Over the past decade as LexisNexis snapped up one innovative product after another, I repeatedly begged Lexis executives to weave these new assets into the LexisAdvance research platform. The good news is that they are moving ahead with integrating Ravel content in Lexis Advance. The bad news is that the spunky and disruptive Ravel brand will recede into the past as it is reborn as  Context within the Lexis Advance platform.

When I first reviewed Ravel Law, I marveled at the boldness of the Founders’ vision. Nic Reed and Daniel Lewis graduated from Stanford Law School and then hooked up with some folks at the Stanford Design School with the goal of reinventing the legal research process. My original post Ravel Law: Legal Research Radically Reimagined included this observation: “For those of us who learned research using taxonomical hierarchies, viewing research results on Ravel is like landing in an alternate universe. Interpreting  Ravel search results requires the learning a “visual language” of a new research landscape.”  The bold vision remains, but  the brand we knew as Ravel is being folded into Lexis and rebranded as Context. The Ravel citation analysis features will live on linked to Shepard’s citation data as a feature called “Ravel View.”

The Ravel to Context Transition

Current Ravel Subscribers will get access to the Judge’s analytics from Ravel in an enhanced form on the Lexis Advance platform. In addition, a new expert witness analytics module has been added to Lexis Advance. Context will provide a seamless search experience allowing lawyers to access analytics from within the Lexis Advance research experience. Ravel’s Court and Firm analytics will remain available on the Ravellaw.com platform until they are completely transitioned to LexisAdvance in 2019.

  • Context like Ravel analyses the language of judicial opinions delivers unique insights into the precedents and language which have been persuasive to each judge on specific issues.
  • “Stacks” cases in which the judge cites multiple cases for the same point of law in order to streamline review.
  • Context provides and analysis of 100 motion types ( I believe this is the largest number of motion types available an any juridical analytics product.
  • Provides each judge’s grant and deny rate by motion type.
  • Partial grant analysis by motion types (based on linguistic analysis)
  • An overview tab provides broad background information on each judge
  • Provides caseload analytics

New Expert Witness Features

Several months ago I highlighted a report by Courtroom Insight which documented how little lawyers often know about the experts who they retain. As Lewis and Reed explored the integration of Ravel with LexisAdvance they discovered that Lexis had a wealth of expert witness materials on 380,000 expert witnesses which could be analyzed and linked to insights about expert witnesses derived from judges opinions. One of the most exciting features in Context is the Daubert Scorecard which provides insights into an experts strengths and weaknesses.

Context Daubert Scorecard


Context Expert witness Features

  • A Daubert tracker scorecard provides insights into the issues on which each witness was challenged in specific cases and how the judge ruled on each issue.
  • Insights into the language each judge used in admitting or excluding a witnesses testimony.
  • Expert witness profiles link to the huge expert witness archive in the Lexis Advance service including transcripts, resumes, and verdicts and settlements
  • “Named entity recognition” technology is used to validate relationship between each expert witness and related documents.

Currently the expert witness features can only provide insights into a specifically named expert. However in the near future Context will add the ability to search for experts by area of expertise e.g. accounting, products liability. This new feature will be welcomed by researchers familiar with the challenges of trying to identify a suitable expert by area of expertise.