By any measure, the world has changed vastly since we issued our first Commercial Litigation Outlook in 2020. We are now on our fourth installment of providing insights and flagging trends for what to expect in the coming year, and 2024 promises to be one for the history books.

Notably, AI has taken the commentariat, if not actual world, by storm. In this year's Commercial Litigation Outlook feature article, we discuss the arc and key risks posed by AI, but you'll also see a common thread in most of this year's articles addressing AI's anticipated effects on just about every aspect of the law.

The legal focus for AI today is largely clustered around the business and legal risks posed by the fairly limited use cases, and the legality of the AI tools themselves. Our Intellectual Property experts discuss these issues, explaining important developments likely to happen in the areas of patentability of AI subject matter, and in copyright fights over vast amounts of protected material used to train large language models. Our eDiscovery article discusses what may be the most significant AI use cases in litigation—document production, analysis, and use—and the changing terrain that lawyers in that space will have to navigate.

As you can read in the full Outlook linked below, AI is expected to transform the way that lawyers research and write, and 2024 will focus in-house and outside counsel on the challenge of training for those use cases, as well as managing the business of law through those changes.

Outside the world of AI, our 3rd feature article covers the increased regulatory hostility to non-compete agreements that will continue in 2024. The FTC is expected to issue its final rule-making in spring 2024, likely mostly banning noncompetes, and the NLRB will enforce the guidance it provided last year that noncompetes risk violating the NLRA.

Other key trends in the commercial litigation space addressed in this issue are:

  • Antitrust
  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Class Actions
  • Consumer Financial Services Litigation
  • ESG
  • Franchise & Distribution
  • Health Care Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Privacy
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Securities & Fiduciary Duty Litigation
  • Trial Outlook

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