At the annual meeting of the American Bankruptcy Institute on April 20, I moderated a plenary panel, “Artificial Intelligence: Why It Matters To Your Future Bankruptcy Practice.” In advance of the panel, the ABI recorded a series of video interviews I conducted with some of the panelists. Here is my interview with Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and legal counsel at Lex Machina.
At Legalweek in New York, I caught up with Josh Becker, CEO of legal analytics company Lex Machina. Had no idea until we finished talking that he was running off moments later to deliver a keynote on legal analytics and the future of data-driven law.
Becker talked about developments with Lex Machina since its acquisition by LexisNexis in November 2015 and plans for the year to come.
When LexisNexis acquired the legal analytics platform Lex Machina in November 2015, the the plan was to integrate Lex Machina’s analytics into various LexisNexis products and, in particular, its Lexis Advance legal research platform. Last January, it took the first step in that direction when it integrated judge analytics into Lexis Advance, and later in the year it added integration for law firm analytics.
Yesterday LexisNexis rolled out the third such integration, attorney analytics. Now, when Lexis Advance users are viewing full-text cases, they can click on the names of the attorneys involved in the case and view summary charts showing data about the attorney, such as the attorney’s case-filing history.
This works for the practice areas currently covered by Lex Machina: patent, copyright, trademark, antitrust, securities, employment, commercial, product liability and federal bankruptcy appeals.
From that summary page, Lexis Advance users who also have a subscription to Lex Machina can drill further into the full Lex Machina set of analytics.
(Note that attorneys’ names have been blotted out from these images.)
As it continues to expand its legal analytics into new practice areas, Lex Machina is today announcing the addition of analytics for federal product liability litigation. The new module is the largest expansion of the platform to date, it says, encompassing nearly 500,000 cases pending since 2009, including 158,000 open cases.
Since launching with its initial focus on intellectual property and its acquisition by LexisNexis, Lex Machina has added modules for securities, antitrust, commercial litigation, employment and bankruptcy.
Like those other modules, the new products liability module uses data derived from court dockets to provide insights and show trends in areas such as case timing, resolutions, findings, and damages for injuries caused by product defects.
Among the case types covered are aircraft, asbestos, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and vehicles. It also includes subrogation cases, in which a third-party, such as an insurance company, takes over the case on behalf of the plaintiff.
Some 91 percent of federal product liability cases since 2009 are part of a multi-district litigation, LexMachina says. In MDL matters, the module will allow users to filter out the “noise” of associated cases and focus only on the master case, if they choose, or include the associated cases.
Among some of the key insights LexMachina found in the product liability data:
- More than 10,300 vehicle-related cases have been brought since 2009. Last year saw the largest number of these cases filed (2,226 cases).
- The three district courts with the most product liability cases since 2009, representing 58 percent of all filings nationwide, are the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (29 percent), Southern District of West Virginia (21 percent), and Eastern District of Louisiana (8 percent).
- Asbestos-related filings made up over 140,000 cases pending since 2009 – 97 percent of which were filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Products Liability Webcast Tomorrow
Tomorrow, I will moderate an Above the Law webcast that will discuss emerging trends in products liability litigation and provide an introduction to Lex Machina’s products liability analytics. Panelists will be:
- Eric Falkenberry, partner at DLA Piper and experienced litigator in product liability cases.
- Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and general counsel at LexMachina.
The program is tomorrow, Nov. 14, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.
When LexisNexis acquired the legal analytics platform Lex Machina in November 2015, the plan was to use LexisNexis’s collection of federal and state docket data to expand Lex Machina’s analytics beyond its original area of intellectual property. Since then, it has been adding practice areas at a regular clip, starting with securities last July, antitrust in November, and commercial litigation last month.
Now comes employment litigation, as Lex Machina today announces an employment litigation module that analyzes data from some 71,000 discrimination, retaliation and harassment cases filed in federal court since 2009. The new module provides the same sorts of analytics as prior modules, offering insights into case timing, resolutions, damages, remedies and findings, as well as information on law firms, parties, judges and venues.
“We decided after the Lexis acquisition that if we wanted to go big we’d have to attack the broad middle of the law,” Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and general counsel at Lex Machina, told me yesterday. “In terms of case count and value to practitioners, we quickly centered on commercial and employment as our first big additions to our offering. Last month, we rolled out commercial. Now rolling out this week is federal employment litigation analytics.”
The module provides analytics for three types of employment cases, those in which an employee is suing an employer for discrimination, retaliation or harassment. In the fall, Lex Machina will add disabilities and labor relations cases to the module.
Next month, Lex Machina will add a module for bankruptcy cases, Byrd said.
While the underlying analytics are the same, each new module requires the addition of subject-specific tags. Lex Machina says it develops these tags by interviewing practitioners in each area of law to better understand their practice area and use cases. The employment module adds tags related to:
- Damages. New tags have been added for back pay/lost wages, emotional distress, front pay, liquidated damages, and punitive damages.
- Findings: New tags have been added for discrimination statues such as Title VII (race/color, religion, national origin, sex/gender), ADEA (age), PDA (pregnancy), §1981/§1983 (equal rights/civil rights violations), USERRA (members of the military), the Equal Pay Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Tags have also been added for hostile work environment/harassment, retaliation, failure to mitigate defense, time barred defense, failure to accommodate, legitimate nondiscriminatory/non-retaliatory reason defense, and failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
- Remedies: New tags related to remedies are notice posting, promotion and reinstatement.
Lex Machina says that the new employment analytics will allow attorneys to answer questions such as:
- How many times have damages for lost wages been awarded in a federal employment case? What were the specific amounts?
- What can you know about a law firm sending a demand letter – how real is the threat?
- Which law firms have the most experience defending Walmart in federal employment cases?
- How often – and in which cases – have judges in the District of Delaware found a hostile work environment?
- What are the chances of obtaining a summary judgment order in an employment case from a specific judge?
In demonstrating the module yesterday, Byrd pointed out some interesting findings revealed by the analytics. One is that the law firms generally perceived to be the three dominant firms representing employers in employment cases truly are. Data shows that the firms with the most employment cases are Littler Mendelson, Ogletree Deakins, and Jackson Lewis.
The data also shows that plaintiffs rarely win in employment litigation. Although the analytics do not reveal the outcomes of cases that settle, for those that go to trial, plaintiffs win in just 1 percent of cases, and on summary judgment, plaintiffs win in only a negligible fraction of cases compared to employers.
With regard to remedies, the analytics show that punitive damages were awarded in only 192 employment cases and attorneys’ fees in just 437 cases.
Some other trends revealed by the data:
- Based on cases filed between Jan. 1, 2009, through June 30, 2017, discrimination lawsuits are by far the most common (87 percent of cases), followed by retaliation (66 percent) and harassment (35 percent).
- Employment cases often involve overlapping kinds of claims. Discrimination and retaliation claims are combined more than half the time, and the other two combinations occur in about a third of cases.
- Cases with all three tags comprise just under a quarter of the cases.
- Top government defendants include local entities such as the City of New York and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, as well as federal organizations such as the U.S. Post Office and Department of Defense.
- Corporations facing the most employment cases include Walmart, Home Depot, Target, United Parcel Service, Bank of America, and United Airlines.
If you are interested in learning more about this new module, Lex Machina is hosting a free webcast tomorrow, July 13, at noon Eastern time to demonstrate its analytics and discuss some of the trends in employment litigation the analytics reveal. The webcast will be moderated by David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above The Law, and will include David Walton, shareholder at Cozen O’Conner; Patrick DiDomenico, chief knowledge officer at Ogletree, Deakins; and Byrd.
The legal analytics company Lex Machina today announced what it is describing as the most ambitious and largest expansion yet of its analytics into a new practice area, commercial litigation.
Since its acquisition in November 2015 by LexisNexis, Lex Machina has been using LexisNexis’s collection of federal and state docket data to expand its analytics platform beyond its original area of intellectual property into other practice areas, adding securities last July and antitrust in November. It plans eventually to cover every federal practice area.
With today’s release, Lex Machina is adding data on 62,000 commercial cases dating back to 2009. Attorneys will be able to use its analytics to obtain insights on case timing, resolutions, findings, damages, , remedies, and also to obtain competitive and strategic intelligence on opposing counsel, law firms, parties, judges, venues, and more.
Lex Machina says that, to meet the needs of commercial litigators, today’s release adds new practice area-specific tags and features, including:
- Expanded case timing analytics. In addition to the time-related analytics it already had — such as time to dismissal, trial and termination — this new release adds time to permanent injunction and summary judgment.
- New damages categories. Commercial cases include contract damages, restitution, and other damages, as well as tort compensatory damages and punitive damages.
- New breach of contract and business tort findings. New tags have been added for contract breach, existence, rescission, and termination, as well as contract defense and unjust enrichment. Business tort findings include conversion, defamation/trade libel, fraud/misrepresentation, misappropriation of trade secrets, negligence, tortious interference, and tort defense.
In announcing today’s news, Lex Machina CEO Josh Becker said the addition of commercial litigation was the company’s most ambitious addition yet because the category transcends so many types of legal practice. Of over 62,000 commercial cases filed since 2009, 80 percent include a breach of contract claim and 57 percent include a business tort claim. Roughly 25 percent of commercial cases meet the definition of an intellectual property, securities or antitrust case, and are coded in PACER as such.
At noon Eastern today, Lex Machina is presenting a webcast about its new commercial litigation analytics: “New Legal Analytics for Commercial Litigation.”
A new Silicon Valley legal technology accelerator launched by LexisNexis today named five startups selected to be its first participants.
The five participants were chosen from a list of more than 40 startups based on the interesting natures of their businesses and their innovative uses of technology, LexisNexis said. They are:
- Visabot. An “immigration robot” powered by artificial intelligence that helps customers complete U.S. visa applications, including locating relevant open data about an applicant, guiding applicants in the process of gathering supporting documents, ensuring forms are filled out accurately, and drafting appropriate language to tell the applicant’s story.
- TagDox. A legal document analysis tool that creates tags, allowing users to identify and structure information in a variety of document types, improving both the speed and the quality of the document review process; “tag results” can transform documents into easily readable summaries, checklists, database feeds or approval overviews.
- Separate.us. A web-based application that automates legal document preparation for divorces and provides access to relevant professionals at affordable fixed rates, deploying a business model that targets both B2B and B2C customers.
- Ping. An automated timekeeping application that collects all of a lawyer’s billable hours, capturing missed time and money, and operating entirely in the background in concert with standard legal billing software.
- JuriLytics. An expert witness peer review service that attorneys can use to challenge their opponent’s experts with previously unobtainable credibility and bullet-proof their own expert’s work through vetting from the world’s top researchers (in any field of expertise).
The 12-week program is intended to help participants gain knowledge and expertise in a variety of topics, including technology and product development, running an agile product development organization, building a strong company culture, selling to legal departments and law firms, leveraging legal data, and best practices in customer success, marketing and fundraising.
In addition, they will have access to the full store of legal data available through LexisNexis and the ability to leverage relationships with Stanford University and other leading Bay Area schools, businesses, VCs and influencers.
Ever since LexisNexis acquired the legal analytics platform Lex Machina in November 2015, the plan has been to integrate Lex Machina across a range of LexisNexis products and, in particular, its Lexis Advance legal research platform. Today at the Legalweek conference in New York, LexisNexis officially launched the first stage of that integration, judge analytics.
Now, as a user is looking at a case in Lexis Advance, if the judge’s name shows an active link, the user can click on that to access summary analytics about the judge from Lex Machina. This will work only for the practice areas Lex Machina covers — patent, trademark, copyright, antitrust and securities — but Lex Machina is expected to significantly expand the practice areas it covers during the coming months.
The three screenshots accompanying this post show different portions of the summary screen, as if scrolling from top to bottom. As you can see, the Lex Machina analytics show information such as number of open cases, when the cases were filed, and the timing from case filing to significant events in the case.
Users who also have a subscription to Lex Machina will be able to start from the summary analytics in Lexis Advance and then drill deeper in Lex Machina’s full array of analytics.
Further integration of Lex Machina analytics—including attorney and law firm summaries—is planned for later this year.
This move is part of a larger strategy by LexisNexis to better integrate and leverage all its data across a wider range of platforms, both its own internally built platforms and external applications, Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of product management for North American Research Solutions, told me.
“Our overall objective is to organize our solutions in better and cleaner workflows,” Pfeifer said. “We want to support the data-driven lawyer, the person who really is using data in new ways to drive insights for their clients.”
The company has been focused on making greater use of emerging technologies such as predictive analytics and machine learning to enhance researchers’ judgments, he said.
It is also working towards enabling its users to realize a fully integrated workflow that ties together its four key products: Lexis Advance for legal research, Lexis Practice Advisor for practical guidance, Lexis Search Advantage for enterprise search, and Lexis for Microsoft Office for document drafting and review.
Yesterday, LexisNexis announced a step in developing this workflow with the integration of Lexis Practice Advisor and Lexis Search Advantage.
Lex Machina released new apps yesterday targeted to provide legal analytics around two key litigation topics, damages and parties. The new apps, Damages Explorer and Parties Comparator, are designed to make it easier for users to explore and analyze data around these two topics.
Over the last year, Lex Machina has rolled out a series of legal analytics apps designed to deliver answers for specific use cases. In September, I wrote about two of them, the Courts & Judges Comparator and the Law Firms Comparator. Others are Early Case Assessor, Motion Kickstarter and Patent Portfolio. Today’s announcement adds two more apps to this series.
As Joerg Rathenberg, Lex Machina’s vice president of marketing, told me earlier this week, the goal of these apps is to enable lawyers to have access to analytical insights even when they have very little familiarity with using the Lex Machina platform. The apps provide quick results from which a user can drill down into more granular analytics.
The Damages Explorer is unlike any of Lex Machina’s other apps. It enables users to search, analyze and compare damage awards. It includes the capability to analyze damages awarded by a particular judge, in a certain court and of a certain type, such as attorneys’ fees or infringement damages.
I was given a demonstration earlier this week, and the Damages Explorer struck me as more of a reporting tool than an analytics tool. It lets a lawyer look up damages by any of a range of parameters, from case type to court to judge and more, and then filter those results by even more granular factors. Want to see damages only in patent cases that have reached a claim construction hearing? You can do that.
Getting good data on damages has always been a challenge for lawyers, yet having that data can be extremely important in plotting litigation strategy and in settlement negotiations. This has the potential to be a powerful tool for lawyers.
Lex Machina says that attorneys can use the app to model different strategic approaches, using information that previously would have taken weeks to compile at an extremely high cost. Lex Machina says that it has the only complete record of damages awards in patent, copyright, trademark, securities and antitrust cases since 2009.
The Parties Comparator would be familiar to anyone who has used either the Courts & Judges Comparator or the Law Firms Comparator. It allows users to compare parties by different criteria, including litigation volume, performance and outcomes. For each party being compared, the application shows open and terminated cases, damages, remedies, findings won or lost, and case-timing milestones.
Lex Machina says this app is useful for law firms in business development, allowing them to understand a prospect’s litigation profile and to evaluate the track record of the prospect’s current firms. It is also useful for companies seeking to refine their peer benchmarking.
Keep in mind that Lex Machina’s data currently covers just five practice areas: patent, trademark, copyright, antitrust and securities. However, it is working to add additional practice areas and it is likely that its coverage will expand significantly during 2017.
If you are attending Legalweek next week, you can see these apps demonstrated at Lex Machina’s booth (booth #100). Lex Machina has also scheduled a webcast to demonstrate the apps for Thursday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Aiming to help give legal tech startups a leg up, LexisNexis today announced the launch of a legal tech accelerator. It will be located in the Menlo Park, Calif., offices of its legal analytics unit, Lex Machina, and will be led by Lex Machina’s CEO Josh Becker.
“The accelerator will leverage the vast content resources of LexisNexis, deep expertise in legal, technology and startup domains, and industry-leading market position to assist program participants,” an announcement said.
The announcement said that startups that participate in the program will bet the benefit of:
- Knowledge. Access to the full store of legal data available through LexisNexis.
- Tools. Access to cutting-edge tools and technologies from LexisNexis.
- Mentorship. Weekly hands-on sessions with Becker and other LexisNexis executives on topics such as growing companies, technology and product development, and building a strong company culture.
- Education. Strategy sessions on various topics, including selling to legal departments and law firms; running an agile product development organization; leveraging legal data; best practices in customer success, marketing and fundraising.
- Connections. The ability to leverage Lex Machina’s relationships with Stanford University and other Bay Area schools, businesses, VCs and influencers.
- Workspace. Space for up to three people for three months inside Lex Machina’s offices.
Startups wanting more information on the project or that are interested in applying should email Alex Oh (email@example.com).