Longtime Competitors Fastcase and Casemaker Merge, Reshaping the Legal Research Landscape — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

In news akin to a wedding announcement jointly issued by the Hatfields and the McCoys, two longtime competitors in the legal research market, Casemaker and Fastcase, have merged, creating a single company under the Fastcase brand that has an estimated subscriber base of more than three quarters of all lawyers in the United States.

Addendum on 1/6/21:

 

ICYMI: Legaltech Journalists Pick the Top Stories of 2020 — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi with numerous panelists.

Also see:

20 For 2020: The Legal Tech Trends that Defined the Year — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

As never before, we have been forced to rethink how legal services are delivered and how justice is administered.

Not only have we been forced to rethink, but we have been forced to act.

The silver lining of 2020 is that we have been forced to consider changes that were long overdue and then given the opportunity to implement those changes.

We will all be beneficiaries of these changes – but those who will benefit the most are those the legal system is meant to serve.

So in this year of tragedies and challenges, silver linings and opportunities, here are my candidates — in no particular order — for the year’s top 20 developments in legal technology and innovation.

 

5 (Unforeseeable, Predicable, And Surprising) Legal Tech Trends In 2020 — from deweybstrategic.com by Jean O’Grady

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

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.

 

Top 5 legal technology stories of 2020 — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpts:

  1. The unprecedented transition to remote work
  2. Videoconferencing became the norm
  3. #Barpocalypse
  4. Legal tech wealth
  5. Utah and Arizona allow nonlawyer ownership of law firms
 

Clio’s Legal Trends Report 2020: A Look Into the Future of Law — from legaltalknetwork.com by George Psiharis
Clio COO George Psiharis talks through this year’s trends and the sweeping transformative effect COVID-19 has had on the legal profession.

Excerpts:

The legal world has made more forward progress since the start of the pandemic than many expected it could do in a decade. Lawyers formerly resistant to technology suddenly found themselves with no choice but to adapt and embrace digital-friendly legal practice. For a closer look at how these changes are playing out in the profession, Sharon Nelson and John Simek talk with George Psiharis about Clio’s 2020 Legal Trends Report. They discuss who is weathering pandemic-era shifts most effectively, the mass movement to cloud-based services, the importance of focusing on customer experience, and which COVID-era changes will likely carry on beyond the pandemic. George Psiharis is chief operating officer at Clio.

Mentioned in This Episode

The product-market-fit problem is one characterized by a business—or industry—delivering a product that is out of sync with market demand. The issue manifests itself in the form of a massive latent market for legal services, where the majority of those needing legal help don’t get it—which is also a missed opportunity for law firms. Recent studies show: 77% of legal problems don’t receive legal help1, and 86% of civil legal problems faced by low-income individuals receive either inadequate or no legal help at all2.

 

Online learning and law schools during the pandemic — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

Pre-Covid, law schools and especially law accrediting agencies in North America have been pretty conservative in the past with regard to online or more accurately distance learning (see Online education and the professional associations: the case of law, for more details on the situation in 2018).

We can then fairly safely assume that most of these schools would have had no or little prior experience of online learning before March of this year. So it is interesting that 89% of students in law schools in the USA responding to a Thomson Reuters survey reported that during Covid-19 they were taking classes entirely online.

However, for me the most interesting results are in the graph below:

Preferences for permanent changes
Preferences for permanent changes with law schools

It seems clear that at least some level of online instruction will continue in the future, and that online learning will become widespread for at least some types of classes.

Given that there was almost no online learning in law schools in the USA pre-Covid 19, this is a significant conclusion.

From DSC:
I appreciate Tony writing about this topic. He’s correct in saying the ABA and the legal education field — along with the entire legal realm — was behind the 8 ball in terms of online learning (and I would add the use of emerging technologies in general). In fact, I’d say that the ABA was essentially twenty years behind in terms of getting on board the online learning train. It still has a ways to go…but the pressure is on the ABA to get with the times. Our society requires that they do so. The pace of change has been changing for a decade or more now. They can no longer walk on the race track and hope to not get in the way of a world that’s traveling at 180 mph.

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

Make no mistake, if the ABA — and the legal field in general — continues at their previous pace, we all will pay the price. Consider but a few areas that are already having an impact on our society:

  •  #AI #blockchain  #XR #AR #MR #VR #robotics #bots #algorithms #ethics #BigData #learningagents #legaltech #NLP #emergingtechnologies

Along with other tags that apply here:

  • #stayingrelevant #reinvent #vision #leadership #strategy #A2J (Access to Justice) 
 

The Hard Truth Behind ROSS Shutdown: Legal Tech Is ‘Cash Poor’ — from law.com by Victoria Hudgins
ROSS Intelligence announced Dec. 11 it was shutting down operations because its legal battle with Thomson Reuters scared off investors and depleted its resources. Investors and software providers say other legal tech companies could easily meet a similar fate.

Excerpt:

ROSS shutting down last week is a cautionary example of how a legal tech company with lean cash reserves can be “cash poor” despite raising millions in outside funding. But while the legal research provider’s closure and cash flow issues surprised some, others noted its situation is common across the legal tech industry and the broader startup market.

 

The transformative power of virtual courts

The transformative power of virtual courts — from raconteur.net by Ben Edwards

Excerpt:

At the Odeon cinema in Edinburgh’s Fort Kinnaird retail park, the movie posters have been taken down and the popcorn machines covered up as jurors take their seats in one of the four auditoriums to attend a virtual court hearing.

These remote jury centres have allowed the Scottish High Court to restart criminal trials by beaming live court action directly onto the cinema screen, allowing jurors to watch and hear evidence while maintaining social distancing, something that wouldn’t have been possible inside the main court building. With a further 11 screens available in Glasgow, the court is now back up to full capacity.

“The real beauty in this approach is it provides a way of scaling up; we have a model that works and can be applied anywhere,” says Tim Barraclough, executive director of the Judicial Office for Scotland.

Also see:

Reynen Court Now Lets You Take Legal Tech Products For A Test Drive — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Reynen Court, the platform that describes itself as the app store for legal technology, has introduced a new feature, appropriately called One-Click Test Drive, that makes it easy for law firms and legal departments to test products without having to buy them or negotiate trial licenses.

Using Test Drive, a user can quickly deploy a pilot of a pre-configured application in a secure environment. The application comes fully loaded with dummy data and transaction or case materials. It can be easily launched without requiring IT support.

Legal Tech Traditionally Favored Law Firms. That May Be Changing — from law.com by Frank Ready
Ironclad’s “State of Digital Contracting, Winter 2020: AI and the Elusive Promise of Smart Contracting” virtual event delved into how changes in service delivery models could help to drive a new wave of legal tech directed toward in-house attorneys and nonlawyers.

Excerpts from Working Remote: Advantages Gained from Legal Technology Adoption — from law.com
In this episode of the Perspectives podcast, sponsored by AbacusNext and hosted on Law.com, we’ll hear highlights from the September 9th presentation titled, Working Remote: Advantages Gained Through Legal Technology Adoption.

The Top 25 Artificial Lawyer Articles of 2020 — from artificiallawyer.com by Richard Tromans

What Is Quantum Computing and How Is It Disrupting Law Firms? — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Shannon Flynn

 

Hundreds are seeking legal aid for eviction, unemployment and debt tied to pandemic. A new one-stop site provides free help — from friendly robot guides. — from chicagotribune.com by Darcel Rockett

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

But the legal aid community knew the need for their help would be dire, as COVID-19 pummeled the economy and left people financially strapped, unemployed and unable to pay their rent. They’ve sounded the alarm, warning of what could be the worst housing crisis in U.S. history, with up to 43% of American renters facing eviction in the coming months.

At the end of November, the state’s legal aid system launched a new site, Illinois COVID H.E.L.P. (Housing and Economic Loss Prevention), for residents in need of help finding employment or with unemployment benefits assistance; aid with personal debt and bankruptcy; housing or disputes between tenants and landlords; and wills, estates and guardianship.

Also see:

  • Pandemic Pushes Corporate Law Department Upgrades, Study Finds — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Brian Baxter
    Excerpt: “The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating a transformation of corporate law departments, from technology use to staffing levels, said a survey released Thursday. Nearly 75% of departments significantly or moderately increased adoption of legal technology compared to last year, according to an HBR Consulting analysis.”
 

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis -- from technologyreview.com by Eileen Guo

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis — from technologyreview.com by Eileen Guo

Excerpts:

An unprecedented, imperfect moratorium
Before the pandemic, an average of 3.6 million Americans lost their homes to evictions every year, according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. By the end of 2020, this number could increase exponentially, with one report from the Aspen Institute estimating that, without further federal aid, between 30 to 40 million people may be at risk of eviction in the next several months. The financial hardship exacerbated by covid-19 has left many in a precarious situation.

.

Legal aid attorneys chart course for 2021 after spike in demand

Legal aid attorneys chart course for 2021 after spike in demand — from law360.com by Justin Wise

Excerpts: (emphasis DSC)

The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it caused sparked a massive spike in demand for legal aid services from America’s most marginalized communities, leaving a field already under-resourced facing even greater strain in 2020.

At the same time, many organizations had to close their offices in the spring and significantly reduce in-person communication with clients to comply with health guidelines. It all amounted to a “pretty crushing” year in which attorneys transitioned to a primarily remote operation with new channels including a COVID-19 legal intake line, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Executive Director Laura Tuggle said.

Tuggle said 3 in 4 of the calls on the SLLS hotline are from people seeking assistance on matters relating to housing and evictions. Overall, the group has had a 300% increase in eviction cases this year. It also had a 600% increase in unemployment assistance cases in the first few months of the pandemic.

“The most pressing legal need America faces as we enter 2021 is the tsunami of potential evictions that threaten the millions of people who have lost jobs during the pandemic,” LSC Executive Director Ronald Flagg said, pointing to a study showing that evictions can cause increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

 

 

Addendum on 12/9/20:

 

A New Report and Recommendations: Civil Justice for All — from amacad.org (the American Academy of Arts & Sciences)

Also see:

  • Expiring Eviction Moratoriums and COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality — from papers.ssrn.com by Kathryn Leifheit, Sabriya Linton, Julia Raifman, Gabriel Schwartz, Emily Benfer, Frederick Zimmerman, and Craig Pollack
    Excerpt of Abstract:
    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis has rendered millions of U.S. households unable to pay rent, placing them at risk for eviction. Evictions may accelerate COVID-19 transmission by increasing household crowding and decreasing individuals’ ability to comply with social distancing directives. We leveraged variation in the expiration of eviction moratoriums in U.S. states to test for associations between evictions and COVID-19 incidence and mortality.
 

LawNext: Suffolk Law Dean Andrew Perlman On Innovating Legal Education and Legal Services — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Andrew Perlman is one of the nation’s leading forces helping to establish the future of legal education and legal practice.

On this episode of LawNext, Perlman joins me to share thoughts on the present and future of legal education, legal practice, and legal regulatory reform.

Court Forms Online MassAccess 

DWF launches lawtech training seat geared towards STEM grads — from legalcheek.com by Adam Mawardi

Excerpt:

DWF is set to launch a new lawtech seat aimed towards trainees with backgrounds in technology and STEM subjects. The pilot, which launches in February 2021, will see one trainee work within DWF’s legal tech team, where they will help lawyers and clients solve problems through document automaton, artificial intelligence and e-discovery.

All of a sudden, legal tech marketplaces are proliferating — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for the resource

 

ABA TechReport 2020

CYBERSECURITY
2020 Cybersecurity
John G. Loughnane
The 2020 report reflects incremental progress in areas fundamental to adequate security, but not enough. Find out more in this TechReport.

BIG DATA & CLOUD COMPUTING
2020 Cloud Computing
Dennis Kennedy
There’s much to learn from the 2020 results and what they tell us about how to move forward into an era that promises to be much more cloud-intensive.

PRACTICE TECHNOLOGY
2020 Solo & Small Firm
Karin Conroy
There are nuanced pros and cons of how solo and small firms approach security and technology decisions; find out more in this TechReport.

PRACTICE TECHNOLOGY
2020 Websites & Marketing
Allison C. Shields Johs
Learn about some basic steps that solo and small firm lawyers can take to improve their marketing in the upcoming year to help them compete in an increasingly virtual world.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
2020 Technology Training
Mark Rosch
Lawyers must overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect that is likely coloring their own perceptions about their technology competence to understand that training would benefit them.

PRACTICE TECHNOLOGY
2020 Practice Management
Alexander Paykin
Solo and small firms have to make a choice on how to spend their money in order to survive and to stay competitive with larger firms. Find out more in this TechReport.

2020 Litigation & Technology Assisted Review (TAR)
Stephen Embry
Our Litigation & TAR report is back in 2020 to give you a rundown on the use of technology in the courtroom, training, and e-discovery.

 

2020 in review: Legal software for working remotely — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpts:

  • January: Virtual and chatbot assistants
  • February: Client relationship management tools
  • March: Top tools to help lawyers set up virtual practices
  • April: Document management software
  • May: Online payment tools
  • June: Secure online communication
  • July: Legal billing software
  • August: Time-tracking software
  • September: Contract review software
  • October: Litigation analytics software

 

 

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

 
© 2020 | Daniel Christian