Reflections on ABA Techshow 2020 Part 2: Exhibitors

Today’s post is part 2 of 3, covering various aspects of the recent ABA Techshow in Chicago.

Thanks to Artie Berns, Research/Emerging Technologies Librarian, Western New England University, School of Law Library, for this fantastic series on the ABA Techshow!

In my last post, I covered my favorites from Start-Up Alley. This post covers some of the coolest products from the main Exhibit Hall. At this year’s ABA Techshow, I was a man with a mission—to get a good look at every product vendors were showing off. This year’s co-chairs, Catherine Sanders Reach and Heidi Alexander, did not make this an easy task; they had managed to fill every single vendor booth. With only two and a half days to review all the products, I did not spend much time at the other informational or educational sessions. In the next post, I have asked several of our law librarian colleagues to share their thoughts about what educational sessions they found most interesting or useful.

Exposition Hall: Exhibitors

Outside of Start-Up Alley are the presumably more established exhibitors. This year’s Techshow had over 120 exhibitors and the expo was jam-packed. Many of these will be familiar to the folks I expect are reading this blog: Clio, Fastcase, etc. I’m not going to discuss products with which I feel the readers of this blog are already familiar unless they have added a new feature. With that being said, here are a few that I thought were exceptional.

Trial Template

Trial Template is a product that will help you leverage Microsoft Powerpoint presentations in the courtroom or anywhere a mesmerizing image would help keep the attention of an audience. It is a collection of images, animations, and preformatted slides created with the needs of trial attorneys in mind. For instance, the collection includes a 3D model of the human spine that the user can rotate and view from any position. Another example is an animated target graphic that can be used to emphasize a particular spot within a still photo in evidence. There are hundreds of other visual aids within this package. Trial Template’s creative director, Matthew Kimmins, has informed me that the company would be honored to help support legal education by providing access to the product to law schools.

Earth Class Mail

Want to go paperless? Earth Class Mail wants you to go paperless too. So much so that they have created a service that reroutes all of your snail mail to one of their regional offices, scans it, OCRs it, shreds it, and delivers it to you digitally through email or deposits it on a cloud drive. They can even sort out junk mail. Earth Class serves both individuals and businesses (legal being a primary focus) of all sizes.  Consumers make up a large percentage of their customer base.

Blue J Legal

Blue J Legal’s product Tax Foresight uses AI to predict IRS classifications or outcomes in cases. The user chooses the type of determination to be made and answers a questionnaire about the situation. For example, whether a worker would is classified as an employee or an independent contractor. After answering a few questions, the AI makes a prediction of how a particular issue would be determined that includes an indication of the confidence that the prediction is accurate, an explanation of why the prediction was made, a list of cases with similar facts as yours, and references to binding cases. The user then has an option to change some of the factors upon which the prediction was based to see how the prediction changes.

Compose by CaseText

CaseText has created yet another innovative product, Compose. For a fee, Compose can create a first draft of different types of motions in Federal Court. Users select the type of motion needed and provide party names. Then users can choose specific relevant arguments that are added to a downloadable document. Compose will suggest authorities to cite for particular arguments.  Additionally, users can also do case law research on the spot by utilizing the product’s integration with CaseText to search for other relevant authorities.

Watch for part 3 to be posted on Friday.

Assistant Director, Research and Instruction, at Boley Law Library, Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon.