Improving access to justice through the use of open source software

Denver CO, October 16, 2019—John Tredennick, longtime trial lawyer and former CEO and founder of award-winning Catalyst Repository Systems, today announced the formation of the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation. The Merlin Foundation is a nonprofit corporation in the process of registering as a 501(c)(3). Its simple mission is to improve access to justice and make legal and regulatory compliance more efficient through the use of open source software.

The Mission: Promoting Open Source for Legal

“Open source has revolutionized the way software is developed worldwide,” explained  Foundation Director John Tredennick. “It represents a new and powerful alternative to proprietary software and has great applications in legal. Teams of developers and legal professionals worldwide are collaborating to make software that improves access to justice for clients and makes legal and regulatory compliance less costly,” he continued.

“At its heart, open source is about collaboration. What makes it so powerful is that people can come together worldwide to develop and release free, fully featured software tailored to legal needs,” said Mary Mack, the former Director of ACEDS and now embarking on a new venture. “I am excited to support and be a part of this great new venture.”

The Merlin Foundation plans to achieve its mission by:

  • Fostering worldwide education about the advantages of open source software and secure cloud computing;
  • Providing a central platform for legal professionals to collaborate on open source development projects; and
  • Distributing open source software under free licenses to individuals and organizations around the world for legal and regulatory compliance processes.

The goal is to develop a central repository of active legal open source projects and provide a home for legal technologists to collaborate on great software that will benefit both the legal profession and those who need legal services at an affordable price.

“An Open Source Foundation like this has been needed for the legal profession for years,” stated Bob Ambrogi, an award-winning legal reporter, writer and podcaster who will serve on the Merlin Advisory Board. “Open source has been opening doors for efficiency and cost savings in just about every other part of the world. Legal is ripe for open source collaboration efforts. In fact, we are already seeing open source projects springing up across the globe,” he added.

Industry veteran Lew Visscher will act as Chief Financial Officer for the Foundation. Lew is a well known financial and accounting professional who served for more than a decade as Catalyst’s CFO. Before that he worked with a number of foundations and technology companies, beginning his career as a CPA with PriceWaterhouse. “As a nonprofit, Merlin has to be above reproach with respect to its financials and donations. My job will be to make sure the organization is in sound financial shape and to report on our books to the public,” Lew stated.

Starting fast out of the gate, the Merlin Foundation has already lined up a number of leading professionals to serve on its Advisory Board. “We are going to hold back until we have the board fully established,” explained Tredennick. “But we already have top names from major law firms, legal departments and open source technologists in the U.S and the EU. We hope to recruit in Asia Pacific and Australasia as well in the next few months,” he added.  “We are actively looking for great people to join our cause.”

Increasing Complexity and Regulatory Demands

As worldwide legal and regulatory requirements increase in both scope and complexity, there is a pressing need for technology that helps legal departments and law firms meet their obligations. Open source collaboration allows legal teams from different organizations to work together to build software that they can all use for compliance processes. It can also help us reach out to consumers worldwide, helping them navigate these difficult waters.

About the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation

The Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation is dedicated to improving access to justice and making legal and regulatory compliance more efficient through the use of open source software. A worldwide, non-profit organization, the Merlin Foundation strives to foster worldwide education about the benefits of open source software; provide a central platform for legal professionals to collaborate on open source development projects; and distribute open source software under free license to individuals and organizations around the world to improve access to justice and for legal and regulatory compliance.

The Merlin Foundation is a non-profit corporation in the process of registering as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

For more information about the Merlin Foundation, go to www.MerlinFoundation.org.


The CCPA, scheduled to take effect in January 2020, creates sweeping new rights for Californians and onerous transparency and other obligations for businesses handling their information.

While it’s natural to make the comparison, calling the CCPA California’s GDPR may be a bit of a misnomer. The two laws share some key components, yet differ in several aspects. If your company created a compliance program for GDPR, you may be a step ahead, but you’ll still want to take a thorough look at the new CCPA, adapt internal processes where needed and train employees
to understand and appropriately handle information requests from California contacts.

READ MORE


A Law Firm Marketing Blog Series Edition #20

Welcome back to our blog series, in which we talk with some of today’s most knowledgeable legal marketing minds. In this edition, we feature Amy Juers, the founder and CEO of Edge Legal Marketing.

We hope hearing the thoughts and ideas shared by the people in these blog posts, will inspire you to make positive changes to your marketing strategies. We also know that marketing legal services these days is more complex and challenging now than ever before, and hope that some of our readers may identify with some of the marketing struggles presented here, and perhaps be able to offer solutions.

The biggest goal of this blog series is to get the conversation going, so let’s dive in.

Read more…


From the moment I stepped into the beautiful Bellagio Hotel and Casino for CLOC 2019 Vegas Institute, there was a wow factor that no one could deny.

While not new to the Bellagio, I was new to CLOC – this was the first conference I have been able to attend. When CLOC launched its first conference in 2016, there were many unknowns about the organization and also the power and influence this conference would have. Here are my takeaways from CLOC 2019:

  1. The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization that helps legal operations professionals and others optimize the legal service delivery models required to support the needs of law departments. The organization is comprised of 2,303 members across 45 countries including, but not limited to the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada. Its membership represents 65 Fortune 100 companies, 182 Fortune 500 companies and 242 of the Fortune 1000. The organization has seen a continuous increase in membership registrations year over year. If your goal is to connect with legal operations professionals, the buck stops here.
  2. Stats matter, and the numbers are evidence of influence and growth. There was an 80 percent increase in CLOC Vegas Institute registration from 2017 to 2018 and a 55 percent increase from 2018 to 2019. CLOC staff claims that this year they had more than 2,300 attendees present and 46 percent as in-house legal representatives.
  3. I attended the press conference with the CLOC board of directors, which includes Mary Shen O’Carroll, director, legal operations, technology and strategy, Google; Jason Barnwell, assistant general counsel – legal business, operations and strategy, Microsoft; Christine Coats, vice president of legal operations, Oracle; Mike Haven, senior director, ACG and head of legal operations, Gap Inc.; Lisa Konie, senior director of legal operations, Adobe; Aine Lyons, VP and deputy general counsel, worldwide legal operations, VMware; Jamal Stockton, head of legal innovation and digital enablement, Fidelity; and, Brian Hupp, CLOC board member. The message from the board – all volunteers – was clear: The organization is invested in the legal community. It encourages connections and breaking down barriers between practitioners and service and technology providers. This enables people to learn from each other and will propel and push boundaries to elevate the industry as a whole.
  4. Technology is changing very rapidly, and staying on track with it is a collective job, meaning CLOC, legal service and technology providers, consultants, media and other practitioners all need to help guide and educate and get everyone to the next level. I have seen technology and service companies come into the legal industry expecting big wins right off the bat from a trade show, email campaign or a PPC advertising campaign. When success doesn’t arrive overnight, they often get frustrated and leave the industry. What they don’t know or have the patience to understand is that this is not the legal operations or legal practitioners’ fault for not immediately buying into a new technology or system, but it is the industry’s nature, historically, to avoid risk and only make change happen once something is tried and true. Leaning on an organization that encourages education, collaboration and betterment, like CLOC, brings peace of mind when making a decision for change.
  5. As an executive director of Women in eDiscovery, I understand how much volunteer time goes into running an organization of this size. There are countless hours, increasing demands, growing pains and also a lot of excitement for the future and what could be! I feel that CLOC has done a tremendously successful job at the institute and look forward to how they will continue to improve things for its members and constituents alike.
  6. I met up with a good number of Edge current, past and hopefully future clients (you know who you are!), and the overall feedback I received regarding the conference, exhibiting, educational content and networking opportunities was positive. There were some complaints about not fitting everyone into a room for some sessions, but I say demand is good. Get there ahead of time or you might not get a seat! Meaningful conversations between our legal technology and service provider clients and CLOC members were prevalent. This makes me believe that the first and foremost goals of CLOC of networking, connecting and thinking are truly happening … which is a good thing!

CLOC 2020 Vegas Institute is scheduled for May 14-16, 2020, at the Bellagio, and I look forward to anteing up to experience it once again.


Reveal Data and NexLP Combine Technology Stack to Provide All-In-One AI Solution

CHICAGO, IL – January 28, 2019 — Legal technology company Reveal Data has announced an all-new technology partnership with artificial intelligence software company NexLP. This agreement will enable Reveal the opportunity to immediately include NexLP’s AI features, and will allow NexLP the opportunity to distribute its technology through Reveal’s global footprint. This partnership exemplifies Reveal and NexLP’s commitment to addressing the complex needs of investigations and attorneys across the enterprise, law firms, and litigation service providers.

“We are excited to partner with Reveal Data to offer our Story Engine AI platform to its committed customer base worldwide. Story Engine’s authentic AI, combined with Reveal’s technology, offers a tremendous package of power and innovation to its users. At NexLP, we believe in an AI model-driven future for e-Discovery and enterprise risk mitigation, and this partnership with Reveal Data will bring this vision to tens of thousands of users on a daily basis,” said Jay Leib, NexLP Co-Founder and CEO.

NexLP’s Story Engine functionality will be marketed as “Reveal AI powered by NexLP,” and is accessible to all Reveal customers under the terms of its current licensing models — in addition to future customers. The functionality and all-in-one pricing model will be included for both on-premise and cloud-based subscriptions.

“We are proud to partner with the team at NexLP to offer its Story Engine AI platform to our loyal customer base. NexLP has been on our radar for some time and clients have asked about its AI technology. At Reveal we value client input tremendously, and we are pleased to immediately offer Reveal AI, packaged with our award-winning Reveal technology, to all of our clients around the globe,” said Wendell Jisa, Reveal Data CEO.

About Reveal Data

Reveal is a legal software company that applies the unique combination of artificial intelligence and cloud computing to legal problems solving problems faster. Available in both a SaaS and on-premise subscription, Reveal is used by legal service providers, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and law firms in more than 40 countries across five continents. For more information, visit www.revealdata.com

About NexLP

NexLP’s Story Engine™ uses AI and machine learning to derive actionable insight from structured and unstructured data to help law firms and enterprises mitigate risk and untapped opportunities faster and with a greater understanding of context. For more information, visit www.nexlp.com.

 


DISCO Shatters Records and Achieves Most Successful Year In Company History

Customer Wins, Product Innovation and Employee Growth Drive Phenomenal Success; Coupled With Latest Funding, Company is Positioned for Another Breakout Year Ahead

NEW YORK — January 30, 2018 — It’s one for the record books! Today at Legaltech, cloud legaltech leader DISCO announced record-breaking 2018 results and plans for continued expansion in 2019.

In 2018, revenue grew more than 100 percent year over year, as it has every year since DISCO was founded. DISCO hired 125 people, added 238 new corporate and law firm customers, opened its first international office in London, moved its corporate headquarters to Austin, and added new executivesfrom Offers.com, Bazaarvoice, Epiq, and Google.

Total investment in DISCO exceeds $135 million after a financing announced earlier this month. DISCO will use this money to invest in its core ediscovery product, broaden its product platform to litigation management, and accelerate its international expansion in Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company plans to add 400 people over the next two years, more than half of them in product and engineering.

“Legaltech is going to transform the way great lawyers deliver legal services,” said Neil Etheridge, DISCO’s chief marketing officer. “We’ve only seen the beginning of what artificial intelligence and analytics can do for the law. We are excited to partner with our customers across more and more of their practice as we expand our offerings and geographic reach.”

Aggressive Customer Growth and Expansion

DISCO’s customer base continues to expand globally as law firms and corporate legal department embrace cloud-based ediscovery. Taking on nearly 130 percent new matters in 2018 over 2017, DISCO increased its AmLaw customer base by 35 percent, working with firms such as Kennedys, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and Quarles and Brady. Its plaintiff law firm business grew by 163 percent with customers including Kahn Swick & Foti, Motley Rice and Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley.  It nearly doubled is corporate client base, and grew its litigation boutique business by nearly 50 percent.

# # #

About DISCO

DISCO is a legal technology company that applies artificial intelligence and cloud computing to legal problems to help great lawyers and legal teams improve legal outcomes for their clients. Corporate legal departments, law firms, and government agencies around the world use DISCO as their ediscovery solution for compliance, disputes, and investigations. For more information, visit www.csdisco.com.


FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN) today announced the Company’s Technology segment has expanded its e-discovery managed services offering to include the Relativity platform, enabling corporations and law firms to extend their e-discovery software and teams in a seamless and cost-effective manner.


LegalRM Limited adopts Microsoft Azure for its Cloud hosting, underscoring its focus on the North American market

CIO Forum, LegalWeek, New York and London 29th January 2019 – LegalRM Limited, announces new cloud hosting of its iCompli Records Management and Information Governance platform on Microsoft Azure, with specific cloud solutions for each region, to ensure a stronger information governance strategy.


LegalRM Limited Delivers NetDocuments Integration to Help Firms Adopt a Full Information Governance Strategy Within One Platform

LONDON – January 21, 2019 – LegalRM Limited, experts in records management and information governance solutions to law firms, has further strengthened their technology and commercial partnership with NetDocuments, the leading secure, cloud-based content services platform for law firms, corporate legal teams and compliance departments. This stronger partnership with NetDocuments will help customers adopt an end to end information governance strategy, directly within the NetDocuments platform; as part of their drive towards General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance and business transformation.


Hanzo’s groundbreaking Relativity App Hub integration brings the ability to review dynamic web content within Relativity’s cloud-based ediscovery platform.

Hanzo, a pioneer of contextual collection of dynamic web content and a developer partner of Relativity, today announced Hanzo Dynamic Review™ for RelativityOne, a software application that is fully compatible with RelativityOne, the cloud version of Relativity’s ediscovery platform, in addition to Relativity versions 9.6 and 9.5.

 

In 2018, Hanzo and Relativity formed their strategic partnership which brought Hanzo into the Relativity App Hub ecosystem. Since then, Hanzo and Relativity’s development teams have built upon that foundation with a groundbreaking integration that is the first to bring dynamic native review capabilities to Relativity. (Or Click on image below to see video) Today’s announcement extends that capability fully to RelativityOne.

2018-Hanzo_Dynamic_Review_for_Relativity

Hanzo Dynamic Review, part of the Hanzo Dynamic Archive suite, improves the review process by adding easy native-content import and dynamic native review capabilities, within Relativity’s on-premise and cloud review platforms. By achieving compatibility with RelativityOne, Hanzo provides ediscovery teams access to hard-to-capture modern data sources and extends a dynamic review solution to help ediscovery professionals uncover evidence that might otherwise be missed with static document review. These natural navigation capabilities moving from one document or section to the next at the click of a link are available in a secure, performant, and accessible environment that improve review efficiency and effectiveness.

 

“As business communications fragment across platforms and data volumes grow, Hanzo is helping solve the challenge of following, capturing, and preserving dynamic conversations,” said Kevin Gibson, CEO of Hanzo. “Our partnership with Relativity brings game-changing innovation to review by making it possible to view dynamic web content directly from RelativityOne, while uncovering evidence that is often hidden in static formats, which delivers a whole new level of efficiency and effectiveness.”

 

RelativityOne is the secure and performant way experts run ediscovery in the cloud. It’s backed by the functionality, customer support, and global user community that enables users to do it all with one solution. With easy to use search, analytics, and visualizations, RelativityOne’s trusted platform delivers intelligence about data, so users gain insights sooner and drive more effective outcomes. Integrations and products from partners like Hanzo are found in the Relativity App Hub, where users can pick and choose solutions to solve data challenges in ediscovery or beyond.

 

“We’re thrilled that Hanzo has now integrated their Dynamic Review tools with RelativityOne,” said Drew Deitch, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Relativity.  “Hanzo’s robust review for data sources such as SharePoint, Jira, Facebook, and other dynamic web content, combined with the flexibility of our SaaS product, will ensure that users are able to comprehend and take action on their data sources – faster.”

Hanzo supports the current RelativityOne release as well as Relativity versions 9.5 and 9.6 and will continue to provide customers with the best possible service and support with all future releases.

See Hanzo Dynamic Review for RelativityOne in action along with Hanzo’s new dynamic suite during Legalweek at Legaltech Booth #2301 schedule a personal meeting or request a demo.

###

ABOUT HANZO

Hanzo is solving the single biggest challenge in legally defensible compliance and litigation today — contextual investigation, collection, and preservation of dynamic web content. Through one sophisticated platform, Hanzo captures and preserves team messaging data, social media engagement, and interactive web content then archives it in legally-defensible native format for analysis and review. Launched in 2009, Hanzo serves government agencies, enterprises, and top law firms across the globe. Learn more at hanzo.co.

ABOUT RELATIVITY

At Relativity, we make software to help users organize data, discover the truth, and act on it. Our ediscovery platform is used by thousands of organizations around the world to manage large volumes of data and quickly identify key issues during litigation, internal investigations, and compliance projects. Relativity has over 180,000 users in 40+ countries from organizations including the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70 Fortune 100 companies, and 198 of the Am Law 200. Relativity’s cloud solution, RelativityOne, offers all the functionality of Relativity in a secure and comprehensive SaaS product. Relativity has been named one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune for eight consecutive years. Please contact Relativity at sales@relativity.com or visit http://www.relativity.com for more information.