full Court Press, the Fastcase imprint  is launching a webinar series in conjunction with legal history publishers TwelveTables Press. “Leaders in Law” is a monthly webinar series featuring interviews with notable attorney involved in civil rights in the U.S. and around the world.

“There’s no better time to hear from those who fight the civil rights fight and have taken these legal steps before us,” noted Twelve Tables Press Publisher and Fastcase COO, Steve Errick.

 The first live webinar in the series focuses on a seminar LGBT rights case. The Legacy of Lawrence v. Texas, is
Continue Reading Fastcase Launches “Leaders in Law” Webinar Series Focused on Lawyers in Civil Rights

Fastcase is digging deeper into the legal news market with the timely launch of an agricultural law news section.  David Nayer, Editor in Chief of Law Street Media cites the timeliness of the launch in the press release.  The Agriculture section and Alerts Center is being launched “ while our world is finding its new normal, and its especially relevant to those in food production, food service, and supply chains that impact each of us.”

The Agriculture section is leveraging “sister product” Docket Alarm’s real-time docket, litigation and analytics information to highlight emerging litigation topics such as farming, food, tobacco, and cannabis. It will also cover related topics such as agriculture policy at the FDA and USDA, the cannabis industry, environmental and land use, and the emergence of agricultural technologies. The Law Street Media newsletters are geared toward providing information “that generates business for its users.”

Law Street Media Docket Side Bar

You gotta love Fastcase co-founder Phil Rosenthal who offers his own “down home” explanation of why Agriculture was the second  news topic to launch. “We wanted our second industry news feed to be about meat and potatoes litigation – literally, so our bar partners across the country and their members can see how tracking filed litigation leads to new business”

As of today, the Agriculture news section is available for FREE on the  Law Street Media home page as well as in daily
Continue Reading Fastcase Law Street Media: News With a Flash of Dockets – Launches Timely Food Chain Content

Today Fastcase is announcing the Launch on the Journal of Emerging Litigation. I think we can assume that Covid-19 Litigation will be emerging in the publication pipeline. The Journal is being produced in partnership with HB Litigation Conferences which was founded by Tom Hagy – a pioneer in niche litigation reporting. Hagy is the former Publisher and Managing Editor of LexisNexis Mealy’s Litigation Reports.

The new journal will be published by Full Court Press, the imprint of Fastcase. The new publication will be informed by analytic trends identified in Docket Alarm as well as Law Street Media news
Continue Reading Fastcase Announces Launch of Emerging Litigation Journal and Addition of 87 ABA Titles

On February  25th they are launching an exciting new legal news service  Legal  Radar which I believe  his targeted to deflate the aggressive growth and pricing of its main competitor Law360.

American Lawyer Media’s flagship publication, American Lawyer has been credited with inventing the legal news market in the 1980s.  ALM  has been exploring ways to reinvent  how lawyers consume legal news for several  years.  The relaunch of Law.com brought content from all 19 ALM legal publications together in a unified platform. The old legal intelligence platform was relaunched as Legal Compass. On Tuesday they will launch an AI enabled streaming news service for lawyers.

Legal Radar delivers a clean customizable stream of breaking legal news and competitive insights. Lawyers can track companies, industries, law firms as well as litigation. Legal Radar offers breaking litigation news within minutes of a filing.  When cases are reported documents such as complaints and opinions are attached to the story. I found  Legal Radar to be  visually “addicting” like an endless Facebook stream. It was hard to stop scrolling!  Like its competitor
Continue Reading ALM Launching Legal Radar — Law360 Prepare For Incoming!