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What is legal technology
Helsinki Legal Tech Meetup 2016-03-17
Anna Ronkainen
Chief Scientist, TrademarkNow
@ronkaine
Which technology has had
the biggest impact on law?
Writing!
Code of Hammurabi,
Mesopotamia 1754 BCE
(Wikimedia: Rama CC BY-SA 2.0)
What is technology?
-  τέχνη ‘art,	skill,	cra,’	+	-λογία ‘study	of’	
-  “Technology	is	society	made	durable”	(Bruno	
Latour)	
-  ”technologies	of	power”	(Michel	Foucault)	
-  the	pracEcal	applicaEon	of	knowledge	to	a	
parEcular	area	
-  “the collection of tools, including machinery,
modifications, arrangements and procedures
used by humans” (yay Wikipedia!)
What is legal technology?
-  technology (mainly ICT) used
-  in courts
-  in legal practice
-  for doing things which conventionally have
required the assistance of a lawyer
-  ...
The beginnings of data
processing in law
The first search-and-replace ever:
s/retarded child/exceptional child/g
-  terminology change in the Pennsylvania health
code in the late 1950s
-  legislative technique required all instances of
textual changes to be enumerated individually
-  the legislature turned to prof Horty at Penn
-  first tried to solve this manually, too unreliable
-  solution: input text into computer, index the
position of each word to find all occurrences of
the word in question
-  obviously generalizable into textual information
retrieval in general
Next steps
-  M.U.L.L. (later Jurimetrics) journal 1959–
-  case law retrieval experiments by Colin Tapper
(Oxford) through the 1960s
-  Centre d’études pour le traitement de
l'information juridique (IRETIJ, Montpellier)
1965
-  CREDOC (Belgium) 1967
-  OBAR (Ohio) 1964 -> LEXIS 1970
-  NORIS (Norway) 1970
-  Westlaw 1975
First expert systems: mid-1980s
-  inspired by systems from other fields (e.g.
MYCIN)
-  Latent Damage Law (Susskind and Capper)
-  British Nationality Act (Bench-Capon and
Sergot)
-  SHYSTER (Popple)
Where did all the lawyers go?
-  the PC revolution (1980s) and the launch of
the commercial Internet (1993) ->
computer-related legal problems
everywhere!
-  expert systems were considered a failure –
not just in law – for good reason -> the AI
winter of late 1980s
-  leaving the field to computer scientists and
legal theorists made AI & law decreasingly
relevant for legal practitioners
Major threads of AI & law
research (non-exhaustive)
Information retrieval (1-st gen)
-  normal database search (exact match or
wildcard characters)
-  Boolean search operators
-  modest practical advances since the 1980s
(with some recent exceptions)
-  legal AI contributions negligible
Administrative automation
-  has been with us since the 1960s (or 1890s if you count
the use of Hollerith machines for the US census...)
-  an absolute must for effective administration on a large
scale
-  works well if the rules to be applied are straightforward
enough (rather hopeless with discretionary rules)
-  seems that implementing new rules in these kinds of
systems is still a major PITA
-  (also an occasional subject of doctrinal work in
administrative law, rule-of-law issues etc., e.g. Kuopus
1988)
Expert systems
-  a big thing in AI in the 1980s
-  basic idea pretty straightforward:
-  you take an expert in some domain (e.g.
some area of law)
-  make them turn their domain expertise into
computable rules
-  add a reasoning engine
-  and voilá, you have a computer giving
expert advice or making expert decisions
Case-based reasoning
-  one possible approach: analyze legal cases in
terms of factors (very common in US
doctrine)
-  use factors to find best match for case at
hand
-  map factors into a network to find
Soft computing: Fuzzy logic and
neutral networks
-  both highly fashionable in AI in the 1980s
-  also some experiments within legal AI in the
early 1990s
-  fuzzy logic was also popular among legal
theorists (mostly on a metaphorical level)
since Reisinger 1972
‘We suggest that fuzzy logic is no more than (over)sophistication of the approximation
approach, that it may give good results in some very special applications, but its
philosophical basis is uncertain generally and very uncertain when applied to open-
textured legal concepts. Both the appearance of precision and the appearance of
generality are spurious.’ (Bench-Capon and Sergot 1985/1988)
Ontologies in law
-  Valente’s functional ontology (1995):
-  norms (normative knowledge)
-  things, events, etc. (world knowledge)
-  obligations (responsibility knowledge)
-  legal remedies (reactive knowledge: penalties,
compensation)
-  rules of legal reasoning (meta-legal knowledge,
e.g. lex specialis)
-  legal powers (creative knowledge)
-  (and several others)
Argumentation frameworks
(Dung 1995)
-  a set of arguments, and attack relations
between pairs of arguments (A attacks B)
-  general semantics for argument trees
-  plus specific rules for finding which attack
relation dominates (in case of conflict)
What’s happening to the
legal industry?
Susskind:
The evolution of legal service
1.  bespoke
2.  standardized
3.  systematized
4.  packaged
5.  commoditized
1. Bespoke lawyering
-  the traditional model: everything done
individually for each client
-  not going to disappear, high-profile litigation
will certainly always have a lot of this
-  however, its role is diminishing
-  hourly billing offers no incentives for greater
efficiency to the service provider...
2. Standardized lawyering
-  ... but who wants to pay for each contract to
be written from scratch (heck, who even
wants to actually do that)
-  standard document templates
-  checklists
-  the bulk of work still done manually
3. Systematized lawyering
-  same as standardized, only with better tech
-  e.g. computerized checklists or process
manuals for compliance (workflow systems)
-  automated document generation, with a
decision tree logic to select the right type of
document, using just the necessary inputs
4. Packaged lawyering
-  systematized lawyering offered so the clients
can use it themselves
-  tools and information offered online in
ready-made chunks, backed by individual
(manual) service
-  pricing model innovation by this stage, e.g.
based on fees for specific transactions or
monthly/annual subscription fees
5. Commoditized lawyering
-  packaged lawyering minus people, and with
even better tech
-  offered strictly as a computerized service e.g.
as a web or mobile app
-  scalable (the same number of people can
provide the service to 1 or 100000 people),
can be provided at a radically lower cost
-  this is what many (but far from all) legal
startups are doing
...and that’s why we’re here
-  the role of tech grows at each stage and its
importance for legal innovation is
unquestionable
-  but it’s not everything
-  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure!
-  design thinking now emerging in law
-  alternative dispute resolution
-  legal project management
(Some) types of legal
technology
Legal information retrieval
-  access to legal sources (cases, statutes,
doctrine)
-  initially basic database functions, now
increasingly sophisticated
-  NLP-powered interfaces, recommendations,
better UX
-  new open data based solutions coming
(where data available!)
Legal practice technology
-  communication: e-mail and all its killers
-  case/docket management and workflow
-  timekeeping
-  document management
-  document automation
-  knowledge management
-  ...
Court technology
-  case management
-  online dispute resolution
-  decision support
Attorney/client interfaces
-  legal services platforms
-  lawyer matching
-  lawyer/referral networks
Task- and issue-specific solutions
-  e-discovery
-  due diligence
-  contract analysis
-  immigration
-  family law: divorce, prenups, estates
-  mergers and acquisitions
-  bankruptcy
-  construction
-  end-of-life
-  patents
-  trademarks
-  DRM
-  ...
A couple of interesting
concrete examples
Online dispute resolution
-  alternative dispute resolution + tech
-  minimal level: keep existing procedures, add
teh internets (e-mail, videoconferencing)
-  better: rethink the entire process
Tech in access to justice
-  information and advice: do I have a case, is
it worth pursuing?
-  communications
-  process standardization
-  reaches a broader population
-  savings in time and money
Example: Assisted negotiation: Modria
-  spin-off from ODR departments of eBay and
PayPal
-  cloud-based platform for building ODR
services
hFps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4XtV2Pr5qM
Modria platform features
-  modules: diagnosis, negotiation, mediation,
arbitration
-  features
-  filing
-  communication
-  case management
-  decisions and appeals
-  integration
-  security
ODR proposal for England and Wales
-  proposes a new HM Online Court (HMOC)
for small-claims cases (<£25k)
-  three-tier service:
-  avoidance: online evaluation: informational
-  containment: online facilitation: inquisitorial
-  resolution: online judges: adversarial
-  http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/reviews/online-dispute-resolution/
HMOC tier 1: Online evaluation
-  informational and diagnostic services made
available at no cost, fully automated
-  tools proposed to be developed by non-
profits or by law firms as pro bono work
-  offering advice to those who think they
might have a case
-  alternative courses of action
-  emphasis on prevention
HMOC tier 2: Online facilitation
-  when online evaluation doesn’t resolve the
issue
-  experienced people working as facilitators,
reviewing documents and statements from
the parties
-  mediation, advice, encouragement to
negotiate
-  non-binding
-  a court fee is payable (less than for tier 3)
HMOC tier 3: Online judges
-  using judges from the normal court system
-  decide cases (or parts of them) using mostly
documents submitted online
-  teleconferencing option when necessary
-  binding and enforceable decisions
-  court fee (higher than tier 2, less than
normal current court fees)
-  built mostly(?) for pro se litigants: biggest
savings for the parties from lawyers’ fees
HMOC: Just a pipe dream?
-  not quite: something very similar to the
proposed HMOC system will start operating
in British Columbia this summer: Civil
Resolution Tribunal
Predictive analytics
-  using data about past cases to predict the
future
-  “The prophecies of what the courts will do
in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are
what I mean by the law.” – Oliver Wendell
Holmes (1897)
-  potential for a wealth of approaches, but
we’re only just getting started...
Example: Lex Machina
-  Stanford CS+Law research project spin-off,
founded in 2010
-  “Moneyball for lawyers”
-  predictive analytics to support patent
litigation, basically looking into everything
else except the actual merits of the case
Legal Analytics® by Lex Machina,
for example:
-  patent portfolio characteristics
-  litigation frequency
-  duration of trial
-  likelihood of settling
-  patent troll non-practicing entity?
-  opposing counsel characteristics
-  assigned judges’ characteristics
-  decision history: pro-plaintiff or pro-
defendant
So, what about Finland?
Legal tech in Finland: Industry
-  publishers: Edita (Edilex/Finlex), Talentum
(suomenlaki.com)
-  public sector ICT behemoths: Tieto, CGI
-  NewLaw: e.g. Fondia, Turre Legal
-  legal marketplace: Lakivälitys
-  contract management: M-Files, Sopima,
ContractZen
-  practice management: CSI Helsinki
-  trademark AI: TrademarkNow
Legal tech in Finland: Academia
Relevant research (that I’m aware of):
-  legal AI: modelling interpretation and
vagueness (yours truly/Helsinki)
-  Semantic Finlex (Hyvönen et al/Aalto)
-  legal design (Haapio/Vaasa, Passera/Aalto)
Teaching:
-  Turku law school: Introduction to Legal
Technology (by yours truly), spring 2015,
autumn 2016, ...
http://www.americanbar.org/publications/law_practice_magazine/2014/july-august/teaching-the-technology-of-practice-the-10-top-schools.html
Meanwhile,
across the pond:
More information
Online resources: Legaltech News, Legal IT
Insider, Lawyerist, Above the Law...
Events: ABA Techshow, Legaltech, British Legal
Technology Forum, VQ, Lexpo...
Organizations: ILTA, IAAIL, legal tech/legal
hackers meetups, maybe a Finnish org coming
as well
...and the slides from my course in Turku are
online as well: http://blog.trademarknow.com/
2015/03/slides-for-legal-tech-course/
Questions?
Thank you!

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What is legal technology?

  • 1. What is legal technology Helsinki Legal Tech Meetup 2016-03-17 Anna Ronkainen Chief Scientist, TrademarkNow @ronkaine
  • 2. Which technology has had the biggest impact on law?
  • 3. Writing! Code of Hammurabi, Mesopotamia 1754 BCE (Wikimedia: Rama CC BY-SA 2.0)
  • 4. What is technology? -  τέχνη ‘art, skill, cra,’ + -λογία ‘study of’ -  “Technology is society made durable” (Bruno Latour) -  ”technologies of power” (Michel Foucault) -  the pracEcal applicaEon of knowledge to a parEcular area -  “the collection of tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures used by humans” (yay Wikipedia!)
  • 5. What is legal technology? -  technology (mainly ICT) used -  in courts -  in legal practice -  for doing things which conventionally have required the assistance of a lawyer -  ...
  • 6.
  • 7. The beginnings of data processing in law
  • 8. The first search-and-replace ever: s/retarded child/exceptional child/g -  terminology change in the Pennsylvania health code in the late 1950s -  legislative technique required all instances of textual changes to be enumerated individually -  the legislature turned to prof Horty at Penn -  first tried to solve this manually, too unreliable -  solution: input text into computer, index the position of each word to find all occurrences of the word in question -  obviously generalizable into textual information retrieval in general
  • 9. Next steps -  M.U.L.L. (later Jurimetrics) journal 1959– -  case law retrieval experiments by Colin Tapper (Oxford) through the 1960s -  Centre d’études pour le traitement de l'information juridique (IRETIJ, Montpellier) 1965 -  CREDOC (Belgium) 1967 -  OBAR (Ohio) 1964 -> LEXIS 1970 -  NORIS (Norway) 1970 -  Westlaw 1975
  • 10. First expert systems: mid-1980s -  inspired by systems from other fields (e.g. MYCIN) -  Latent Damage Law (Susskind and Capper) -  British Nationality Act (Bench-Capon and Sergot) -  SHYSTER (Popple)
  • 11. Where did all the lawyers go? -  the PC revolution (1980s) and the launch of the commercial Internet (1993) -> computer-related legal problems everywhere! -  expert systems were considered a failure – not just in law – for good reason -> the AI winter of late 1980s -  leaving the field to computer scientists and legal theorists made AI & law decreasingly relevant for legal practitioners
  • 12. Major threads of AI & law research (non-exhaustive)
  • 13. Information retrieval (1-st gen) -  normal database search (exact match or wildcard characters) -  Boolean search operators -  modest practical advances since the 1980s (with some recent exceptions) -  legal AI contributions negligible
  • 14. Administrative automation -  has been with us since the 1960s (or 1890s if you count the use of Hollerith machines for the US census...) -  an absolute must for effective administration on a large scale -  works well if the rules to be applied are straightforward enough (rather hopeless with discretionary rules) -  seems that implementing new rules in these kinds of systems is still a major PITA -  (also an occasional subject of doctrinal work in administrative law, rule-of-law issues etc., e.g. Kuopus 1988)
  • 15. Expert systems -  a big thing in AI in the 1980s -  basic idea pretty straightforward: -  you take an expert in some domain (e.g. some area of law) -  make them turn their domain expertise into computable rules -  add a reasoning engine -  and voilá, you have a computer giving expert advice or making expert decisions
  • 16. Case-based reasoning -  one possible approach: analyze legal cases in terms of factors (very common in US doctrine) -  use factors to find best match for case at hand -  map factors into a network to find
  • 17. Soft computing: Fuzzy logic and neutral networks -  both highly fashionable in AI in the 1980s -  also some experiments within legal AI in the early 1990s -  fuzzy logic was also popular among legal theorists (mostly on a metaphorical level) since Reisinger 1972 ‘We suggest that fuzzy logic is no more than (over)sophistication of the approximation approach, that it may give good results in some very special applications, but its philosophical basis is uncertain generally and very uncertain when applied to open- textured legal concepts. Both the appearance of precision and the appearance of generality are spurious.’ (Bench-Capon and Sergot 1985/1988)
  • 18. Ontologies in law -  Valente’s functional ontology (1995): -  norms (normative knowledge) -  things, events, etc. (world knowledge) -  obligations (responsibility knowledge) -  legal remedies (reactive knowledge: penalties, compensation) -  rules of legal reasoning (meta-legal knowledge, e.g. lex specialis) -  legal powers (creative knowledge) -  (and several others)
  • 19. Argumentation frameworks (Dung 1995) -  a set of arguments, and attack relations between pairs of arguments (A attacks B) -  general semantics for argument trees -  plus specific rules for finding which attack relation dominates (in case of conflict)
  • 20. What’s happening to the legal industry?
  • 21. Susskind: The evolution of legal service 1.  bespoke 2.  standardized 3.  systematized 4.  packaged 5.  commoditized
  • 22. 1. Bespoke lawyering -  the traditional model: everything done individually for each client -  not going to disappear, high-profile litigation will certainly always have a lot of this -  however, its role is diminishing -  hourly billing offers no incentives for greater efficiency to the service provider...
  • 23. 2. Standardized lawyering -  ... but who wants to pay for each contract to be written from scratch (heck, who even wants to actually do that) -  standard document templates -  checklists -  the bulk of work still done manually
  • 24. 3. Systematized lawyering -  same as standardized, only with better tech -  e.g. computerized checklists or process manuals for compliance (workflow systems) -  automated document generation, with a decision tree logic to select the right type of document, using just the necessary inputs
  • 25. 4. Packaged lawyering -  systematized lawyering offered so the clients can use it themselves -  tools and information offered online in ready-made chunks, backed by individual (manual) service -  pricing model innovation by this stage, e.g. based on fees for specific transactions or monthly/annual subscription fees
  • 26. 5. Commoditized lawyering -  packaged lawyering minus people, and with even better tech -  offered strictly as a computerized service e.g. as a web or mobile app -  scalable (the same number of people can provide the service to 1 or 100000 people), can be provided at a radically lower cost -  this is what many (but far from all) legal startups are doing
  • 27. ...and that’s why we’re here -  the role of tech grows at each stage and its importance for legal innovation is unquestionable -  but it’s not everything -  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! -  design thinking now emerging in law -  alternative dispute resolution -  legal project management
  • 28. (Some) types of legal technology
  • 29. Legal information retrieval -  access to legal sources (cases, statutes, doctrine) -  initially basic database functions, now increasingly sophisticated -  NLP-powered interfaces, recommendations, better UX -  new open data based solutions coming (where data available!)
  • 30. Legal practice technology -  communication: e-mail and all its killers -  case/docket management and workflow -  timekeeping -  document management -  document automation -  knowledge management -  ...
  • 31. Court technology -  case management -  online dispute resolution -  decision support
  • 32. Attorney/client interfaces -  legal services platforms -  lawyer matching -  lawyer/referral networks
  • 33. Task- and issue-specific solutions -  e-discovery -  due diligence -  contract analysis -  immigration -  family law: divorce, prenups, estates -  mergers and acquisitions -  bankruptcy -  construction -  end-of-life -  patents -  trademarks -  DRM -  ...
  • 34. A couple of interesting concrete examples
  • 35. Online dispute resolution -  alternative dispute resolution + tech -  minimal level: keep existing procedures, add teh internets (e-mail, videoconferencing) -  better: rethink the entire process
  • 36. Tech in access to justice -  information and advice: do I have a case, is it worth pursuing? -  communications -  process standardization -  reaches a broader population -  savings in time and money
  • 37. Example: Assisted negotiation: Modria -  spin-off from ODR departments of eBay and PayPal -  cloud-based platform for building ODR services
  • 39. Modria platform features -  modules: diagnosis, negotiation, mediation, arbitration -  features -  filing -  communication -  case management -  decisions and appeals -  integration -  security
  • 40. ODR proposal for England and Wales -  proposes a new HM Online Court (HMOC) for small-claims cases (<£25k) -  three-tier service: -  avoidance: online evaluation: informational -  containment: online facilitation: inquisitorial -  resolution: online judges: adversarial -  http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/reviews/online-dispute-resolution/
  • 41. HMOC tier 1: Online evaluation -  informational and diagnostic services made available at no cost, fully automated -  tools proposed to be developed by non- profits or by law firms as pro bono work -  offering advice to those who think they might have a case -  alternative courses of action -  emphasis on prevention
  • 42. HMOC tier 2: Online facilitation -  when online evaluation doesn’t resolve the issue -  experienced people working as facilitators, reviewing documents and statements from the parties -  mediation, advice, encouragement to negotiate -  non-binding -  a court fee is payable (less than for tier 3)
  • 43. HMOC tier 3: Online judges -  using judges from the normal court system -  decide cases (or parts of them) using mostly documents submitted online -  teleconferencing option when necessary -  binding and enforceable decisions -  court fee (higher than tier 2, less than normal current court fees) -  built mostly(?) for pro se litigants: biggest savings for the parties from lawyers’ fees
  • 44. HMOC: Just a pipe dream? -  not quite: something very similar to the proposed HMOC system will start operating in British Columbia this summer: Civil Resolution Tribunal
  • 45.
  • 46. Predictive analytics -  using data about past cases to predict the future -  “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by the law.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes (1897) -  potential for a wealth of approaches, but we’re only just getting started...
  • 47. Example: Lex Machina -  Stanford CS+Law research project spin-off, founded in 2010 -  “Moneyball for lawyers” -  predictive analytics to support patent litigation, basically looking into everything else except the actual merits of the case
  • 48.
  • 49.
  • 50. Legal Analytics® by Lex Machina, for example: -  patent portfolio characteristics -  litigation frequency -  duration of trial -  likelihood of settling -  patent troll non-practicing entity? -  opposing counsel characteristics -  assigned judges’ characteristics -  decision history: pro-plaintiff or pro- defendant
  • 51. So, what about Finland?
  • 52. Legal tech in Finland: Industry -  publishers: Edita (Edilex/Finlex), Talentum (suomenlaki.com) -  public sector ICT behemoths: Tieto, CGI -  NewLaw: e.g. Fondia, Turre Legal -  legal marketplace: Lakivälitys -  contract management: M-Files, Sopima, ContractZen -  practice management: CSI Helsinki -  trademark AI: TrademarkNow
  • 53. Legal tech in Finland: Academia Relevant research (that I’m aware of): -  legal AI: modelling interpretation and vagueness (yours truly/Helsinki) -  Semantic Finlex (Hyvönen et al/Aalto) -  legal design (Haapio/Vaasa, Passera/Aalto) Teaching: -  Turku law school: Introduction to Legal Technology (by yours truly), spring 2015, autumn 2016, ...
  • 55. More information Online resources: Legaltech News, Legal IT Insider, Lawyerist, Above the Law... Events: ABA Techshow, Legaltech, British Legal Technology Forum, VQ, Lexpo... Organizations: ILTA, IAAIL, legal tech/legal hackers meetups, maybe a Finnish org coming as well ...and the slides from my course in Turku are online as well: http://blog.trademarknow.com/ 2015/03/slides-for-legal-tech-course/