LegalTech 2013 From settlement predictions to social network tracking

By Correy Stephenson
The Daily Record Newswire
BOSTON — The annual LegalTech conference has skewed more and more towards electronic discovery vendors over the last few years, and 2013 was no exception, with laser focus on computer-assisted review.

Electronic discovery platforms either introduced computer-assisted review (CAR) services or announced new iterations or add-ons of it to existing services.

Breakout sessions and CLEs discussed the pros and cons, the how-tos and the development of best practices for the increasingly popular technology.

The take-away for lawyers: Be prepared to use, or face opposing counsel’s request to use, CAR in the coming year.

Amidst the CAR hubbub, there were a few other items of interest to solos and small firm attorneys:

Settlement software
Looking to predict the future?

Picture It Settled is here to help. With a few case details, the software will predict the course of negotiations, ending with a prediction of how much the case will settle for.

As a mediator, San Antonio-based Don Philbin said he often had the feeling he knew the direction a settlement negotiation would take. Then he wondered: Could he replicate that feeling using software grounded in data from prior cases?

The answer is yes.

Using information from several thousand cases, the software creates graphs of each side’s negotiation strategy with a settlement prediction where the lines intersect.

“There is a social convention to negotiation,” Philbin said. If one party moves too far outside of social norms — offering way too little for a settlement amount, for example — the negotiation will end.

Lawyers can use Picture It Settled to help guide their negotiation strategy or to help value a case at the outset, Philbin said.

The software was originally released as an app in 2011. More data was gathered over the last few years to launch the website version.

To get a prediction, an attorney enters case metrics such as the jurisdiction, the type of claim involved (patent infringement or soft tissue injury, for example) and an assessment of likely outcomes, with an estimate of the dollar amount for a best and worst case scenario.

Using the Target Settlement feature, a lawyer enters a goal of a $1.5 million settlement, for example. The software then charts out how to make offers to reach that goal, suggesting an initial offer amount and calculating a plan of how to spread out concessionary offers until the party reaches the desired settlement amount.

Predictions are made with 80 percent accuracy and improve the more offer data is provided, Philbin said.

Picture It Settled will be available via subscription as of April 1, 2013. For now, lawyers can use the software free of charge.
The website offers more details at: http://ww1.pictureitsettled. com/

Practice management apps
Lawyers are embracing the use of the iPad and the iPad mini for litigation matters.

But what about handling practice management concerns?

Onit Apps looks to own that niche by providing 10 pre-figured Onit Apps for Legal.

The existing apps cover areas like matter management, intake and contract administration, with each app customizable for a sole practitioner or small firm’s specific requirements.

In addition, the company provides a template for lawyers to create their own custom apps to simplify any manual, paper-intensive process.

After opening the app, the user fills in the relevant fields, which can then be used to sort or search for information.

For example, the matter management app organizes all of the information for a given matter in the app from documents to e-mails, invoices, deadlines, dockets and time sheets. The app increases productivity by streamlining administrative activities and also provides greater visibility about issues like where a matter is in the legal process and what the possible strategies for resolution may be.

Each matter is assigned a unique email address so that all correspondence related to the matter is centralized and easy to find.

The apps also allow attorneys to create checklists so users can ensure that they are following the standard and defined tasks and procedures for intake and representations (providing a client with a copy of a signed engagement agreement, for example).

Because the apps are presented in such a simple and intuitive interface, virtually no training is required, the company says, similar to the ease of using sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

To learn more or schedule an app tour, visit