Lex Machina is not a hard product to use. It is loaded with data and offers lawyers an infinite landscape of  data permutations. As I have often said “lawyers don’t want research products that make them feel like they are wiring a powerplant. They want to flip a light switch.” In 2014 Lex Machina launched three desktop ‘” apps”: the early case assessor, the motion kick starter and the patent portfolio evaluator.  These are the “lightswitchs” of litigation data discovery. Today they are announcing the release of two more “apps” the court and judges comparator and the law firm comparator.

Each of these new functions takes what was formally a multistep process and provides a ” fill in the blanks” template which in one click produces a set of charts comparing  up to 4 courts judges or law firms using custom selected criteria.

The Court and Judges Comparator

This function allows a lawyer to compare up to four districts or judges. There are two basic “use cases” for this app. One is forum selection:  comparing  trends in districts in order to determine the most  favorable jurisdiction in which to file. The other is to compare an assigned judge to alternate jurisdictions for when  considering a motion to transfer. In each scenario up to four judges and courts can be compared along multiple criteria: trends in case filings, assessing the expertise of the judge, average time for a  preliminary injunction grant, average time to  dismissal,  average time to claim construction, average time to summary judgment,  average time to trial.

The Law Firm Comparator

This new app can be used by outside counsel in selecting law firms as well as by law firms seeking new business. A law firm can compare themselves to three other law firms across multiple criteria  including: volume of cases, number of open cases, number of terminated cases, party roles, success rates and remedies. GCs can compare existing outside counsel with competitor firms using these same types of metrics.

Even though the apps makes the production of comparative charts easy,  the expertise of a lawyer is still required to assess the meaning of the data and trends produced by the comparators.

The Lex Machina apps are “an add”  on to the Lex Machina subscription.

When I interviewed Owen Byrd, Lex Machina’s Chief Evangelist and General Counsel for this post he indicated that the engineers  at Lex Machina
would continue developing what he refers to as “easy buttons” for lawyers. New apps could include comparators for parties and individual attorneys– which I agree would be welcome additions to the comparator family.

Keep the “easy buttons” coming!