Fastcase  acquisition of Judicata  will bring a new era of innovation and advanced legal reasoning technologies such as, citation analysis, legal analytics and brief analysis to Fastcase 8 and Docket Alarm.

Several years ago I wrote a post  about Judicata, a small California start up which described its mission as “as mapping the legal genome.”   They used their analytics and  citation analysis tool to grade law firm briefs. How that for chutzpah?. Judicata knows how to stretch the legal research and analysis envelope.

Fastcase today announced the acquisition of Judicata technology assets “with the mission of extending Judicata’s California research and analytics tools nationwide in the Fastcase platform.”

Judicata founder, Itai Guriari  worked at Jones Day then at Google working on Google Scholar before founding Judicata in 2012 with Adam Han and Blake Masters. The team spent the last decade building out “industry-leading research analytics and workflow tools for California law.” Chief technology officer Ben Pedrick  and the Judicata team will join Fastcase to scale those solutions nationwide. Gurari  will be VP of Research and Development and lead  Fastcase labs.

I asked Fastcase CEO Ed Walters to provide some insights into the strategy behind this acquisition.  “Judicata has pioneered some amazing innovations for California law, a truly deep dive into how to rank search results, create the world’s best citator, analyze briefs, understand causes of action, and more. Now Fastcase and Judicata are going to scale those innovations to all 50 states and extend those innovations into Docket Alarm briefs, pleadings, and motions as well. For the last decade, Judicata has worked to sequence the legal genome, and together, we get to share those insights with more than 900,000 Fastcase subscribers nationwide. Judicatata is a generation ahead of even the largest legal research platforms and their technology will be the core of the next generation of Fastcase tools.Starting today our team begins work on Fastcase 8 with Judicata as its backbone.”

Market Impact – I have long been predicting that Fastcase is a true market disruptor. It broke the traditional legal research provider model by building  its market from the ground up rather than trying to compete directly with the legal research behemoths, Lexis and Westlaw. Over the years they have built out not only a reliable primary law research system  but they have continued to enhance their platform through strategic alliances and acquisitions to include legal news, forms, drafting tools, law reviews and treatises. They offer their product at a fraction of the cost of Westlaw and Lexis.

The acquisition of Judicata will fill the functionality gaps which may have stalled Facecase’s growth in the large law firm market. Judicata will provide Fastcase with  a robust citator, integrated legal analytics and a brief analyzer tool. Unlike Lexis and Westlaw, Fastcase had no Board of Directors or shareholders calling the shots and putting profits over product innovation or customer relations. Co-founders Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal in collaboration with COO Steve Errick continue to make strategic moves of their own choosing and at their own pace. This most recent acquisition is very likely to be a “game changer” which should propel Fastcase into a greater ALM100 market share. The time is opportune given the financial skittishness of law firms in the post pandemic world.  Every firm is dreams of cutting their dependence on the multi-million dollar online research research contracts.  I recommend that firms enter into short term contracts  with the larger vendors. Keep your eyes out for Fastcase 8 and if it meets your firms research needs,  be ready to make a move.

Walters sums up Fastcase’s market position this way.”Here’s a question: If Fastcase has the nationwide legal research collection, a larger library of law reviews, the world’s best citator, an extensive library of secondary materialspublic records search, a brief analyzer tool, leading data visualization tools, award-winning analytics, and the largest collection of state and federal briefs, pleadings, and motions, why would law firms pay millions more for legacy legal research services?”

Good question Ed.

Here is the full press release.