Several weeks ago Lex Machina subscribers started seeing analytics from the Delaware Chancery court appear in the platform. It is significant that Lex Machina has entered the state analytics market where there are so few players. It is especially exciting that they have started with one the most important  if not the most important jurisdiction for corporate and contractual disputes. The module covers over 6,000 cases which have been filed since October 26, 2012.Delaware Chancery is the 10th Lex Machina module following patent, trademark,copyright, antitrust, securities, commercial, bankruptcy appellate, products liability and labor.

As with all Lex Machina products this new module offers  insights and trends in case resolutions and findings across  a wide range of controversies arising from constitutional and state law issues. The module  provides insiilluminates the track records of opposing counsel and parties, and accurately chronicles the behaviors and decisions of the court’s judicial officers

 The press release quotes  Karl Harris, president and COO of Lex Machina on the importance of this product: “Senior litigators at major corporations and top national law firms need to understand the nuances of practicing law in this court to offer the best possible legal counsel and support to clients incorporated there. Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics for the Delaware Court of Chancery provides attorneys with data-driven insights to help them create successful litigation strategies in this highly influential jurisdiction.”

 The Challenge of State Court Data. The market is full of products leveraging federal docket data. That has been an easy market to enter because of the centralized federal filing system called Pacer. Not only do most state lack centralized court systems, there are still many states and courts which have no electronic filing system. Add to that the myriad inconsistencies and data mapping problems which could arise from the locally developed systems 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Adding Delaware to the Lex Machina Platform. Fortunately the Delaware Court of Chancery uses a proprietary electronic filing system that includes “taggable” information, such as case title, civil action number, judicial officer, parties, counsel and documents which are the building blocks of analytics systems.  Lex Machina’s Attorney Data Engine and expert legal editors were able to take the Delaware data and run it through the enhancement and clean up process which is used for all the Lex Machina modules. This editorial work includes correcting “errors ranging from simple spelling mistakes to complex data problems; normalizing data on judicial officers, parties, law firms and attorneys; extracting records of law firms and attorneys not found in the basic data; tagging and categorizing cases; annotating case resolutions, damages and rulings; and more.”

Lex Machina also added new features and unique tags such as Field of Law, and Nature of Claim, as well as tags such as case resolutions, damages, and rulings, which are similar to federal modules. Since New York has a unified court system and a robust electronic filing system and rivals Delaware in commercial importance, I wouldn’t be surprised to see on of the vendors in this space offer a New York product in the t

The Market for State Court Analytics Last year respondents to  my reader survey, named state court analtyics  as the feature/product that  readers most wanted someone to develop. In the past few months I have reviewed 2 other products which are entering teh challenging market for state level analytics data. Gavelytics – which is tackling several California state courts and Docket Alarm which was recently acquired by Fastcase is offering federal and selected state analytics. I am happy to see so much activity in an area where there is so much market demand and so few products to fill the need.

Click here for a Delaware Court of Chancery Video Demo.