Will There Be A ‘Legal AI Arms Race’ In Litigation?

‘Litigation is war,’ stated Stephen Dowling, the founder of TrialView, at the Future Lawyer Week conference yesterday, then posed the question: ‘Will there be an arms race’ in relation to GenAI-driven tools for litigators?

Fellow panellist, Anna Gilbert, a counsel at the Hausfeld legal group, agreed that it was very relevant now and that ‘what GenAI tools will the opposition be using?’ may become a key question both parties and their law firms will start asking more and more.

This is because, as they explored, some GenAI tools could give one law firm an advantage over the other which is not using the same tech to improve their odds at trial.

Dowling gave an example in the shape of using AI for ‘a first pass on witness statements’ to make sure that what they’re going to say in court actually corresponds to any documents that have been submitted, in effect ‘to help make sure they are consistent with their statements’ i.e. have a consistency detection tool working for your team.

He noted that not all law firms do this before a witness is called and that naturally puts them at a disadvantage.

Dowling, whose company TrialView offers the ability to ‘ask questions [of documents], build timelines, detect patterns….compare statements, depositions and case documents [to] uncover inconsistencies in your opponent’s case and witness testimony’, also added that it seemed clear that GenAI was going to both ‘augment’ litigators’ work and disrupt the sector.

Hausfeld’s Gilbert echoed this and added that one of the key benefits of GenAI in litigation – which is so grounded in interpretation of the facts – was that this form of AI was very good at inferring things and could go far beyond just attempting to attain a ‘straight answer’.

I.e. GenAI is not ‘thinking’, but its LLM approach – which is deeply immersed in language understanding – provides responses to complex collections of information that may be surprisingly original and illuminating, but not immediately obvious to a lawyer who has only quickly read the documents.

Gilbert then raised the potential for a diametrically different approach to the one of litigation creating an AI arms race and asked the open question of whether when it came to arbitration that different parties could come together to share the same GenAI technology under mutual agreement to help reach a resolution?

A question was also asked about legal tech tool transparency, and what each party should reveal to the other ‘about what you are using’.

One other area of discussion was the billable hour. Often it’s assumed that because disputes work and awards can be unpredictable, that AI’s impact on the billable hours of litigators might be limited. However, Gilbert noted that even here ‘there is a disconnect between value and costs – because one could work a lot for a small matter, and vice versa’.

We will need to look at different economic models. There may be more work on a fixed fee, or at least tranches of work on a fixed fee, which would be more certain and fairer,’ she noted.

However, Gilbert also observed that some clients may not always want that approach, although they might be won over by the benefits of knowing upfront at least some of the costs.

All in all, it’s clear that the world of litigation and dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation, as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution, are all going to be changed by GenAI. The question many may be asking is: how much and how soon? The answer to that is: a lot and it’s already happening!

Litigation Day at Legal Innovators UK Conference

Given the above, it’s clear that the landmark legal tech and innovation conference in the UK, Legal Innovators, will need to have a day dedicated to the rapidly changing opportunities available to those in the dispute resolution world. So, in 2025 we will be having three days together: Day One – law firms, Day Two – inhouse and legal ops, and now, Day Three – litigation. And of course, there will be plenty of space for those focused on litigation tech tools this November for the 2024 conference in London as well, which is now also starting to take shape.

If you’d like to know more or get your booking in now to secure your part for this key event in the legal diary, then please contact:

Timo: timo@cosmonauts.biz (All major enquiries) 

Craig: craig@cosmonauts.biz (Sponsors)

Also, the Legal Innovators California conference – San Francisco, June 4 + 5

Tickets are now available for the Legal Innovators California conference on June 4 and 5 in San Francisco. And what’s more, inhouse lawyers and legal ops experts go free! See the ticket page here. 

The two-day event, with Day One for Law Firms, and Day Two for Inhouse and Legal Ops, with ALSPs fitting into both days, is chaired by Richard Tromans, Founder of Artificial Lawyer, and organised by Cosmonauts.

And here are some of the excellent speakers we can mention, with more to be announced in the weeks ahead leading up to June 4th and 5th. 

  • Steve Gong, Patent Counsel, Data Science Head, Tech & Operations, Google
  • Lydia Petrakis, Senior Corporate Counsel, Digital Strategist, Microsoft
  • Jake Heath, Partner, Orrick
  • Julian Tsisin, Director, Head of Legal Technology, Data and Support, Meta
  • Dorothy Cullen, Senior Director, LCA Operations, Salesforce
  • Cary Burch, Founding Partner, President and CEO, Bryce Catalyst
  • David Wang, Chief Innovation Officer, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Gabriela Isturiz, General Partner, The Fund XX
  • Amol Bargaje, Global Chief Innovation Officer, Mayer Brown
  • Dr. Megan Ma, Assistant Director, CodeX and Law, Science + Technology, Stanford Law School
  • Danielle Benecke, Founder/Director, Baker McKenzie Machine Learning
  • Josh Rosenzweig, Senior Director of Digital Transformation and User Experience Morgan Lewis & Bockius
  • Daniel Himmel, Vice President, Client Services & Strategy, ClearyX
  • And, Zach Abramowitz, legal tech investor and advisor, Killer Whale Strategies.

As you can see, we have leading figures in legal innovation from law firms, including experts from Wilson Sonsini, Baker McKenzie, Mayer Brown and Morgan Lewis; academics with great insights into AI such as Dr Megan Ma from Stanford; and pioneers from the investment world; and top speakers from some of the leading tech companies on the planet, including Google, Microsoft, Meta and Salesforce.

Plus, we already have some great sponsors, such as: Relativity, ClearyX, LegalOn, Tangible, IncorpoRight, and Fossa, and many more to come, who will have plenty to say on a range of innovation subjects. 

This year we are also going to be hosting a special area for startups, which given that we are in the Bay Area, a key centre for investment and new tech companies, makes total sense. Get in touch if you’re a young company and would like to take part (see the email addresses above). 

That’s all for now, keep a look out for many more updates up until June 4/5.

P.S. please make sure you get the right ticket. More info and ticket options here.