Trial lawyers who wish to succeed must understand the many ways technology has and will continue to transform our practices and disrupt our business models. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way law firm teams can now start the vital case analysis process on the first day of reviewing documents, a gigantic head start towards winning at trial or otherwise bring complicated matters to successful conclusions. A couple of years ago, I asked one of my childhood friends, a software entrepreneur, how can most lawyers continue to compete when the world’s largest law firms and their clients are investing mega millions into next generation software powered by artificial intelligence? Fortunately, my friend took up my question as his next challenge. After some brainstorming sessions, in which we questioned everything about the way we worked, and repeatedly asked how we might work better, we partnered with an experienced software development firm to create 44th Street, a new AI-powered software program we now use every day at Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm (and which we named after the Chicago street where we grew up).
Why are we excited to be using 44th Street? One, we demanded our program be intuitive, easy to use by veteran lawyers like me who are not naturally attracted to any software, but who know their teams need the best tools available. Two, we defined our mission as empowering lawyers to more effectively comprehend evidence and other information necessary to win cases, not merely to process documents in eDiscovery (the discovery of electronically stored information). We asked for, and we received the opportunity to begin case analysis on day one, and to flow seamlessly from reviewing documents to building chronologies and fact narratives we can export into pleadings, summary judgment motions, witness examinations, and trial briefs. Third, we asked for, and we received compelling timelines and other data visualizations that are instantly available when new document productions are uploaded into the program. Fourth, we built 44th Street to harness the power of AI as opposed to retrofitting older programs from the pre-AI era. 44th Street is state of the art today and will remain state of the art into the future. Fifth, we understand the power of teamwork and built 44th Street to reward collaboration every step of the way.
No lawyer or law firm can afford to ignore game-changing legal technology. We developed 44th Street to empower law firms of all sizes to be more effective than ever before in preparing their cases, or other complex legal matters, and delivering greater value for their clients. We are excited that Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm is blazing this trail. Without question, our effort in developing this new software made us stronger as a law firm in every respect. We enter 2022 with renewed vigor and optimism for our firm and for our profession. The lessons we learned in developing 44th Street are that disruption to the legal profession is not merely inevitable, but necessary, and from disruption comes new opportunity. Carpe Diem, my fellow trial lawyers.