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

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!

Normally the top blog posts are  heavily weighted with posts which introduced readers to new products.  While readers remained interested in innovative products, this year  readers were also intensely interested in w legal publishing and technology company layoffs, expansions, pricing policies and content strategies. What do these changes say about the state of the legal

Judicata’s Clerk offers so much advanced analysis, that it almost scares me. After Judicata founder Itai Gurari, gave me a demo of Clerk I suggested that he needed to put a banner across the top of the screen reminding associates that they still needed to read cases and draw their own conclusions. You load a brief into the platform and Clerk delivers a multi-dimensional critique of the brief supported by a raft of suggestions and analytics.

Gurari has described Clerk as “moneyball for motions. ”Judicata’s Clerk has ingested “thousands of pages of legal text and millions of case data points in order to place each brief in context and provide actionable insights.” Different motions have distinct probabilities of being granted in a particular court or by a particular judge. Judicata offers an impressive array of document assessments.

Gurari built Clerk based on the assumption that associates would like to have an easy way to get insight into the strength to weaknesses of their arguments.

Have you cited the best cases? Do you have the right ratio of cases supporting your argument and against your
Continue Reading Forget the Robots You Might Just Need a Clerk. Judicata’s Clerk: Algorithms and Analytics that “Grade” and Recommends Edits to Briefs.