2018 Trends: The Uberization of the law

We are in a race to completely automate the process of discovery. The business of electronic discovery and legal automation is rapidly changing the way lawyers practice law. For example, firms are creating a new position, chief innovation officer (CINO), focused on identifying profitable new combinations of people, processes, and technologies. “Disruptive innovation” is now the buzzword in the legal market.
The 2018 legal technology market is healthy and rapidly changing.

  • Last year, more than 30 major e-discovery companies were acquired or merged.
  • VC seed money continues to pour in for new technology; but they are picky.
  • Corporate counsel is back in the drivers seat.
  • New lawyers no longer take the old conservative attitude of “why fix what’s not broken”
  • Price is still a key decision driver for most companies
  • Strong expert project management is a key demand

What are the reasons?

  • Less than one percent of civil cases go to trial. Most lawyers working in this area have never tried a case.
  • Corporate legal under tremendous pressure to reduce costs by the board of directors and insurance carriers.
  • Revised Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 37(e) has weakened demand for services because less fear of sanctions is driving new case strategies.
  • Focus on the left side of EDRM.
  • Legal hold and preservation/collection activities mostly performed in house; but RelativityOne is changing what is performed by vendors.
  • New technology is continuing to disrupt the status quo.
  • AI is doing a better job than lawyers in filtering, targeting and producing relevant data.

What to expect in 2018.

  • The proactive application of AI to evidence archives across all litigation matters to better understand and predict litigation risks and develop strategies for future litigation.
  • Declining demand for large attorney review projects.
  • Less ESI will be sent offsite for processing and review.
  • IG plays an important role in keeping the growing amount of data under corporate control.
  • Corporations continue to invest in internal capabilities.
  • Use of new legal project management technology to streamline cases.