Two litigation-focused Canadian legal technology companies, CiteRight and Jurisage, have merged, combining CiteRight’s litigation drafting program with Jurisage’s AI technology to create an integrated legal research and drafting solution.
Had you listened to my LawNext podcast last week, you would have already known this, as I interviewed CiteRight cofounder Ariel Nacson and Jurisage founder and CEO Colin Lachance as part of my series of interviews at ILTACON, where they revealed the news (starting at 27:57 in the recording).
CiteRight is software that helps lawyers save cases from online legal databases and then makes them available directly within Microsoft Word. The user can then click the case to cite it automatically, formatted in proper citation style. It also generates tables of authority and keeps copies of all the cases used in document so they are available later on.
Jurisage is an AI-powered tool that helps legal professionals more easily perform research across legal research platforms. Its MyJr browser extension works on any web page to deliver case law insights directly into the user’s workflow, allowing the user to simply hover over any citation to quickly understand the cited case.
AltaML, an AI development company that is a cofounder of Jurisage through its venture studio, will continue to support the new company through technical and back office services.
CiteRight’s cofounder and CEO Aaron Wenner will remain CEO of the combined company. Lachance, Jurisage’s cofounder, will take on the role of chief innovation officer. The executive team will also include Nacson as chief customer officer and Juliano Rabelo as chief technology officer.
“We’re thrilled about what this merger means for our customers,” said Wenner, a lawyer and self-taught coder. “From extending CiteRight capabilities to opposing party pleadings, seamless knowledge extraction and enrichment, and dynamic access to relevant case law suggestions and analysis — we’ve heard what they want, and through this merger, we’re responding.”
Coincidentally, both Jurisage and CiteRight were finalists in the 2023 Startup Alley at ABA Techshow, which I oversee.
Lachance, who was CEO of CanLII from 2011 to 2015 and interim general manager for North America at vLex from 2018 to 2020, said he and Wenner have known each other for years and looked for opportunities to collaborate.
“We were both pleased to participate in the Startup Alley at TECHSHOW in March,” Lachance told me, “and while not directly a catalyst for merger discussions, it’s probably fair to say that we each came away from that event with a better sense of what it would take to succeed and the experience and customer feedback since that time helped us recognize the potential of pursuing the opportunity as a single company.”
The companies said that the merger will enrich CiteRight’s Microsoft Word-based platform with Jurisage’s AI capabilities, enabling users to access and cite a wide range of resources, such as case law, pleadings, affidavits, and submissions, all in one place, thereby making it easier for them to draft legal documents.
“From the first development of our earliest AI-powered prototypes, customers asked about our plans to integrate with CiteRight,” said Lachance. “As our suite of services expanded from research insights to interactive knowledge assets and deep legal research accelerators, our goal was to ensure we built with the users preferred workflow in mind.”
The companies expect to complete the merger by year end.