State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs

State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs — from law360.com by Andrew Strickler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As state lawmakers begin preparing for upcoming legislative sessions amid a resurgent pandemic, a scattered but largely grim outlook for state court funding is beginning to take shape.

With some judicial administrators already dealing with staggered budgets and new technology costs, experts and advocates say court leaders have their work cut out for them to convince budget analysts and lawmakers to pay for pandemic recovery efforts.

Perhaps nowhere is the coming financial strain more apparent than in Florida, where legislators began gathering Tuesday in Tallahassee to face a historic $5.4 billion budget deficit over the next two years.

There, court leaders have drawn on their experiences dealing with a crush of foreclosures and other litigation following the 2008 financial crisis to project that nearly 1 million additional cases will be in front of the state’s trial courts by the middle of 2021.

In New York, where the next fiscal year promises to include a gaping $14.5 billion budget hole, dozens of appellate judges over age 70 are being forced into retirement, a move court administrators said would save $55 million in the coming years and help prevent staff layoffs.


Addendum on 11/24/20:

Civil Justice Fest: A Month of Dialogues On the Most Pressing Civil Justice Issues — from vimeo.com
Judicial Education Program & Congressional Civil Justice Academy Law & Economics  Center Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University November 2020 Virtual

 

On LawNext: Rocket Lawyer Founder Charley Moore — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource from his Lawtomatic Newsletter

Excerpt

In September, Rocket Lawyer became the first national company approved to participate in Utah’s regulatory sandbox, a pilot program for licensing new and alternative forms of legal providers and services. For Charley Moore, who founded Rocket Lawyer in 2008, it was yet another step in his quest to deliver high-value legal services at an affordable price.

In this episode of LawNext, Moore recounts the founding and development of Rocket Lawyer and its expansion into Europe starting in 2012. He also explains why he wanted the company to participate in the Utah sandbox and what he expects to happen there. Finally, as one of the few Black CEOs in legal tech, Moore discusses his thoughts on expanding diversity in the industry.

Also see:

Manage all of your legal needs online. Create legal documents and legal forms instantly with safe & secure storage, e-signatures and lawyer review.

Also from Gabe, see:

Justice-as-a-Service — from Henrik Zillmer

Excerpts:

There’s a new wave of customer empowerment coming. It’s called Justice-as-a-Service (JaaS), and you need to know about it because it benefits you – you just don’t know it yet.

Justice-as-a-Service is an on-demand service, powered by tech, that challenges private and public companies by representing the consumer in their fight for justice/compensation based on laws, consumers’ rights, and contract of carriage.

Why is there a need for JaaS?

  • You don’t know your consumer rights.
  • You don’t know how to claim and neither does the service provider.
  • You don’t have the time to fight for your rights.
  • Success is very unlikely.
 

Technologies that enable legal and compliance leaders to spot innovations — from helpnetsecurity.com
COVID-19 has accelerated the push toward digital business transformation for most businesses, and legal and compliance leaders are under pressure to anticipate both the potential improvements and possible risks that come with new legal technology innovations, according to Gartner.

Excerpt:

To address this challenge, Gartner lists the 31 must-watch legal technologies to allow legal and compliance leaders to identify innovations that will allow them to act faster. They can use this information for internal planning and prioritization of emerging innovations.

Also see:
(with a shoutout to Nicola Shaver for this resource)

legaltechnology hub dot com

Also see:

Envisioning the future of law — from abovethelaw.com by Ken Crutchfield
We’ve seen a transformation underway within the legal industry for some time now, and the pandemic is continuing to accelerate these changes.

Excerpt:

We’ve seen a transformation underway within the legal industry for some time now, and the pandemic is continuing to accelerate these changes. From what we have observed in recent months, many of the technologies that were reshaping the practice of law have now become necessary, and resistance to digital workflows is no longer a viable option for many legal professionals. In the midst of this transformation, we can draw some observations about how the industry can cope with what’s next. 

 

From DSC:
Perhaps faculty members and their students in Computer Science Departments across the nation could unleash some excellent products/projects/ideas to make this happen! Talk about Project Based Learning (PBL)! Students and faculty members could have immediate positive impacts on the nation for their work.

 

How might tools like Microsoft’s new Whiteboard be used in online-based learning? In “learning pods?” [Christian]

The new Microsoft Whiteboard -- how might this be used for online-based learning? Learning pods?

The new Microsoft Whiteboard -- how might this be used for online-based learning? Learning pods?

Questions/reflections from DSC:

  • How might this be used for online-based learning?
  • For “learning pods” and homeschoolers out there? 
  • Will assistants such as the Webex Assistant for Meetings (WAM) be integrated into such tools (i.e., would such tools provide translation, transcripts, closed captioning, and more)?
  • How might this type of tool be used in telehealth? Telelegal? In online-based courtrooms? In presentations?

#onlinelearning #collaboration #education #secondscreen #edtedh #presentations #AI #telehealth #telelegal #emergingtechnologies

 

Will the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally remake the legal industry? — from abajournal.com by Lyle Moran

Excerpt:

They both note that while the Great Recession was a substantial shock to the economic system, COVID-19 has resulted in the sudden upheaval of society at large. This includes changing how members of the public can access the court system or connect with a lawyer.

“It is really fundamentally disrupting overnight every single component of the legal system, and that is very different than 2008-2009,” says Leonard, who is also Penn Law’s chief innovation officer. “I think it creates enormous opportunities for changing many of the ways we work as lawyers, the ways we provide legal services to our clients and also the ways the justice system as a whole works.”

In the short term, Leonard says the pandemic has resulted in massive “forced experimentation.”

People being sworn in on a laptop

In June, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice McCormack swore in a cohort of law students via a Zoom conference. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Supreme Court; Shutterstock.

Also see:

 

Gartner Legal Tech Hype Curve – 2020 Positions — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

Research company Gartner has published its Legal Tech Hype Curve analysis for 2020, showing where various types of tech are on their famous development and real world adoption chart.

Have a look at the main chart below:

 

Renters, homeowners face new phase of coronavirus crisis with evictions, foreclosures looming — from finance.yahoo.com by Alexis Keenan

Excerpt:

A potential housing crisis is on the way for millions of Americans whose mortgage and rent deferrals are about to sunset.

Evictions loom as the end of state and local moratoriums will no longer protect homeowners and tenants unable to make payments because of COVID-19 lockdowns. A minority of U.S. states have already expired orders against evictions, and a host of others across the country are set to expire over the next two months.

Once they do, residents are facing a possible flood of non-payment legal actions. The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project (CEDP) predicted recently that by the end of September, more than 20 million U.S. renters —many of them Black and Latino located in big cities — will be at risk for eviction.

 

Law 2030 podcast with Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Furlong, and Cat Moon -- April 2020

 


 

Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Long, and Cat Moon
Part I — 4/10/20

Law 2030 Podcast: The future of legal services -- Part 1 of 2 -- Leonard, Furlong, & Long

This episode is the first of two episodes that discuss the future of the profession in the wake of the COVID19 crisis. Guests Jordan Furlong and Cat Moon discuss:

  • How COVID 19 exposes the access to justice crisis the profession has created
  • Why the crisis offers the opportunity to leverage technology in new ways
  • Why the structures and systems that have defined the profession have been so durable
  • Whether lawyers view the crisis as a blip or a transformation
  • How leaders can pivot toward innovation

From DSC:
At several points in the conversation, when Cat and Jordan were both referring to the importance of experimentation within the legal realm, I was reminded of this graphic that I did back in 2013:

I was reminded of it as well because Jennifer Leonard rightly (in my perspective), brought in higher education into the discussion at several points. There are some similarities — especially concerning power and privilege. Well, it’s now true in the legal realm as well (and probably has been true for a while…I’m just behind).

Experimentation. Experimentation. Experimentation. <– so key in the legal realm right now!

 

Other notes I took:

  • Triage: Need to deal with essentials to keep afloat. Yourself, staff, clients, cash flow. Put out the fire.
  • Reconstruction: In parallel, create “field hospitals.” Recession is going to have massive impacts on old systems. Need new systems. Start building institutions that work. Build as many of these as you can. Experiments.  House isn’t going to be inhabitable after the fire. Need a new shelter — maybe start w/ a tent, then a cabin, then a house. Build on something small.  Start building what’s going to replace the old systems.
  • Power and privilege imbalance is why people haven’t been able to change things.  “I can make you do something for me. You come here so I can dispense justice to you.” But not just judges…throughout the system.
  • Public legal awareness and legal education. In high schools, universities, colleges, churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.
  • Higher ed and legal services? Anything we can learn from each other?
  • Systems created by people who rule the systems. Power imbalance exists in higher ed, but hubris is completely indefensible within the legal realm. Need much better access to legal information and legal understanding.
  • OS on the Mac. Don’t have another OS for legal system to move to. We need to redesign our legal OS to serve more people.
  • Law is society’s OS.  Law is DOS-based…need Windows or Mac type of leap.
  • Self protectionism. Hubris. Power imbalance. Power hungry.
  • Yet many who enter legal profession come in wanting to make the world a better place. Why the move away from these ideals? Need more focus on developing professional identity. Structure, framework for how to be a lawyer. Students become more cynical as time goes by. Also, there’s “ladder pulling.” Pay your dues. Get hazed. I had to do it…now you have to do it. Bar Exam good example of this. Confirmation bias. It’s the way we’ve always done it.

Today, the following things ARE happening — so it CAN be done!  The people in charge just didn’ want to do these things.

  • lawyers working from home
  • e-filing of documents to courts
  • video hearings in court
  • faster, cheaper, more convenient

 


Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Long, and Cat Moon
Part II – 4/14/20

Law 2030 Podcast: The future of legal services -- Part 2 of 2 -- Leonard, Furlong, & Long

On this second part of a two-part series, Professor Cat Moon and Jordan Furlong discuss COVID 19’s impact on legal education and law firms. The conversation explores:

  • The “knock out effect” the crisis has on the various parts of the lawyer formation system
  • Who might take ownership of coordinating the new landscape of lawyer accreditation
  • The opportunities lifelong learning creates for law schools to be involved in the ongoing development of legal professionals
  • How human-centered design and project-based learning offer ways to integrate the three sides of the Delta model of lawyer competency
  • How small and solo law firms might be impacted by the crisis

Notes I took:

  • The knock-out effect.
  • How can we coordinate amongst the players in the system? Will be hard, because of the existing fiefdoms. Power and authority move back up the chain to those who did the delegating in the first place. If the power has been delegated to you, you are at a disadvantage. Jordan sees an assertion of authority from a central entity — legislatures most likely; possibly courts.
  • This moment offers us an opportunity to experiment and to redesign our systems. Can find new ways to fulfill missions.
  • Have no choice but to embrace the ambiguity of the moment.
  • Triage, then try to build something better than what we had before.
  • We have to build something different. “And look, the sky’s not falling!” Think big. Act boldly in these experiments. Expand what we think is possible.
  • The repercussions of the Coronavirus will be with us for much longer than many think it will
  • Legal principles/concepts/rules. Areas of practice. Professional formation (ethics, integrity, operational aspects, & more). Know the law, but also WHY we have the law and lawyers.
  • Can learn “black letter law” asynchronously and via videoconferencing.
  • Need to expand curriculum: Project/time management, customer service, financial and tech literacy
  • Delta Model — a framework for developing lawyer competencies; starts in law schools; what are the skills and competencies; the foundation is the practice of law; research, issue spotting, PM, data analysis, understanding business; understanding people; wholistic approach. A lifelong journey of growth. 
  • Law schools — 3 years, then done. Not a productive way to do things. We need to keep people on top of their game throughout a career. Is legal education a place or a system/process that you enter and re-enter again and again throughout one’s career? Wouldn’t it be great if I could access ___ modules along the way?
  • How are we going to create/design highly engaging online-based learning experiences? #1 on Cat’s priority list now. Got moved up the priority list.
  • There are pros and cons for both F2F and online-based learning. Humanizing impact when your professors are teaching from their homes.
  • Reframing legal education just as we are reframing courts as a service, not a place.
  • Blended approach can be very effective/powerful.
  • Need to collect data on what’s working and what’s not working.
  • Fundamental business model of corporate side is likely at the end of its course; law firms will need a new model for generating profit. For smaller firms, prospects are more dire as their clients are going through major negative changes. Potential unsustainability of many practices.
  • How can we provide different models that expand access to justice? That help develop happier and healthier lawyers?
  • Per legalproblemsolving.org, human-centered design is:
    • …a fluid framework for discovering problems, ideating solutions, and iterating to continuously improve solutions. HCD provides a methodology for considering both legal service delivery challenges, as well as clients’ legal problems. The HCD method also serves as a tool individual law students can use to craft a rewarding, successful legal career.

 

 

Pandemic II: Justice system down — from law21.ca by Jordan Furlong

Excerpt:

We need to recognize a couple of things about our justice system, in order to fully appreciate the fate that awaits it in the COVID-19 era and the tasks that now lie in front of us.

The first is that the system has nowhere near the capacity or resilience required to handle an emergency of this magnitude. Like our hospitals, which are about to be overrun with virus patients, our courts are perpetually underfundedtechnologically handicapped, and already overloaded.

Case backlogs are common, hearings are routinely adjourned, and even straightforward cases stretch out over months and years. There is an entire body of constitutional law that addresses how long you can delay a person’s trial before their rights are violated, and it should tell us something that we don’t even find that remarkable anymore.

What this crisis has revealed is the central operating assumption of our justice institutions, which has now become our stumbling block: Everybody comes to the courthouse.

Richard Susskind has made many insightful observations over the course of his career, but I suspect one will outlast all the others: “We have to decide if court is a place or a service.” For hundreds of years — right up until last month, in fact — court has been a place. By the time this pandemic has truly run its course, court will be a service.

 

The 2020 ABA Techshow

Also see:

EU Proposes Strict Regulations for AI — from futuretech360.com by John K. Waters

Excerpt:

The European Union this week unveiled its first proposed regulations for artificial intelligence (AI) technology, along with a strategy for handling personal digital data. The new regs provide guidance around such AI use cases as autonomous vehicles and biometric IDs.

Published online by the European Commission, the proposed regulations would apply to “high-risk” uses of AI in areas such as health care, transportation and criminal justice. The criteria to determine risk would include such considerations as whether a person might get hurt, say, by a self-driving car or a medical device, and how much influence a human has on an AI’s decision in areas like job recruiting and law enforcement.

 

 From DSC:
Here are two other example of AI’s further integration into the legal realm:

Casetext is Automating Litigation — from businesswire.com
Casetext’s new litigation automation technology, Compose, automates substantive legal work — and a substantial number of billable hours

Excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Casetext, the legal technology company known for its groundbreaking A.I. legal research platform, today announces a new product that will define litigation automation: Compose. Compose, which automates the first draft of a legal brief, is poised to disrupt the $437 billion1 legal services industry and fundamentally change our understanding of what types of professional work are uniquely human.


UC Irvine School of Law To Integrate Blue J Legal’s AI-Enabled Tax Platform into Curriculum
— from businesswire.com
First of its kind initiative aims to prepare graduate students for careers in tax law where AI will be integral to the decision-making process

The joint effort aims to demonstrate why advanced technological integration in higher education is important and how to leverage it, specifically in tax law.

 

 

Online tool will help ‘Spot’ legal issues that people face — from .pewtrusts.org
Artificial intelligence can boost non-lawyers’ ability to navigate civil court system

Excerpt:

People looking for information on legal questions often start their searches online, without a good handle on the terminology. Today’s machine learning tools can help put nonlegal phrasing into context, using artificial intelligence to match people’s situations with specific legal issues, supplying accurate information and connections to potential services.

A team at the Legal Innovation and Technology (LIT) Lab at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts, is building an application programming interface, or API—known as Spot—that can serve as a computerized issue spotter. Spot could be used by legal services websites and others to help lay users, and its functionality will improve as it accumulates more data and real-life examples.

 

BIGLAW 2040: What will happen when Gen Z is in charge? — from law360.com by Natalie Rodriguez

Excerpts:

The opportunities that BigLaw has begun offering associates to spend months-long stints working out of international offices will evolve from rare resume brags to almost standard career milestones for those interested in leadership positions.

“If you don’t have global experience, you’re not becoming a CEO anymore, and that’s going to be true of becoming a managing partner. If you want to be a global business, you’re going to have to understand the world,” Wilkins said.

The legal leaders of 2040 will also have to expand their circle — think data technicians, cybersecurity professionals, chief knowledge officers, legal tech and artificial intelligence systems engineers, all of whom are going to play much larger roles in the BigLaw ecosystem in the next few decades.

Addendum on 2/11/20:

The Skills Every Future Lawyer Needs — from law360.com by Erin Coe

Excerpt:

To provide those outcomes and solutions, many lawyers of the future will be responsible for building the systems that replace the old ways of working.

They will become legal knowledge engineers, legal risk managers, legal systems analysts, legal design thinkers and legal technologists, and they will be the ones solving clients’ problems, not through one-on-one advice, but through technology-delivered solutions, according to Susskind.

The challenge for existing lawyers is whether they are prepared over the next 20 years to retrain themselves for these new roles.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the legal industry — from law.comby Christian A. Farmakis
Artificial intelligence (AI) is adding efficiencies and transforming businesses everywhere, and legal practices are no exception.

Excerpts:

How is AI technology disrupting the legal industry?
AI legal technology won’t replace lawyers, but these tools will drastically change the way lawyers provide services for their clients. While estimates vary, 23%t to 35% of a lawyer’s job could be automated. As a result, lawyers will need to be more strategic and supervisorial, able to act as project managers and supervise the information being fed into systems, and knowledgeable about the assumptions underlying the machine learning algorithms.

What will be the next wave of AI legal technology?
The next generation, which is starting to hit the market now, will be document automation and legal research and writing tools, as well as predictive technology tools. For example, a contract can be put through an algorithm in order to identify how risky it is. It could be used to determine how likely it is to go into litigation or if it complies with the company’s internal contract procedures and policies.

Another use is analytic tools that can measure efficiency and pricing of the legal services. E-billing and practice management tools could measure whether a service contract should cost $2,500, not the $7,500 that’s being charged. In other instances, AI could help firms do estimates for alternative fee arrangements.

 

How technology and law changes for career development — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Manan Ghadawala

Excerpt:

But things have been changing in technology and law over the years. Let us look at these developments in technology and law and also see how technology already [is] — and will — impact legal careers.

Joni Pirovich from Hall & Wilcox explained, “As technology trends are pervasive across all industries, it’s now incumbent upon law firms to ensure lawyers have a good starting language to interpret technology concepts and how they interact with legal principles.”

The increase in law firm technology did surprise some people. Forbes found out that there was a 713% jump in investments in technology for law firms in 2018—almost 1.63 billion USD—bolstered mostly by the arrival of eDiscovery, which is an electronic method for finding important information specific investigations or suits.

#Automation #MachineLearning #AI #BigData

 

 

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