Should the legal industry have a common set of data standards for classifying the work we do? The SALI Alliance – short for Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry – believes we should, and it recently released version 2.0 of its Legal Matter Standard Specification, which sets out an ontology of some 10,000 tags. 

The argument for standards, SALI says, is that they will simplify and improve the delivery of legal services by providing greater transparency and increasing the effectiveness of budgeting and resourcing, while also facilitating interoperability among clients, legal services providers, and technologies. 

To discuss this, our guest on LawNext is Damien Riehl, who is part of the all-volunteer leadership team of the SALI Alliance and who has played a key role in developing and expanding the specification. In his day job, Damien works at Fastcase, where he is VP for litigation workflow and analytics content.

A coder since 1985 and for the web since 1995, Riehl clerked for the chief judges of state and federal courts, practiced in complex litigation for over a decade, has led teams of cybersecurity and world-spanning digital forensics investigations, and has led teams in legal-software development. 

He is also an appointee to the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles, where he has helped recommend changes to Minnesota statutes, rules, and policies — all related to connected and autonomous vehicles. 

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.