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Law Firm Uses IBM's Watson Software, Innovating Through Technology.

Byline: Amanda Ciccatelli

You may remember the IBM-created technology known as "Watson" from Jeopardy! where renowned competitor Ken Jennings faced off against -- and ultimately lost to -- the technology. California-based law firm LTL Attorneys has worked to approach law differently than its larger competitors, so the firm has acquired Watson computing capabilities to employ Watson throughout its practices -- including IP and litigation -- providing attorneys and clients data analysis capabilities.

Thomas Suh's, partner at LTL recently sat down with Inside Counsel to discuss how technology and data are poised to help small firms compete with larger firms and at a fraction of the cost. According to Suh, the integration of Watson will strengthen areas like discovery and document review and will provide predictive analysis, helping clients better weigh the likelihood and cost of litigation.

Today, LTL differentiates itself by the following value propositions including embracing technology, pioneering alternative fee options, and understanding client service.

"It is no secret that most lawyers shy away from technology and tend to do things the way they have always done it. We are different. We embrace the latest technology tools which translates to high efficiency and effective management of cases," he explained. "This allows us to handle highly complex cases, and levels the playing field against much larger opposing teams. And because we are tech savvy, we thrive in successfully handling cases that deal with technology."

So, how can technology innovations positively impact law firms today?

Every industry has and will continue to benefit from technology, and law is no exception. But, technology's impact on the law firm business is limited by the model that has made law firms among the most profitable businesses around, according to Suh. However, given increasing pressures from corporate clients to reduce fees, increase efficiencies, and do more with less, firms will be forced to find ways to meet those goals.

"Enter technology. Existing and upcoming technology tools will allow law firms to become more efficient, increase-per attorney productivity and profitability, and will allow law firms to offer clients more creative and real alternative fee options," he said.

In the future, predictive coding, artificial intelligence, and cognitive computing all will aid lawyers with discovery and document review with more accuracy, incredible speed, ability to handle vast volumes, and more importantly, these tools will be more reliable than work performed by attorneys. So, that creates huge amounts of data is available covering all types of information related to litigation.

"Consider the data available at large corporations and big law firms - they both have information on the types of cases they have handled, the specific claims litigated, the plaintiff's counsel, the fees and costs incurred, the lawyers on the teams, the jurisdictions, the judges, the experts, etc.," explained Suh. "This data can be analyzed in multiple ways to provide a client with predictive analysis and recommendations on settlement value, costs of litigations, and likelihood of success."

Technology has always been the great equalizer. While some cases do require several lawyers, most cases can be handled by efficient smaller firms that can leverage technology.

Further reading: Machines Are Organizing Legal's Data, But Not Fast Enough Challenged by the Old and New, Corporate E-Discovery Hits a Wall Fintech Innovation Too Quick for Some Outside Counsel

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Publication:Inside Counsel Breaking News
Date:Apr 26, 2017
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