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:


  •                 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.