This legal writing startup is using AI to spot misrepresentations in litigation docs

Clearbrief’s software lets lawyers easily access evidence and sources for legal documents.

Clearbrief is attracting more investor interest for its AI-powered software that gives legal professionals a way to automatically spot misrepresentations in litigation documents.

Clearbrief founder Jacqueline Schafer. (Clearbrief Photo)

The Seattle startup just closed a $3.5 million seed round led by Reign Ventures, with participation from a bevy of notable backers including Court Lorenzini (former DocuSign CEO), Jack Newton (CEO of legal tech unicorn Clio), Amy Weaver (President of Salesforce), Hadi Partovi (Code.org founder), federal Judge Kate Vaughan, and Lata Setty of How Women Invest.

Mekhato previously reported on the company’s initial seed funding. Other investors include Sequoia and Madrona Venture Group, and former Avvo CEO Mark Britton.

Clearbrief’s software uses natural language processing to assess how legal writing is backed up by supporting evidence. It can be used by lawyers to assess their own work or their competitors’ briefs. It can also help judges read a brief alongside evidence, all in one place.

Clearbrief CEO Jacqueline Schafer told Mekhato that being able to identify a sentence that is not supported by the evidence cited is “magical.” She noted one customer who ran an opponent’s Washington State Court opening brief through Clearbrief, which flagged an incorrect sentence that prompted the customer to rethink her strategy.

Schafer is a former litigator who served as an assistant attorney general in Washington and Alaska. Her industry experience revealed the administrative inefficiencies for both lawyers and judges.

Clearbrief is riding tailwinds from the pandemic as hearings and proceedings are done virtually, and the legal industry adopts more technology. New regulations, such as New York’s recently-adopted rule on hyperlinking in electronically-filed documents, are also helping drive growth.

Clearbrief is also aiming to make the law more accessible to the public with tools such as this interactive SCOTUS opinion.

The company, which launched last year, has 10 employees and is growing. It has customers nationwide, including government litigation departments.

Leave a Comment