Litigation Analytics

What is Litigation Analytics?

Litigation analytics products use data extracted from court dockets to make predictions about case outcomes and timelines and to provide insights on judges, courts, parties, lawyers and law firms.

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What value do lawyers derive from litigation analytics?

The value lawyers derive from litigation analytics is in the insights they provide about the court in which the case is pending, the judge presiding over the case, the opposing lawyers, and the other parties.

These insights enable lawyers to craft more fully informed case strategies and stronger legal arguments. They also may help a lawyer understand what tactics and strategies have been successful in similar cases in the past.

What has been the impact of litigation analytics products on the practice of law?

Litigation analytics products have opened new windows into court dockets and expanded our understanding of what it means to conduct legal research. They demonstrate that research is not just about cases and statutes, but also about gaining insights into the judges and lawyers involved in a matter and into how we should adapt our strategies based on those insights.

What are the major differences among litigation analytics product features?

A major way litigation analytics product features differ is in the types of data they analyze, such as court dockets or the text of filings, motions and decisions.

Most litigation analytics products are based on analysis of court dockets. These products can tell you information such as how long a particular type of case is likely to last, how a judge is likely to rule on a particular type of issue, or how other lawyers have fared before a particular judge. This information is derived directly from court dockets.

A second type of litigation analytics, sometimes called context analytics, analyzes the actual text of court documents to find language and citations that could prove persuasive to a particular judge. This type of analytics can you how a judge has ruled in different types of motions. It can also tell you the judges, cases and textual passages the judge most commonly relied on in making those rulings.

Do litigation analytics products differ in the courts they cover?

Litigation analytics products differ in the courts they cover. Some cover only federal courts, using data derived from the federal courts’ PACER electronic records system. Others specialize in state courts. Still others cover both federal and state courts.

Litigation analytics products’ coverage of state courts is spotty. No product covers all states, although several endeavor to do so. Of the products that offer state court analytics, they so far focus on larger states and major metropolitan areas.

This spotty coverage is due to the fact that docket data in many states is difficult for companies to obtain. Also, there is no national standard for how this data is formatted, so even when companies are able to obtain the data, they must clean and normalize it before they can apply analytics.

What can litigation analytics tell me about the judge in my case?

Litigation analytics look across docket data at the totality of a judge’s activity. This enables these products to provide insights into a judge’s:

  • Experience in specific types of cases and motions.
  • Propensities to rule for plaintiffs or defendants in specific types of matters.
  • Timing for ruling on specific types of motions.
  • Influences in terms of other judges and courts the judge tends to find persuasive.

Who are the primary users of litigation analytics products?

Litigation analytics products are used by litigators to gain insights about the judge, opposing counsel, and other parties in a case.

Law librarians frequently use litigation analytics products for background research.

Litigation analytics products are also used by law firm marketing professionals when preparing pitches. They use analytics both to demonstrate their own firm’s track record in a particular type of matter or before a particular judge, as well as to compare their firms against others.

Do all litigation analytics products deliver the same results?

No, all litigation analytics products do not deliver the same results.

In 2019, a group of law librarians conducted a study comparing seven major litigation analytics products. They tested 16 “real world” research questions across the seven products. They found that the different products delivered different results – sometimes widely different results.

The attributed these differences to various causes. One was that the source data taken from the courts is often “dirty,” full of typos, spelling errors, and other mistakes. Another was that there were major differences among the products in the search options and types of analytics they provide.