Legal Innovation Data Institute Logo
The first organization of its kind, the federally incorporated not-for-profit Legal Innovation Data Institute takes inspiration from the global free access to law community as well as many other public interest legal technology innovators and university research labs. The LIDI was founded in September of 2020 through the initiative and support of the following founding members, initial collaborators and advisors:.

Founding Members

  • Compass
  • Justia
  • vLex
  • AltaML
  • BG Communications

Initial Research and Development Partners

  • Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute xAI Lab
  • Legal Technology Lab | uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society
  • The Conflicts Analytics Lab at Queen’s University
  • ThinkData Works
  • Private AI
  • CiteRight

Founding Advisors

  • Dr. Randy Goebel
  • Meredith Brown
  • Noel Corriveau
  • Sarah Glassmeyer
  • Cory Janssen
LIDI lowers the barriers and expands the circle of innovation in Canadian legal data beyond the small and closed group of legal publishers that currently possess extensive primary law collections (i.e., judgments, legislation and regulations).

Access. Advance. Achieve.

LIDI members and collaborators gain access to the LIDI Data Trust, which contains an extensive and growing collection of court decisions. The base collection is supplied by Compass, successor to Maritime Law Book (a venerable Canadian publisher of semi-official provincial and national case law reporter series) and the source of the Canadian case law in the vLex legal databases used by thousands of Canadian lawyers and law students, as well as vLex and vLex Justis subscribers around the world.

The initial content licensed into the LIDI Data Trust includes nearly all judgments published by 43 Canadian courts over the past 30 to 50 years, but it goes beyond mere copies of court rulings. In addition to rich case law metadata, the collection includes nearly 200,000 case law headnotes and over 580,000 topic digests ordered according to a 150 topic Key Number System. The content is available to members and collaborators as bulk data and through highly extensible and customizable API’s using the ThinkData Works Namara platform.

LIDI members gain data access for “internal and non-commercial” activities. For example, justice non-profits, law firms, legal clinics, courts, governments, and corporate legal departments may seek to enhance their knowledge management efforts, build internal predictive modelling tools or create public interest legal tech tools. Whereas universities, startups, legal publishers and technology companies may pursue empirical or academic research, rapid prototyping or proof of concept development, market entry evaluation, or training and refinement of legal domain-focused machine learning models.

LIDI’s mission includes expanding the collection well beyond its starting point to eventually include the millions of documents that comprise the decisions of all Canadian courts and tribunals. All content added will be cleaned, normalized and enriched by LIDI and its supporters to accelerate the research and development efforts of members and collaborators.

Colin Lachance, founder and Executive Director, manages LIDI’s operations. As founder and CEO of Compass, former General Manager for North America of global legal publisher, vLex, and former President and CEO of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), Colin brings a decade of senior legal publishing leadership, innovation and Canadian legal data stewardship experience to the LIDI mission.

Colin Lachance, Executive Director

LIDI Members

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AltaML

AltaML helps business leaders understand how artificial intelligence can redefine competitive advantage. Driven by a purpose to apply AI to elevate human potential, we develop powerful software applications that create efficiencies, mitigate risk and drive revenue. AltaML has offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto.

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BG Communications

BG Communications International Inc. is a renowned Montreal-based translation firm that has been providing professional linguistic services for 25 years. We are focused on delivering world-class service and an outstanding customer experience to help our clients secure the understanding they need to grow and prosper on the international market with various language audiences. Our services include translation, interpreting, revision, proofreading, linguistic adaptation, transcreation, multilingual websites, content creation, social media management, language courses and overall linguistic support.

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Compass

Bringing the best of the world to Canada, and the best of Canada to the world.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Compass.law collaborates with Canadian and global partners to create, support and deliver world-class services that bring choice and competitive discipline to the legal information marketplace.

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Justia

Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Justia’s mission is to advance the availability of legal resources for the benefit of society. We are especially focused on making primary legal materials and community resources free and easy to find on the Internet. The company provides Internet users with free case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog and twitterer databases, as well as additional community resources. Justia works with educational, public interest and other socially focused organizations to bring legal and consumer information to the online community.

Justia provides premium Web site, blogging and online marketing solutions to help law firms optimize their marketing budget and provide their clients with an increased level of information and service.

Justia is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has offices in San Jose, San Francisco and Saltillo.

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vLex

vLex provides access to a comprehensive collection of legal information from over 130 jurisdictions. Founded over 20 years ago, vLex supports thousands of lawyers, law firms, government departments and law schools around the world. vLex acquired Justis Publishing in March 2019, and have integrated their content and features into the flagship vLex Justis platform.

Their team of over 170 lawyers, engineers and editorial experts continually strive to deliver up-to-date legal information and industry-leading AI-powered legal technology.

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LIDI Collaborators

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Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute xAI Lab

Part of the University of Alberta Department of Computing Science and the Amii (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute)

The Amii xAI Lab vision is to press the frontiers of scalable methods to build domain models which support explanation of an AI system’s behaviour.

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Legal Technology Lab | uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society

The Legal Technology Lab at the uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society brings together expertise in law and computer science to rethink legal analysis in the age of big (legal) data. Millions of legal texts exist and each harbours useful insights that can make the law more effective just and accessible. Yet legal scholars typically lack the tools to tap into this resource. Conversely computer scientists have the skills to mine data but not the subject matter expertise to know what questions to asks and what problems to solve. Our Lab integrates expertise from both fields to produce insights that neither discipline could generate on its own.

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CiteRight

CiteRight makes legal research fast, cheap, and simple.

Putting litigation materials together by hand is time-consuming and painful. CiteRight makes it quick, easy, and painless. CiteRight is an intelligent legal assistant that does in minutes what articling students and junior lawyers used to do in hours: format citations, assemble books of authority, and note-up precedents. It saves lawyers’ time and clients’ money, and makes drafting litigation documents smarter, faster, cheaper, and less awful.

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Private AI

Customer trust starts with privacy, and Private AI makes it easy to add privacy into any workflow. Developed by a team of cutting edge privacy and machine learning researchers and engineers at the University of Toronto, Private AI leverages state-of-the-art AI models to quickly find and de-identify personal data from any dataset to make it compliant and safe for analysis or sharing.

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ThinkData Works

ThinkData Works is a Toronto-based data access solutions company founded in 2014. Namara, the end-to-end data management platform by ThinkData, is the key to tapping into external data. In addition to hundreds of thousands of datasets in their Data Marketplace, ThinkData has also built a suite of tools that enables users to access, share, enhance, and use any data like it’s your own. Namara streams data in from any source, reduces overhead with automation in prep and processing, and increases confidence in the data that powers products, models, and solutions.

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The Conflicts Analytics Lab at Queen's University

The Conflict Analytics Lab is a research-based consortium concerned with the application of data science and machine learning to dispute resolution. Conflict analytics is the process of extracting actionable knowledge from negotiation, mediation and settlement agreements such as customer disputes and employment negotiation.

Open-access dispute resolution tools and analytics

Supporting the Queen’s Law Conflicts Analytics Lab in their development of dispute resolution tools, access to the LIDI Data Trust facilitates at faster speeds and lower costs the essential content mining and analysis needed to identify the elements of judicial reasoning relevant to dispute resolution.

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LIDI Advisors

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Dr. Randy Goebel

R.G. (Randy) Goebel is currently professor of Computing Science in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta, Associate Vice President (Research & Innovation), Associate Vice President (Academic), and Fellow and co-founder of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii). He received the B.Sc. (Computer Science), M.Sc. (Computing Science), and Ph.D. (Computer Science) from the Universities
of Regina, Alberta, and British Columbia, respectively.

Professor Goebel’s theoretical work on abduction, hypothetical reasoning and belief revision is internationally well known; his recent research is focused on the formalization of visualization and explainable artificial intelligence (XAI). He has worked on optimization, algorithm complexity, systems biology, and natural language processing, including applications in legal reasoning and medical informatics.

Goebel continues to run the Explainable AI Lab within Amii, working in a broad variety of research areas, including algorithm complexity, systems biology, and natural language processing, with a focus on legal reasoning and medical informatics. He is also academic lead of the University of Alberta Precision Health Signature Area.

Randy has previously held faculty appointments at the University of Waterloo, University of Tokyo, Multimedia University (Kuala Lumpur), Hokkaido University (Sapporo), visiting researcher engagements at National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo), DFKI (Germany), and NICTA (now Data61, Australia); is actively involved in collaborative research projects in Canada, Japan, China, and Germany.

Conflict Analytics Logo

Sarah Glassmeyer

Sarah Glassmeyer is a lawyer, librarian and technologist. She received her MLS from Indiana University and her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She has been employed by the American Bar Association Center for Innovation since 2016. Prior to coming to the ABA, she was a research fellow at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab and an affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Sarah is passionate about open tools and content. She has been named to the Fastcase 50, an ABA Legal Rebel and a ABA Legal Technology Resource Center top woman in technology.

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Meredith Brown

Meredith Brown has spent a large part of her legal career as a champion of access to justice, innovation and culture change. As a leader at the Ministry of the Attorney General, she founded the Innovation Office, the first internal change agent of its kind in Canada, working across the justice sector to support transformative approaches, new concepts and different actors. As a partner with CALIBRATE for the past three years, she has worked in Ontario and nationally, supporting governments, civil society organizations and collaborative efforts with strategic approaches, collective dialogue and action. She also works extensively with international organizations and UN agencies to advance the principles of justice, human rights and governance in post-conflict and middle income regions.

Meredith is a vocal advocate for smart, responsible data sharing and stewardship, as a critical tool in advancing access to justice and justice sector transformation.

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Noel Corriveau

Noel is senior counsel at INQ data law where his practice focuses mainly on providing legal and ethical advice on the application of emerging technologies. Prior to joining INQ, Noel has served as counsel at the Department of Justice Canada for over 10 years where he co-founded DOJ’s Taskforce on AI. He also worked as Special Advisor to the CIO of Canada on AI policies and implementation. In this capacity he led the development of foundational public policy on artificial intelligence and was the principal architect of Canada’s Algorithmic Impact Assessment Framework..

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Cory Janssen

Cory Janssen is Co-Founder and CEO with a successful track record of founding and growing tech based companies, beginning with Investopedia.com (an investing education website) which was sold to Forbes Media in 2007 and continuing with Janalta Interactive Inc. (an online publisher with educational websites in over 15 niche markets) and AltaML Inc. Cory is active in the Alberta entrepreneurial community as a member of the A100 network, the ThresholdImpact University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service, and as an associate for Creative Destruction Labs Rockies. Cory is also a director at Edmonton Global, is one of three community leaders behind Edmonton.AI, and is past-president of the Edmonton chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Cory has a B.Comm. in finance from the University of Alberta.

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LIDI Innovation Projects

LIDI partners bring a world of creative talent to pressing justice and technology challenges and opportunities. Together, we seek to make the administration of justice more transparent and less costly, the attainment of justice more accessible to more people, and the protection of personal privacy more robust for citizens.

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Personal Privacy of Parties and Witnesses

With the leadership and support of Private AI, LIDI will participate in training advanced machine learning NLP models on de-identifying court and tribunal decisions that distinguish between parties and witnesses on the one hand, and justice system actors (i.e., judges, counsel, police) on the other.

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Testing and development of French language Machine Learning models

Ongoing efforts supported by several LIDI members and collaborators, including leading translation firm BG Communications, will seek to apply, assess, adapt and improve the quality of English-originated legal NLP models when applied to French legal content

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Legal Data APIs

Through collaboration with ThinkData Works and using that company’s Namara data platform, LIDI has deployed and will expand the LIDI Data Trust – featuring robust APIs, advanced filtering and integration capabilities, and the assurance that court corrections, redactions and retractions are pushed to LIDI members and collaborators.

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Legal Citation Analysis

Building on the CiteRight collaboration effort to develop the parallel citation database, LIDI will enable the Legal Tech Lab at uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society to carry out detailed citation analysis, the results of which will provide previously undetected patterns in the evolution of Canadian common law.

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Public Parallel Citations Resource

Leveraging CiteRight’s deep insights into court structures and legal decision metadata, LIDI will support research and data science efforts through producing and then publishing a comprehensive and interactive resource of parallel citations spanning all decisions within the corpus of Canadian law.

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Free, public interest legal tech tools

Supporting the work of academic and other LIDI collaborators, the LIDI Data Trust facilitates at faster speeds and lower costs the essential content mining and analysis needed to identify the elements of judicial reasoning relevant to dispute resolution.