Owen Byrd , the Chief Evangelist at Lex Machina is really excited about the latest module of legal analytics. Byrd provided me with a preview of the new commercial litigation product. While Byrd is proud of all of the Lex Machina modules, he sees the commercial product as providing lawyers with a truly unique set of insights . According to Byrd until today there was no easy way to isolate analytics for the most common types of commercial litigation cases:”breach of contract” and “business tort.” Sophisticated docket researchers have been frustrated by the gaps in the federal NOS codes which frustrate the tracking and analysis of many important types of litigation.
Engineering a “Nature of Suite” Code
The first question I asked Byrd was “How did you go about identifying commercial cases?”
After extensive interviews with commercial litigators, Lex Machina determined that Breach of Contract and Business Tort were the most important types of commercial litigation controversies. Using a combination of machine learning, natural language processing and human, attorney coders Lex Machina was able to create a “virtual NOS” code for this important subset of business litigation. This new set of cases required practice specific tagging for issues such as contract breach, existence, rescission and termination as well as contract defense and unjust enrichment. Business tort finding include conversion, defamation/trade libel and fraud.
According to the press release, of over 62,000 commercial cases filed since 2009, 80% include a breach of contract claim, and 57% include a business tort claim. PACER, the online platform containing federal docket entries and related documents, does not contain a Nature of Suit (NOS) code that captures all commercial cases. Lex Machina’s new offering resolves the challenge of defining “commercial” cases, which are often filed under multiple NOS and Cause of Action (COA) codes. Approximately 25% of commercial cases meet the definition of an intellectual property, securities or antitrust case, and are coded in PACER as such. Commercial litigation generated $6 billion in billings for US law firms annually.
New Lex Machina features include:
Hats off to the Lex Machina team. The new commercial module is an important achievement in leveraging technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing to identify, code and expose important new subsets of litigation which have been buried in the arcane coding of federal Pacer system. According to Byrd Lex Machina plans to release additional modules through the end of the year including, employment law, products liability and commercial bankruptcy.
Here is the full press release:
all-encompassing nature transcends so many other legal practices. Up to now, this has made it extraordinarily difficult for commercial litigators to gather critical insights they need to properly defend their clients,” said Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina. “Legal Analytics plays a crucial role in helping attorneys unravel the complexity of commercial litigation by providing them with relevant data and information they can use to quickly make informed business and legal decisions and provide better counsel for their clients.”
Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform is a new category of legal technology that fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Lex Machina provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, parties, and more, mined from millions of pages of legal information. This allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.