The decision making process behind major legal moves, what court to file in, which precedents to rely on and which motions to pursue, is often driven mostly by gut feelings and conventional wisdom. It’s not uncommon for decisions to effectively be the best possible guess.
Advancements in data collection and analysis are changing this. Legal decisions are now more often being driven by huge amounts of data and recommendations made by powerful, AI-based algorithms. Some are going so far as to call it a revolution in litigation analytics.
These data analytics tools can be used to better inform law firms and can even help them understand how judges will react to their clients and legal strategy.
Data Analytics and Law
Data analytics and big data technology — which sifts through and finds relationships in information too vast for one person to analyze — are already commonly being used. This technology can rapidly mine and analyze court dockets, motions and any publicly available legal records.
It can pull together vast numbers of variables — how long a particular claim was in court, the types of motions passed, the precedents a judge has relied upon — to provide recommendations and estimates. It can determine how long a given case will take, the likelihood of a win or a loss, and how much a client should expect from a settlement.
Data analytics can also provide hard numbers to back up or disprove traditional assumptions and conventional wisdom. It can point out that claims are less likely to win in a particular court, or that a given law firm is more likely to succeed when facing a certain judge.
These tools are different from legal research by itself in that the technology also breaks down and analyzes the data it collects.
These analytics often provide a high ROI due to the edge and expertise they can offer law firms over competitors who rely only on legal research and traditional analysis.
Data Analytics and Judge Insights
Data analytics can also be effective for law firms looking to use information to gain insights into how certain judges act in the courtroom or predict how they will respond to their client’s claims.
Big data platforms built for litigators can scan through all the cases presided over by a particular judge, mining and storing information from a wide range of legal sources, like court logs and judge summaries.
The platform can then analyze this data to rapidly build a model of how that judge responds to lawyers based on past rulings. It can determine what motions they are likely to approve or deny, how often they grant summary judgment motions and which precedents they are most likely to cite in rulings.
These platforms can also help law firms get a better sense of how they should respond to a judge. For example, they can find experts that have testified in similar cases, or counsel that has the most experience with a specific judge.
By pulling together court information, law firms can use data analytics tools to build a better understanding of how long your client will be in court, based on timelines and statistics from previous, similar cases a judge has seen. This information can also be used to understand what court will be best for your client’s specific claim, based on how local courts and judges have handled similar claims in the past.
Data Analytics Pulls Insights From Court Data
New advancements in data analytics and big data technology are enabling law firms to draw from a wide variety of legal information and build advanced analyses that help them predict their chance of success in court.
Some of these analytics technologies are also helping law firms better understand the judges they will work with in court. By using information pulled from judicial decisions, court dockets and other legal sources, law firms can predict how judges will respond to certain claims, motions and strategies.
These new technologies could be game-changing in terms of giving you an advantage over competitors who rely on legal research alone, or traditional analysis techniques and strategies. Embracing law firm data analytics can improve your chances of success in the courtroom.