What if a lawyer could know how a judge is likely to rule in a case or how heavy is a judge’s workload? Rick Merrill was a litigator at a large law firm who became frustrated over his inability to get meaningful information about the judges before whom he appeared. So last year, he launched Gavelytics, a California company that uses analytics and artificial intelligence to analyze docket data and provide lawyers with a range of insights about judges’ propensities, workloads and leanings.

In this episode of LawNext, I visited Gavelytics’ office in Santa Monica, where I sat down with Merrill, now the company’s CEO, and Justin Brownstone, VP of sales and litigation counsel, to talk about the product one year after its launch, how lawyers use analytics for strategic and competitive purposes, and how analytics and AI are being used more broadly in law.

Before founding Gavelytics, Merrill was a litigator with the law firm Greenberg Traurig in Los Angeles, involved primarily in real estate and other commercial disputes. He received his law degree from UCLA School of Law, completed the executive program at the UCLA Anderson School of Business, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California.

Brownstone is also a former litigator with several Los Angeles firms. He is also a graduate of UCLA School of Law, where he was a managing editor of the law review. He earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division. At LexBlog, he oversees LexBlog.com, the global legal news and commentary network.