Analytics in Law

The concept of analyzing data in litigation is not new. Lawyers and legal researchers search for precedents that help strengthen the legal argument for the matter at hand. They ask colleagues and peers for experiential information about similar matters.  And finally they rely on their own experience to complete the picture.  However, with the advent of data analytics tools that have already analyzed and triaged precedents along different parameters, lawyers and researchers can now enhance this data driven decision making process.  There are numerous benefits to using analytics in litigation, that complement incumbent processes.

Risk assessment

Lawyers are trained to assess risk during litigation and will often give clients an opinion with the "it depends" caveat.  And this opinion may change throughout the course of the litigation as new information becomes available. Analytics tools can assist by providing data to reinforce a legal opinion over a period of time.  This would be all the way from evaluating the merits of a case before taking on a client to deciding between settling and going to trial at the end of a matter.  

Countering bias

When prior available litigation experience becomes a part of the available data, biases inherently get built into the dataset.  These biases include:

  • Confirmation bias - tendency to search for information that confirms one's pre-existing beliefs

  • Availability bias - tendency to assume that information that is readily available is representative of the larger dataset

Analytics tools help counter these biases by providing a summary view of the larger dataset, to confirm or counter assumed notions of litigation trends built upon readily available litigation information.

Evaluating litigation paths

Analytics tools provide the ability to play out different scenarios based on varied litigation paths, due to the availability of data on prior cases.

Set out below are a few sample use cases that take you beyond the theoretical:

  • Hearing outcomes - Decide if you want to request a Summary Judgment or go to trial, given a set of facts and your client's appetite for risk and delays

  • Damage awards - compare a settlement offer with an in-court damage award

  • Tailor your oral advocacy - learn about opposing counsel and the presiding judge's experience and patterns

The use of analytics can go beyond just active litigation.  Knowing judicial trends such as response times and outcomes can help drive policy in the courts.  Having solid data on a lawyer's in-court experience can lead to stronger recruitment decisions.  And knowing a potential client's past representation and litigation history will strengthen your next RFP.

Prepared for:

LSO: Artificial Intelligence and Its Role in Litigation

Session: How is AI Being Used in the Practice Law?

Toronto, ON, November 13, 2018

Loom Analytics