Friday Roundup: Online Tech CLE, Open-Source EDGAR, Blockchain ODR, Deploying AI

A roundup of the week’s news from the worlds of legal technology and innovation:

Suffolk’s online innovation courses OK’d for CLE. In a post here last October, I reported on a new online certification course in legal innovation and technology being launched by Suffolk University Law School in Boston. This week, Suffolk announced that the Florida Bar has approved the first two of the planned six courses for 12 CLE credits each, including up to 2.5 credits towards Florida’s required three hours of technology-related CLE. Florida requires lawyers to complete 33 credit hours every three years, and was the first (and still only, but watch North Carolina) state to require technology CLE as part of that total. The two approved courses, Legal Operations and 21st Century Legal Services, begin May 29.

Open-sourcing EDGAR. LexPredict, the software and data company, announced this week that it is preparing to launch OpenEDGAR, a project aimed at making the SEC’s EDGAR database easier to search. “OpenEDGAR is a comprehensive framework for building databases from EDGAR, and can automate the retrieval and parsing of all EDGAR forms,” the announcement said. LexPredict says OpenEDGAR “will be able to build custom data sets and parsers, provide real-time search API access, and even deliver terabytes of historical bulk data to organizations that need assistance.” To be notified when it launches, email [email protected].

Incubating blockchain dispute resolution. Kleros, a company that is using the Ethereum blockchain to develop online dispute resolution for virtually any product or service, announced that it has been accepted into the Thomson Reuters Incubator program. Participation in the program allows Kleros to take up residence for six months in Thomson Reuters Labs Zurich location, where it will receive office space, executive mentoring, and access to data and technology capabilities. The Kleros project relies on concepts from game theory, cryptography and blockchain for securing evidence, selecting jurors and providing incentives to make honest decisions.

In a related note, on May 15, Kleros will launch an initial coin offering.

PWC deploys eBrevia’s AI contract analytics. Professional services giant PWC this week announced that it has entered into a joint business relationship with eBrevia to use its contract analytics software across a range of use cases that require quick and accurate abstraction of key terms from unstructured data. PWC had already been using eBrevia’s technology in a variety of contexts, but this news represents an acceleration and broadening of that relationship and a greater degree of collaboration between the two companies.

Worth reading: Can a lawyer ethically accept Bitcoin as payment for legal fees? “Yes, but … ,” says Michael Kennedy at Ethical Grounds. … Does your car need to comply with GDPR? Turns out it does, according to Jiri Chejn at Security & Privacy // Bytes. … So your firm has adopted initiatives to deploy new technologies and improve processes. Good for you. But is it working? Ivy B. Grey explains how to figure that out. … And speaking of tech CLE, my colleague Kevin O’Keefe wonders if bars are being hypocritical in pushing tech training while shutting down consumer-facing tech initiatives.