BARE BONES BRIEFS: | Litigation funders in 80% of cases | Humans not necessary: AIs negotiate contract amongst themselves | Fani Willis clone? | Lawyer elevates courtroom tardiness | IBA wellness guidelines |

By Julius Melnitzer | March 18, 2024


The Law Society Gazette reports on a London Solicitors Litigation Association report which concludes that 80% of London litigators are working on cases where a litigation funder has financed at least one party. Although a recent UK Supreme Court decision makes some such arrangements unenforceable, few counsel seem concerned about the decision’s impact. But 90% of respondents did think that regulation was required.

Related Article: More litigation funding regulation not required in Canada, say funders and lawyers


Autopilot, a software program from UK firm Luminance, took just minutes to have an AI negotiate a non-disclosure with another AI, with no human involved. Jaeger Glucina, Luminance’s chief of staff and managing director, told Practice Source that Autopilot was designed to eliminate much of lawyers’ daily paperwork. And, she added, Autopilot was “not only legally trained” but “also understands your business”. Humans were still required, however, to sign the agreement. But for how long?

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Putting Fani Willis to shame: prosecutor romances accused

Following in the footsteps of Fulton County District Attorney and Trump prosecutor Fani Willis – and doing so with panache, it needs be said – Drew St. Clair, a UK barrister of some 23 years’ experience, was suspended for 26 months for using personal information given to him while prosecuting a case to further his romantic interest in the accused. To make matters worse, the Bar Standards Board found that St. Clair knew his target, a victim of domestic abuse, was likely vulnerable. Willis’ target, a lawyer, was apparently perfectly able to fend for himself when confronted with her intentions.

Related Article: Ottawa lawyer James Bowie, accused of sexual misconduct, suspended by LSO in unrelated proceedings


When an unidentified lawyer found himself trapped in a stuck elevator while in the middle of a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in the UK, he called the Nottingham Post’s court reporter by way of informing the judge of his dilemma. Fortunately, maintenance workers freed the barrister within an hour.

Related Article: Justice and the pandemic: what needs to change


With the goal of promoting wellbeing in future lawyers as a core priority, the International Bar Association has launched its International Guidelines for Wellbeing in Legal Education. According to the IBA’s press release, the Guidelines include encouraging law schools to:

  • Acknowledge the importance of, and promote, wellbeing in legal education;
  • Abandon views that wellbeing issues are signs of weakness;
  • Make a commitment to evidence-based change in addressing wellbeing and the challenges faced in legal education;
  • Foster an open dialogue between students, faculty and staff, promoting a culture of trust and inclusivity; and
  • Commit to addressing systemic problems, such as excessive competitiveness and lack of empathy.

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Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or

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