ABA Journal

Legal Rebels Profile

Simplify contracts with software, says Legal Rebel

By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Photo of Kingsley Martin by Wayne Slezak

Legal Rebel Kingsley Martin

Rebel Year: 2012

Home: Beverly Shores, Ind.

What he’s been up to: Recent inspiration comes from iBooks. Martin, a former tax lawyer who designs his own software, envisions something where lawyers click or swipe a contract subject link, which brings up a checklist of optional and required clauses. “The lawyer can select the clauses they want in the agreement just by checking the boxes,” says Martin, a vegan who bicycles and reads cookbooks for fun, in addition to writing code. At his company, KMStandards, “our goal is to remove the technology from the experience and allow the attorney to focus on their practice.”

Next steps: Language simplification, which algorithms can be designed to handle, is also in the future of KMStandards. Martin, 54, mentions a nondisclosure contract he recently read that included multiple definitions of electronic media, but it didn’t describe information the document wanted to protect. “As the world gets more sophisticated and transaction times continue to get shorter, we must move toward simplification in contracts,” he says. “We want metrics to define clarity and quality.”

Have a client who prefers lengthy contracts? Technology can help with that too, according to Martin. “Algorithms can detect the stylistic differences between the works of Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway,” he explains. “Using these techniques, we can tune the algorithms for your personal preference.”

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