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    Archive for August, 2022
    AI and Law Practice
    Sunday, August 21st, 2022

    Artificial Intelligence

    ♫ They’ll never take my pride
    They’ll never take my strength
    They’ll never take my faith
    They’ll never take my trust
    They’ll never take my hope
    But I’m ready to go
    For the love that’s there for
    the takin’ (for the takin’)

    — Lyrics custom generated by AI using “lawyers and change.”

    Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) was a science fiction concept that has walked out of fiction novels and into our lives.

    AI and e-Discovery:

    It didn’t take long for e-Discovery vendors to start incorporating AI into their products.

    AI started out by analyzing large document sets for the purpose of predicting document relevance in litigation cases. It then went further and suggested priorities of what needs to be reviewed. This process takes place much faster and cheaper than the older method of armies of associates reading every document in a data set. Using it early in the e-discovery process, and repeated as new documents appear, enhances the results.

    Based on learning garnered from past actions and outcomes, AI now grasps the overall e-discovery process and can suggest who should be interviewed, what new keywords should be searched and what should be placed under a legal hold.

    One of the newest applications in this area is Sherlock —’s digital bloodhound. They state:

    “Sherlock is our revolutionary, AI-powered digital document bloodhound. It is a smart, machine-learning algorithm designed to make it easier to find information in large document populations.

    They go further:

    “Sherlock’s strength is its speed, scalability and flexibility. It can analyze and rank a million documents in 100 milliseconds — 10 million in a second. It can then deliver new documents in order of likely relevance, allowing you to review and mark them relevant (“Thumbs Up”) or not (“Thumbs Down”).”

    You can send one document or many to Sherlock. It will analyze them, extract key terms, build an AI model on the document set and apply the model to millions of documents in milliseconds.

    AI and Transactional Practice:

    Is a client looking at a merger or purchase of a business? Submit the contracts of the target to AI and have it analyze them for errors, missing information, and inconsistent language so your client knows what to expect in the book of business they are looking to acquire.

    The Amercian Bar Association reports: “Such software can also ensure that language is applied consistently, no matter how many attorneys had a hand in the drafting. Through document comparison and automatic learning, software such as contract comparison tools can identify missing clauses or conditions, inconsistently used terminology or undefined terms, both within a single document and across a pool of similar documents.”

    Such contract and document review software can be invaluable when it comes to looking at large IP portfolios for example, by analyzing them and drawing insights therefrom.

    Developers here include, from the German Institute for Artificial Intelligence. It is a patented and award-winning product that uses AI to extract relevant data, manage documents, and compile leases in real estate transactions. The cloud-based tool is said to be capable of reading contracts at high speeds in 20 languages.

    Another developer is, a “contract acceleration” application, which handles contracts, portfolio reviews, and investigations for improved risk management. Its “Fathom Contextual Interpretation Engine” was developed together with machine learning expert authorities at Cambridge University.

    The company states that it designed the product to automate summaries of high-volume contract reviews. While users usually read content extracts, they can also read the meanings of clauses provided by AI. The system is also said to be capable of flagging risky contracts.

    AI and Legal Research:

    What started off as a simple idea of digitalizing case law now has some serious long-term implications for lawyers. These databases have gone well beyond just case law to incorporate all types of legal information, in multiple languages, from multiple jurisdictions. These big databases are tamed by AI research assistants, which use machine learning and natural language processing to aid your legal research.

    Take vLex is “The world’s largest collection of legal information, on one service.” It offers a wide range of legal titles and collections containing thousands of documents, with daily updates — all available on a single AI-powered legal research platform. It received the 2021 Legal Breakthrough Award for Vincent AI, its legal research assistant.

    vLex states: “Only with vLex can you access full-text Canadian cases, the entire Irwin Law collection of legal books and the Maritime Law Book, alongside coverage from over 100 countries, with authorities seamlessly linked across jurisdictions to enhance your legal research.”

    Unfortunately, another promising AI legal research initiative, ROSS Intelligence, which had started in 2014 at the University of Toronto, had to close shop in January 2021 due to the fact that a lawsuit by Thomson Reuters (“TR”) had left it without sufficient funds to operate. TR alleged that it stole content from Westlaw to build its own competing legal research product. ROSS is fighting the lawsuit and vows to come back. Bob Ambrogi quoting ROSS’s CEO Arruda in writes: “Once the litigation concludes, we hope to return to business as usual: innovating in the legal research space,” he said. “That might mean licensing the technology or using it in other applications, or it might mean building and iterating our platform as it exists today. But for the time being, we are focused on winning this litigation.” We hope ROSS emerges and pursues the promise of their innovations.

    There are other AI legal research providers as well, such as: — Alexsei produces memos referencing caselaw and legislation in select regions of the United States and Canada.

    AI in Litigation:

    AI is being used to analyze possible legal arguments and case strength by taking the case facts and using AI prediction technologies to forecast litigation outcomes. Legal analytics software can look at a judge’s past rulings, win/loss rates and other data points to look for trends and patterns in case law and predict a possible case’s outcome.

    AI can also be used to analyze a client’s legal position and determine if there are any logical inconsistencies, gaps in evidence, logic, or arguments in a client’s position. Once uncovered, the lawyer can then evaluate risks and see if there are additional documents, witnesses or such that can be used to tighten up a legal position.

    AI and the Human Interface:

    There are other benefits. Lawyers can do something that AI, at least at the present time, cannot — namely build a human-to-human connection. Relieved of the tedium of law practice, lawyers can spend their time learning the client’s business and building the bonds that will strengthen the lawyer — client relationship.

    Since lawyers are no longer chained to their desks performing mind-numbing hours of contract or document review, they can enjoy a higher quality of life and they can take on more of the type of work they enjoy. This is not only more satisfying, it taps into their creativity and purpose for which they went into law — namely to meet client needs. It keeps client’s better informed, it lowers stress, leads to a better work-life balance, and provides greater confidence in the results. Since AI is so much better at taking on large data sets (in whatever context) it can lead to saving time for the client and the lawyer, which in turn can reduce costs and increase satisfaction. AI can also lead to higher quality results, as the machine never tires, goes on a break, or gets ill.

    Change is happening to the law due to AI and lawyers are clearly lining up to take the love.

    (This article previously appeared at PracticeTalk in the CBA Publication Bartalk for August 2022.

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