LexisNexis defines legal analytics as “the science of drawing insights from large volumes of data.” Legal practitioners, as well as in-house counsel and other stakeholders, are making increased use of legal analytics in order to reach data-driven decisions in the context of future or ongoing litigation. According to a 2020 study carried out by ALM Intelligence and LexisNexis, legal professionals overwhelmingly agree that legal analytics improves their firm’s performance and is valuable to their practice. In particular, legal practitioners use legal analytics to obtain and develop strategic insight relevant to their matters, such as in relation to the practice and conduct of judges, opposing counsel and parties.
The Use of Legal Analytics in U.S. Litigation. Legal analytics technology is now well established in the context of U.S. litigation, with one of the leading players in the market, Lex Machina, celebrating its 10th anniversary earlier this year. Lex Machina, however, is no longer alone in the legal analytics market. At least five other competitors have developed platforms that also examine publicly available records primarily from federal district courts, obtained through PACER. A survey conducted earlier this year comparing litigation analytics products (Bloomberg Law; Docket Alarm; Docket Navigator; Lex Machina; Monitor Suite; and Westlaw Edge) revealed differences in results, seemingly owing to discrepancies in the available data and the ways in which it is processed. Nonetheless, these litigation analytics providers offer sophisticated data analysis tools that, if used properly, can shed light on how a particular judge is likely to rule, as well as provide indications on the expected length or cost of specific proceedings. This information aids counsel and parties in making important strategic decisions, including whether to pursue a particular case or litigation strategy.