Today Lex Machina is announcing the release of a new module which covers federal product liability litigation. The Products liability addition of 500,000 cases pending since 2009 represents the largest expansion of the Lex Machina platform since its launch in 2006.

This data set more than doubles the number of cases which can be analyzed by subscribers.

Products liability module will provide the same trends in case timing, resolutions, findings, and damages for injuries caused by product defects, including medical devices/pharmaceuticals, vehicles, aircraft, asbestos, and more. It also includes third party subrogation cases where entities such as insurance companies take over the case on behalf of the plaintiff.

Challenges of Multi- District Litigation. The majority (91%, or 454,166 cases) of federal product liability cases pending since 2009 are part of a multi-district litigation (MDL) – a procedure where cases around the country involving the same incident (or complex set of facts) are transferred and combined into the MDL proceeding for discovery and pretrial. Lex Machina has tagged all of these cases so they can be filtered out of the results in one click. This technique allows researchers to easily compare the data involving only the master case, with the data including all the MDL cases included. Researchers can easily determine whether a presiding judge has expertise with MDL cases, and provides actual judicial rulings about expert witness admissibility.

Products Liability Damages and Findings Tags. According to the press release, Lex Machina interviewed top product liability attorneys to better understand their needs and incorporated their feedback directly into the new offering. As a result, Lex Machina has added 11 new damages tags, including wrongful death/disfigurement, property damange, lost profits and medical expenses; and 24 new findings, including breach of warranty, defective product, negligence and consumer protection law violations. Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics is the only platform that incorporates these unique filters into its offering.

Among some of the key product liability insights found within the data, include:

  • More than 10,300 vehicle-related product liability cases have been pending since 2009. Last year saw the largest number of vehicle-related product liability cases filed (2,226 cases).
  • The top three district courts for product liability cases pending since 2009, representing 58% of all filings, are: Eastern District of Pennsylvania (29%), Southern District of West Virginia (21%), and Eastern District of Louisiana (8%).
  • Asbestos-related filings made up over 140,000 cases pending since 2009 – 97% of which were filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Legal Analytics for Product Liability Litigation Webcast

On November 14 and 9:30 PST, 12 EST, Lex Machina is hosting a Products Liability Litigation webcast will feature Bob Ambrogi, renown legal tech blogger and Above The Law columnist will introduce the new module, along with with Eric Falkenberry, partner at DLA Piper, and Lex Machina’s chief evangelist and general counsel, Owen Byrd. Register for for the webinar http://bit.ly/2ysY5y8

Judicata’s Clerk offers so much advanced analysis, that it almost scares me. After Judicata founder Itai Gurari, gave me a demo of Clerk I suggested that he needed to put a banner across the top of the screen reminding associates that they still needed to read cases and draw their own conclusions. You load a brief into the platform and Clerk delivers a multi-dimensional critique of the brief supported by a raft of suggestions and analytics.

Gurari has described Clerk as “moneyball for motions. ”Judicata’s Clerk has ingested “thousands of pages of legal text and millions of case data points in order to place each brief in context and provide actionable insights.” Different motions have distinct probabilities of being granted in a particular court or by a particular judge. Judicata offers an impressive array of document assessments.

Gurari built Clerk based on the assumption that associates would like to have an easy way to get insight into the strength to weaknesses of their arguments.

Have you cited the best cases? Do you have the right ratio of cases supporting your argument and against your Continue Reading Forget the Robots You Might Just Need a Clerk. Judicata’s Clerk: Algorithms and Analytics that “Grade” and Recommends Edits to Briefs.

The October issue of Thomson Reuters’ Practice Innovations has been released. Practice Innovations is a quarterly publication which focuses on best practices and innovations in law firm information and knowledge management for legal professionals.

Here is a  list of the latest articles:

Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Law: A Distributed Disruption, By Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future Research, London, UK, and alexandra Whittington, Foresight Director, Fast Future Publishing, Houston, TX.

People, Process, Technology – In That Order By Jeffrey Brandt, Principal, Brandt Professional Services, Ashburn, VA.

Market Restructuring and Lateral Partner-hiringBy William Henderson, Professor of Law and Stephen F. Burns,chair on the legal profession at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, IN.

The Revolution of Autonomous SoftwareBy Don Philmlee, Legal Technology Consultant, Washington, DC.

Knowing Value: The Rise of the Law Firm Chief Knowledge OfficerBy Jean P. O’Grady, Senior Director of Research, Information & Knowledge Services, DLA Piper, Washington, DC/

The Power of 360-degree Feedback Assessments: Improve Your Leadership Effectiveness, By Diane Lietz-Stuart, Talent Management and Development Adminstrator, American Family Insurance, Madison, WI, and Karen Nell Smith, Adjunct Consultant, LawVision Group, LLC, Boston, MA 

“The age of analytics and algorithms is upon us. A new and important role is emerging for information professionals. They will help lawyers ask new questions and gain new insights using analytics. ”

Read my analysis of this trend in the November/December 2017 issue of AALL Spectrum. Click here to read Analytics and Insights: It’s All About Asking the Right Questions. Article is on page 40.

I am an optimist by nature and I have remained skeptical of  dark forecasts which predict the future based on one dominant trend  (AI comes to mind) while ignoring multiple factors that are likely to moderate or change an expected trajectory.  Imagine my surprise and delight to read about a  recent study on the future of work that predicted that both lawyers and librarians are two of the careers  which are expected to experience increased demand through 2030. The Future of Skills” Employment in 2030 was produced as the result of a collaboration by Pearson – the educational publisher, NESTA-  a global innovation foundation and the Oxford Martin School.

The report even highlights the surprising inclusion that  librarians are listed in the high growth professions: Although traditional libraries have evolved ” we’ll still need people: librarians, to help us navigate information both old and new. But like many occupations, the skills profile of a librarian is likely to shift substantially in the years ahead.”

The Question Posed: The paper addresses the following research question “Given the likely drivers of change in future labor markets, which occupations would grow or decline in demand by 2030 and what will their skills profile be?

Key trends influencing US and UK labor markets include: technological change, globalization, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanization, increasing inequality and political uncertainty. Human experts and machine intelligence algorithms analyzed the future of employment and skills.  Here are the results:

 

Jobs in Demand 2030

Frankly I find it surprising that there appears to be so little  overlap between the US and UK lists of top jobs. Some of this I assume can be attributed to the study having used the standard employment categories provided by the UK and US governments. Maybe Personal Appearance Workers (6 US) have an equivalence with “Sports and Fitness Occupations” ( 3UK). But where are the UK Lawyers and Librarians –  Shall we just blame their disappearance  on Richard “The End of Lawyers” Susskind.

21st century skills that will be in demand in the marketplace in the US include interpersonal skills, teaching social perceptivenss, service orientation and persuasion . Higher order cognitive skills  in demand include: complex problem-solving, originality, fluency of ideas and active learning.

Skills in Demand 2030

 

The report drew six conclusions:

  1. Only one and five workers are in an occupation that will shrink
  2. Only one in 10 workers are in occupations that are likely to grow.
  3. Seven in 10 workers are in  jobs where there is greater uncertainty about the future.
  4. Twenty  First century skills will be in demand, but a more nuanced understanding of which skills will be in  greatest demand is required.
  5. Our research Definitively shows that both knowledge and skills will be required for the future economy.
  6. Occupations and their skill requirements are not set in stone. Occupations can be redesigned to pair unique human skills of productivity gains from technology to boost demand for jobs.

This will not be a slam dunk. The report provides recommendations for educations, policymakers and individuals can take to better prepare for a very  uncertain future.  College degrees may lose some status as other kinds of skills related credentials emerge which can be acquired throughout the course of a career in order to adapt to emerging demands and opportunities. Jobs will not be set in stone and even the job titles that survive are likely to be radically transformed as their are paired with advances in AI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In law, it seems that frustration is often the mother of invention. Gavelytics is the brainchild of Rick Merrill a former “Big Law” real estate litigator who wanted to get better insights into the rulings and habits of California Superior Court judges. Merrill began developing Gavelytics two years ago when he left Greenberg Traurig. Gavelytics leverages AI, machine learning and lawyer expertise to deliver their unique brand of California analytics.  All I can say is “hallelujah” — someone is finally taking on the challenge of state court analytics.

In a recent interview, Merrill described Gavelytics as being a product “developed by lawyers for lawyers,”   and designed to address the fact that most lawyers have very little insight into the behavior of state court judges behavior.

Gavelytics currently covers Los Angeles and Riverside County Superior Courts. They are planning to expand coverage to the 16 most important of California’s 58 counties.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this video on their website:

Features

  •                 Motion Analyzer compares each judges rulings  to the overall average rulings  of other judges on over 100 motion types
  •                 Judicial Workload – compared to the average judge workload
  •                 Gavel Score – is an indicator of  whether a judge tends to rule for plaintiffs or defendants.
  •                 Sec. 170.6 analyzer. The California Code of Civil Procedure gives parties the right to make a perempory motion to disqualify a judge which must be granted. Analytics into how often both plaintiffs and defendands make such motions provides insights into how often and on what types of cases  and by which party has each judge been removed in a 170.6 challenge.
The Gavelytics Dashboard

The Use cases

Gavelytics can be used for standard analytics use cases including.

  • Preparation for a client pitch
  • Deciding on filing a perempotry challenge to transfor case to a new judge
  • Developing a strategy based on a judget history
  • Managing client expectations regarding timing and outcome

Future Developments

Merrill indicated that they expect to launch analytics for all 16 of the most important superior courts in northern and southern California by the second quarter of 2018. Longer term they plan to expand coverage  to other states and federal courts. Since they now occupy a unique lead position in state law analytics, I hope they focus on adding products in state courts handling the majority of commercial litigation. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas and Delaware would be at the top of my list.

Visit the Gavelytics website for more information or to schedule a demo or trial.

In late September Bloomberg Law announced several new research features which leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to accelerate case law research.  The The new “Points of Law”  feature allows attorneys to quickly find language critical to a court’s reasoning to support their legal arguments . This feature was immediately available to all current subscibers to Bloomberg Law at no additional cost.

The Bloomberg Law platform now features one million points of law and is updated throughout the day. “Points of law” results are generated by the application of machine learning to the Blaw database of 13 million published and unpublished state and federal court opinions. Researchers can either start  there research with a point of law or start with a keyword then sort by relevance or most cited.

Bloomberg Law Points of Law

 

This new feature was created is response to the market demand for workflow enhancing tools. “Points of law” research results highlight the relevant language in each opinion. The press release describes the benefit as “enabling attorneys to Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Launches AI Enabled Research Features: Points of Law and Citation Maps

 

Thanks to Vable for hosting this webinar where I will speak on the transformation of libraries into “insights engines.”  Below is the text of their announcement.  Register for the Webinar  here.

Join Jean O’Grady and Vable on October 12th for a very special webinar, where she’ll be guiding you through the library’s role in your organization’s competitive advantage.

Jean will be discussing the value of the library as an insights center, as we look forward at what’s to come for the information industry and how you can get ahead. Don’t miss out on the chance to quiz an industry leader.

  • Speaker: Jean O’Grady
  • Date: Thursday October 12th
  • Time: 4.30pm BST / 11.30am EST
  • Duration: 1 hour including Q&A

Jean P. O’Grady is currently Sr. Director of Information, Research & Knowledge at DLA Piper US, LLP. She has over 30 years of experience developing strategic  information  initiatives for large law firms. In 2011 she launched a blog “Dewey B Strategic” which focuses on promoting Jean O'Gradyawareness of the strategic importance of librarians, libraries and knowledge managers to the organizations they support.  She has written provocative pieces on a variety of law firm management, publishing and technology issues which have sparked important debates in the industry.

Today Lex Machina is releasing a new module which covers district court bankruptcy appeals. Until now all prior Lex Machina modules have focused on federal trials. The Bankruptcy product covers 18,000 bankruptcy appeals filed since 2009. This is Lex Machina’s first foray into appellate analytics.

The Lex Machina CTO, Karl Harris is quoted in the press release: “Although there are relatively few bankruptcy appeals cases at the district court level compared to commercial or employment litigation cases, the stakes are incredibly high for all those involved, so it is imperative that attorneys know the lay of the land before entering the courtroom. With Lex Machina, attorneys will now be able to get critical insights into the behaviors of district court judges, allowing them to provide the most informed counsel and formulate the best case strategy.”

Bankruptcy practice is highly specialized and Lex Machina developed the new module based on feedback received from top bankruptcy litigators. The new product incorporates 10 practice-specific tags and 15 unique “dispute appeals” categories, which will enable attorneys derive insights a competitive advantage throughout the appeals process. Since bankruptcy appeals are much less common than traditional appeals it is more challenging for attorneys to gain insights into judges and outcomes.

As part of the product development process, Lex Machina interviewed top bankruptcy appeals lawyers to better understand their needs and incorporated their feedback directly into the new offering. As a result Lex Machina developed 10 new filers and 15 appellate categories.

  • The new case tags include: Bankruptcy Appeal; Individual Debtor; Business Debtor; Adversary Proceeding; Chapter 7; Chapter 9; Chapter 11; Chapter 12; Chapter 13; and Chapter 15.
  • The new dispute appeals categories include: Procedure and Jurisdiction; Malfeasance and Remedies; Officers; Administration; Lift of Automatic Stay; Debtor’s Rights and Duties; Plan and Disclosure Statements; Objection to Confirmation; Property of the Estate; Dismissal and Conversion; Discharge and Dischargeability; Claims and Liens; Objection to Proof of Claim; Avoidance; and State or Other Federal Law.

 

Lex Machina Bankruptcy Appeals Analytics

Unique Insights

Owen Byrd, the chief evangelist and general counsel at Lex Machina provided me with a preview of the product. One of my favorite things about seeing a new Lex Machina module is hearing, is hearing Byrd exclaim “ no one has ever seen this data before!” Byrd highlights some of the unique insights of the bankruptcy product in the press release: “If you’re a creditor trying to decide whether or not to file an appeal, knowing whether a particular judge has a tendency to affirm or reverse the lower court’s ruling will have a significant impact on your appeal strategy. “Similarly, having concrete data at your fingertips about the expertise of opposing counsel or how often larger creditors, such as banks, win their appeals could weigh heavily into your decision-making. “

Bankruptcy Appeals Report

Lex Machina will be releasing a comprehensive report on district court bankruptcy appeals in October, containing insights and analyses of bankruptcy appeals cases filed between January 1, 2009 and September 30, 2017. The company  also released a blog post today that provides a sample of data points to be featured in the upcoming report, including:

  • More than 17,000 cases have been pending since 2009.
  • Nationally, U.S. District Court judges are more likely to affirm the Bankruptcy Court’s decision (30% of cases pending since 2009) than to reverse, remand and/or vacate (7%)
  • The most common issues in bankruptcy appeals include Administration, Objection to Proof of Claim, and Dismissal and Conversion.

Legal Analytics for District Court Bankruptcy Appeals Webcast

Lex Machina will be offering a webcast Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics for District Court Bankruptcy Appeals webcast, scheduled for September 28, at 10:30 am PDT/1:30 EST. Register for the Webcast here .

LexisNexis has spent the past five years on a treasure hunt, acquiring some of the most innovative legal tech start-ups. My refrain in every post about these acquisitions has been – when and how will LexisNexis start integrating the key features of these products into their existing product lines. Today LexisNexis is announcing important enhancements to Lexis Practice Advisor leveraging their acquisition of Intelligize in September 2016. Additional enhancement to Lexis Practice Advisor include a new and more intuitive home page, enhanced navigation and post navigation filtering. The new Home page enables lawyers to begin their navigation by jurisdiction or topic.

New Lexis Practice Advisor Home Page

The new interface enables users to navigate content by practice area, content type or jurisdiction. In addition, content is organized along a task-based hierarchical tree, which allows users to either browse a comprehensive collection of practice area content or quickly drill down to find more nuanced, specific results.

LPA currently includes guidance such as practice notes, annotated forms, clauses and checklists across multiple practice Continue Reading LexisNexis Announces Lexis Practice Advisor Transactional Search Powered by Intelligize and Other LPA Enhancements