• Sat. May 25th, 2024

The Five Most Momentous Legal Tech Fails


Apr 11, 2024
The Five Most Momentous Legal Tech Fails


Whilst the last couple of a long time have introduced an abundance of new and progressive authorized tech products and solutions to market place, the simple fact of the make a difference is that not every single new merchandise will succeed. Inevitably, for whatsoever reason, some products and solutions fall short. But one factor for particular is that while some products and solutions shut down with a whimper, many others go out with a bang.

Let’s revisit five of the most momentous authorized tech fails of the very last 10 decades.

1. Atrium.

It introduced in 2017 to good fanfare, promising to “revolutionize lawful services” by way of its dual-entity design of equally a regulation company and a technological innovation enterprise. Its founder, Justin Kan, was a Silicon Valley wunderkind who experienced previously founded Twitch and then bought it to Amazon for $970 million. It arrived out of the gate with $10 million in funding, and then a calendar year later on lifted a whopping $65 million much more from some of the major names in enterprise funds.

When it released, I questioned in an Above the Law column no matter if it was a case of Clearspire déjà vu, recalling the demise of the strikingly equivalent twin-entity agency Clearspire, which opened in 2010 and shut down four a long time later on. But those who forget about the past are doomed to repeat it, they say, and within just 3 decades, Atrium shut down, following 1st striving to pivot to a diverse small business model. “Things didn’t function out as planned,” Kan wrote on Twitter, “and that is my duty.”

2. QuickLegal.

In 2016, authorized tech entrepreneur Derek Bluford was riding superior. Just 28 decades outdated, he experienced gained accolades as an entrepreneur, initially setting up California Authorized Pros, a corporation that marketed various lawful products and services to the two consumers and lawyers, then QuickLegal, a services that provided on-demand from customers lawful guidance to consumers, and then QuickLegal Apply Administration, a cloud follow administration platform for attorneys. He experienced even been chosen to surface on the preferred ABC television display Shark Tank, and, when I 1st wrote about him, he was slated to be a showcased speaker at a important legal tech conference two months afterwards.

But that all arrived crashing down soon after I claimed in 2016 of Bluford’s settlement of a lawsuit charging him with impersonating a lawyer, forging authorized documents and fraudulently swindling two consumers. Pursuing my report, QuickLegal swiftly shut down. Afterwards it appeared to be reincarnated in one more similar startup referred to as LawTova. Right after I wrote about that corporation, it too shut down. I then wrote about yet an additional startup that experienced ties to Bluford and QuickLegal, and which also then shut down.

If you imagine that was the conclude of Bluford, feel yet again. In 2020, Bluford published a book in which he claimed to have turn into an FBI informant aiding in a political corruption investigation into the previous mayor of Sacramento, Calif., Kevin Johnson, who was also a previous star with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Then, in 2021, he was sentenced to 7 yrs in prison on rates similar to the fraud and forgeries I’d created about in 2016. (You can uncover my entire series of posts about Bluford in this article.)

3. ROSS Intelligence.

ROSS was ahead of its time in striving to use synthetic intelligence to empower legal investigate. It started off in 2014 at the University of Toronto as a college student-crafted entrant in a cognitive-computing level of competition staged by IBM to develop applications for its Watson personal computer. It immediately received momentum and global awareness, drawing main traders, like Denton’s NextLaw Labs, and its founders have been invited to take part in the prestigious Y-Combinator startup incubator. In 2017, Forbes named the a few founders to its “30 Below 30.” In 2019, I visited ROSS’s Toronto research and development business office, just after which I wrote a prolonged post about what I noticed and realized, as well as about the company’s historical past and its potential future.

But the outlook for ROSS adjusted practically overnight when it was sued by Thomson Reuters in 2020 on allegations that it surreptitiously stole content from Westlaw to make its individual competing authorized research products. Though ROSS vehemently denied the allegations, the lawsuit crippled its capacity to raise new financing or explore probable acquisition options. In December 2020, it introduced that it was shutting down. Nonetheless even however the company is no lengthier running, it carries on to fight the lawsuit, with its protection and counterclaims funded by insurance coverage protection. As of this composing, the lawsuit is ongoing.

4. LexisNexis Firm Manager.

The year 2008 observed the launches of the 1st two cloud-dependent law practice administration platforms, Clio and Rocket Issue, followed in 2009 by the launch of MyCase. In the several years that adopted, a quantity of related products came to current market, this sort of as PracticePanther, Zola Suite (now CARET Lawful), and CosmoLex. In 2011, LexisNexis leapt on to this bandwagon with its release of Agency Supervisor, a net-dependent exercise management system designed for scaled-down legislation companies.

Unfortunately, the item acquired off to a rocky start, with key overall performance problems, and it had difficulty gaining traction in what was fast turning into a crowded market. It later on went back to the drawing board and rebuilt the item almost from the floor up, releasing the retooled version in 2016 as Agency Supervisor 2.. But by then, the nailing of the coffin may perhaps by now have commenced. By January 2017, LexisNexis explained it was discontinuing sales of Company Supervisor, and, later on that calendar year, it shut it down entirely.

5. Gavelytics.

When the litigation analytics firm Gavelytics shut down in 2022, it was a shock to almost every person but the founder. The corporation experienced been observed as 1 of the leaders in the quickly-growing discipline of litigation analytics, and considering that its founding in California in 2017, it experienced noticeably expanded the scope of its solution and lifted $5.7 million in funding. As a result, it was a spectacular convert of activities when, on June 29, 2022, founder and CEO Rick Merrill notified shoppers and staff members that the business would shut its doors the subsequent working day.

There is, on the other hand, a to some degree satisfied ending to the tale of Gavelytics. Six months right after it shut down, one more litigation analytics startup, Pre/Dicta, obtained the Gavelytics system and its accumulated court details, and brought on Merrill as a strategic advisor.


Bob Ambrogi is a law firm and journalist who has been crafting and talking about legal technological know-how and innovation for additional than two many years. He writes the award-successful site LawSites, is a columnist for Earlier mentioned the Regulation, hosts the podcast about authorized innovation, LawNext, and hosts the weekly authorized tech journalists’ roundtable, Legaltech Week. He is also cofounder of the LawNext Lawful Technological innovation Listing.


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