We’ve given you plenty of notice that this is coming and today (29 November) LexisNexis Legal & Professional formally launches Context, which delivers insights on judges and expert witnesses to help attorneys best prepare, present and argue their case.
A key component of the new Lexis Analytics suite of products, Context, which is based on Ravel Law analytics, is currently the only case-law language analytics solution in the industry.
It analyses tens of millions of court documents, providing users with key data such as the cases most often cited by a judge and the language used around that, as well as previously unavailable data on expert witness testimony, including where that testimony was excluded and why.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider about the launch of Context, Ravel’s co-founder Nik Reed said: “We have rebuilt all the Ravel machine learning in the Lexis Advanced platform and extended it in all sorts of exciting ways. Rebuilding something is not so fun but one of the most fun things is extending it and discovering things you couldn’t do before.”
What it couldn’t do before is provide the kind of expert witness intelligence that arises out of having access to LexisNexis database of over 380,000 witnesses. Reed said: “The same technology that finds terms used by judges can find put when expert witness testimony is excluded and why.”
He adds: “Unlike Judges, expert witnesses aren’t easily discoverable – they could be a John Smith or Mary Cooper – so working with LexisNexis we were able to create expert witness analytics, which is something that people really wanted.”
LexisNexis bought Ravel Law in June 2017, around two years after its acquisition of Lex Machina, which uses public case law from PACER to provide analytics in the run up to bringing a claim. Reed said: “Lex Machina gives you the tools for the best strategy before you get to court whereas once you’re in court, Context helps you to come up with the best argument.”
He adds: “The first bit is figuring out which venue and why; then the next part is ‘how do I increase the likelihood of my client winning.’”
Within Context users can search by judge, who each have a unique profile. There is an overview of each judge; the analytics around things such as how often they grant or deny a given ruling – with the relevant case law stacked up on the right hand side so that the user can drill further down into why that decision was reached; and a related material section that pulls everything together.
In a demonstration of Context, LexisNexis director of product management Mark Koussa told us: “This is where the AI gets to shine and where the work that Ravel has done over seven years in dissecting case law really bears fruit. We can see first motion outcomes including how often a motion was granted, denied, or given a partial ruling and on the right we can jump into the actual case comprising that data. Machine learning can pull out the decision language and where the judge made that ruling.”
If a motion for the appointment of counsel is denied in 84% of cases in front a certain judge, Koussa adds: “You either need to rethink your strategy or have a really strong case.”
Context can drill down into citation patterns and Koussa said: “No-one else can begin to do this – we’re not just saying ‘did the judge grant this or deny that’ but what is the exact language he or she used. We take every sentence and turn it into a data point that can be studied.”
Context can also show users which other judges are referred to and why. Koussa said: “It’s like hiring the judge’s clerk who knows their inside game – law firms do that and pay a super expensive premium for it.”
When it comes to the expert witness data, users can similarly access an overview, analytics and related material.
In the US an attorney can file a challenge motion to get evidence removed from court, which can change the shape of the entire case. Koussa says: “Knowing how often an expert has been challenged is one of the most critical pieces of information when attorneys are doing their research. We’ve applied the algorithm that Ravel refined and set it loose on our expert witness data base. It shows not only where testimony was challenged but why.”
We previously flagged the launch of Context after ILTA and it has been in pilot with a few law firms (such as Akerman) who are clients of both LexisNexis and Ravel. However, today is the first time that Context is publicly available.
The expert witness capability is 100% new and we’ll watch its uptake with interest, given that until now KM heads have in many cases had nowhere but Google to go to find this data.
Context is available across the United States and, as we exclusively revealed last month, the Lexis team is then looking at a roll out in Canada and the United Kingdom, although the UK may not be until much later next year.
Free access to Context is available to legal professionals for a limited time (T&Cs apply of course) by visiting www.lexisnexis.com/context.
Here are some additional features and facts and figures provided by LexisNexis:
Analysis on 100 motion types: No other resource in the legal market offers this vast motion coverage from federal and state trial courts to pinpoint specific motion grant/deny rates as well as the language judges used in granting or denying that motion type.
Case language and judges your judge relies on. Context gives you confidence in your argument by compiling the opinions and jurists your judge cites most frequently and delivering specific passages with no searching required.
Thorough expert witness analysis: Instantly gauge a witness’s credibility and track record, then dive deeper to gather intelligence on the specific reasons why their challenged testimony was admitted or excluded. Leverage the data to select the best possible expert for your cases or get insights on how to challenge your opposition’s expert. No other resource in the legal market can match the depth of expert witness content in Context or can match the technology to harvest it.
Deep expert witness content from the Lexis Advance service: With 38% more deposition and trial transcripts* and 65% more state and federal jury verdicts and settlements than the closest competitor†, no other solution can match the depth of expert witness content in Lexis Advance.