Only slightly behind schedule following its acquisition of Ravel Law in June 2017, LexisNexis today (28 June) announced the launch of a new data visualization technology, Ravel View, into its flagship Lexis Advance online legal research platform.
Ravel View transforms traditional case law search lists into a map of the cases and language that judges find most important. As a result, users can understand the legal landscape faster and uncover cases they may have overlooked in reviewing traditional search results. This type of visualisation is becoming an essential competitive tool in quickly making sense of litigation at the outset of case, given the often enormous amount of information lawyers are presented with.
Ravel View now combines search visualization with Shepard’s citation. Adding trusted treatment analysis from Shepard’s allows users to quickly determine how cases have been impacted by subsequent decisions. Further analytics around judges and expert witnesses are planned using Ravel’s technology.
“LexisNexis is driving innovations that advance the practice, empower legal professionals and differentiate us from the competition,” said Jeff Pfeifer, vice president, product management at LexisNexis. “Ravel View is a perfect example of how LexisNexis technology can help attorneys use legal research as a competitive edge. Now, researchers can uncover insights from vast amounts of information and spot trends that were previously unknowable – what we call data-driven law.”
How it works: Ravel View maps the top 75 results from a user’s case law search. Each case is represented as a circle, with lines between circles showing the citations between cases. This interactive view helps users quickly assess each case in four key ways:
– Citation frequency: The bigger the circle, the more frequently that case has been cited by other cases – this highlights the cases that judges believe are most important.
– Chronology: By mapping cases across time, lawyers can identify trends and see the development of legal precedent.
– Jurisdiction: The vertical axis shows the Supreme Court at the top, followed by federal and state courts below. This view visually shows the governing relationships between cases based on their court hierarchy.
– Relevance: The higher a circle appears within each jurisdiction band, the more relevant the case is to your search.
When users click on any case circle, Ravel View displays the case name and citation relationships, and elevates the case to the top of the search results so users can read the full-text description. The lines connecting each case, and their full-text case descriptions, incorporate the familiar Shepard’s colors for positive and negative treatment. Hovering over these relationships brings up the citing language from one case to another, helping users determine whether the case’s treatment is relevant to their research.
“By mapping the cases, citations and Shepard’s treatments that judges find important, Ravel View eliminates countless hours spent on legal research and enables users to quickly and confidently find the most relevant cases that support their argument or legal strategy,” said Daniel Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law, a LexisNexis company. “Understanding the law and precedent is the foundation of strategy in every legal matter. By infusing Lexis Advance with analytics and visualization technologies like Ravel View, LexisNexis is increasing the effectiveness and productivity of today’s data-driven lawyers.”