George Socha, Reveal: AI Across the Life of a Lawsuit

Extract from George Socha’s article “AI Across the Life of a Lawsuit”

This post is the first in a series looking at how to use artificial intelligence tools across the full life of a lawsuit.

Today, if we use AI technology on our cases at all, we tend to deploy those capabilities – machine learning, AI algorithms, AI-based automation, and the like – primarily for a narrow range of activities. We use them mostly to identify (a) relevant content and (b) content that might be privileged or subject to some other form of protection. When we narrow our use of AI systems in that way, however, we overlook potent possibilities.

We can use those same technologies to great effect across the entire life of a lawsuit. Starting before the initial complaint is drafted and continuing all the way to final resolution and data clean-up, we can turn to communications analysis, image mapping, translation, transcription, active learning, and other AI-driven capabilities to help us get our work done faster, better, and even less expensively.

To accomplish this, it helps to have an overarching framework against which we can map our use of these capabilities. We have just such a framework ready and waiting for us, only that has benefited from nearly a century of development and refinement: the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

As a law student, I never understood the importance of procedural rules. Only as a practicing attorney at a law firm did I come to appreciate that they provide us with a road map for navigating lawsuits. Not only do these rules guide us as we work up matters as lawyers. Those rules provide us, as well, with a template for where to more effectively use AI systems.

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