Login | June 01, 2020

Now AI can write briefs

RICHARD WEINER
Technology for Lawyers

Published: April 24, 2020

Legal assistants and lower tier associates, beware: First, they came for your discovery. Then they came for your contracts.
And now they are coming for your briefs. Or, at least, part of a first draft of your brief.
Casetext (https://casetext.com/), an AI-based legal research tool that I wrote about last year, is up and running with an AI-based brief writing app called Compose (https://compose.law/).
And to think. I have charged people to write their appellate briefs. And now, this.
Compose can generate the first draft of a legal brief almost entirely automatically. The user follows a series of prompts to identify the jurisdiction and the relevant legal issues. The algo then finds the appropriate legal authorities and then organizes them in the form of a brief in a few minutes.
The platform has a motion library of brief templates that are filled in by automation with an overview of proposed arguments, legal standards, and supporting authority. These are all menu-based, which requires human interaction. But the humans don’t actually have to do the writing—at least not in the beginning.
The brief demo on the site finds the relevant rules, statutes, cases and arguments for admitting an expert witness, for instance, and then turns that into paragraph form.
Those templates don’t include fact arguments, so they are only the beginning.
After that, the writers take over and turn the basic brief into something case-specific. But the basic research, organization and writing is in place, saving the law firm tons of time and probably costing some paralegals some jobs.
Of course, this is pretty much for in-house or plaintiff’s counsel. Don’t want to cut into those billable hours for defense firms or the big boyz.
The service isn’t cheap, but it is far less expensive than paying attorneys to do this basic work. One-time use is $1500, and subscriptions are available for a mystery price. There is a free trial being offered, with the first brief priced at $99.
Compose is currently programmed to write an initial brief in a federal case. The company expects to roll out brief writing capabilities for state courts over time.


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