Elaw uses IBM AI to automate management of complex Brazilian labor lawsuits

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Brazil has strict and complicated labor laws and according to The Brazil Business, Brazilians are prone to sue their employers. It is a cultural behavior and a way to make “easy money”. With an awareness of this tendency, many companies operate illegally and wait to see if the employee is going to sue them or not. In many cases, this practice is a lot cheaper than working under proper regulations.

Brazil is said to have the highest number of labor claims in the world. TMF Group reports that Brazil currently operates with 11,000 labor lawsuits a day. In comparison, the average in France is 60,000 lawsuits per year. In Chile, there are 40,000 per year and Japan has only 10,000 lawsuits per year.

Elaw Tecnologia SA is a company that specializes in the development of corporate solutions for legal management. It currently manages approximately 2.2 million active lawsuits.

Cognitive legal process management solution

Elaw wanted to automate its legal process management. The company approached the IBM Garage team, knowing that it needed a new business model, believing that artificial intelligence (AI) could improve the solution, but not having a clear scope of what it planned to develop.

The Garage team conducted an agile planning session to capture the issues faced when dealing with labor lawsuits. Elaw brought a chief legal officer that personified the end user of the solution, as well as lawyers who specialize in labor law.

Together, they created an Elaw cognitive solution using the IBM Watson Machine Learning service on the IBM Cloud.

IBM Garage projects included training Watson to identify employee complaints in lawsuits and document them in its legal management system. Elaw looked at the five most common labor lawsuit claims — such as “I’m owed overtime wages” or “my salary should be the same as my colleague’s” — and identified the claims and factors that influence each lawsuit. This helps lawyers predict what legal approach could be more effective when dealing with that case.

Watson also learned how to monitor the status of existing cases. With the application programming interface (API), Elaw automatically taps into more than 90 different court software systems to keep a close watch on new subpoenas or sentences, as well as which cases are most likely to close.

Now with Elaw’s cognitive service, client lawyers are able to analyze, compare and interpret cases.

Improved efficiency with AI and automation

Because processes are automated in the Elaw cognitive solution, they are faster and more accurate. The AI capabilities of Watson are more accurate than a human by 15 percentage points (80 percent compared to 65 percent) when reviewing and documenting employee complaints in lawsuits.

Financially, the solution is a big win for clients. Since they can act on orders faster, they avoid penalties for non-compliance. The ability to predict the outcome of cases correctly means more strategically provisioned financial resources. Additionally, being able to close cases in a timely manner means cost savings, since eLaw clients pay by active case.

Ultimately, Elaw’s AI-enabled legal process management solutions reduce the time it takes lawyers to understand lawsuits, thus improving efficiency and productivity. Lawyers perform less tedious, routine work and focus on effectively practicing law.

Read the case study for more details.

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