Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lex Machina "DeCodes" Commercial Litigation: Launches Latest Analytics Insights into Business Torts and Contract Litigation

Owen Byrd , the Chief Evangelist at Lex Machina  is really excited about the latest module of legal analytics. Byrd provided me with a preview of the new commercial litigation product. While Byrd is proud of all of the Lex Machina modules, he sees the commercial product as providing lawyers with a truly unique set of insights . According to Byrd until today there was no easy way to isolate analytics for the most common types of commercial litigation cases:"breach of contract" and "business tort."  Sophisticated docket researchers  have been frustrated by the gaps in the federal NOS codes which frustrate the tracking and analysis of many important types of litigation. 





Engineering a "Nature of Suite" Code

The first question I asked Byrd was "How did you go about identifying commercial cases?"
After extensive interviews with commercial litigators, Lex Machina determined that Breach of Contract and Business Tort were the most important types of commercial litigation controversies. Using a combination of machine learning, natural language processing and human, attorney coders Lex Machina was  able to create a "virtual NOS" code for this important subset of business litigation.  This new set of  cases required practice specific tagging for  issues such as contract breach, existence, rescission and termination as well as contract defense and unjust enrichment. Business tort finding include conversion, defamation/trade libel and fraud.


According to the press release, of over 62,000 commercial cases filed since 2009, 80% include a breach of contract claim, and 57% include a business tort claim. PACER, the online platform containing federal docket entries and related documents, does not contain a Nature of Suit (NOS) code that captures all commercial cases. Lex Machina’s new offering resolves the challenge of defining “commercial” cases, which are often filed under multiple NOS and Cause of Action (COA) codes. Approximately 25% of commercial cases meet the definition of an intellectual property, securities or antitrust case, and are coded in PACER as such. Commercial litigation generated $6 billion in billings for US law firms annually.

New  Lex Machina features include:

Expanded case timing analytics: In addition to time to dismissal, trial and termination, Lex Machina has added 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/

Hats off to the Lex Machina team. The new commercial module is an important achievement in leveraging technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing to identify, code and expose important new subsets of litigation which have been buried in the arcane coding of federal Pacer system. According to Byrd Lex Machina plans to release additional modules through the end of the year including, employment law, products liability and commercial bankruptcy.

Launch Event Webinar Today: There will be a commercial litigation webinar today at 12 noon register here for Lex Machina’s commercial launch webcast entitled “New Legal Analytics for Commercial Litigation.”  The webcast will be moderated by Above The Law’s managing editor David Lat. Joining him will be David J. Tsai, co-managing partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP, Mark Herrmann, vice president and chief litigation counsel at Aon Corp., and Owen Byrd, general counsel and chief evangelist at Lex Machina.

Here is the full press release:

Lex Machina Expands its Award-Winning Legal Analytics Platform to Commercial Litigation
Commercial offering is latest step in Lex Machina’s rollout of Legal Analytics for all practice areas

Menlo Park, CA — June 20, 2017 — Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, today announced the expansion of its award-winning Legal Analytics® platform into commercial law, the largest of all federal practice areas, and Lex Machina’s most ambitious expansion to date. The new commercial module represents the company’s commitment to expand Legal Analytics beyond patent, trademark, copyright, securities, and antitrust law to cover every federal practice area. 

Commercial litigation is a massive, high-stakes category, generating more than $6 billion in billings by law firms in the U.S. annually. With the new module, commercial litigators will be able to use Legal Analytics to make data-driven decisions based on detailed information about more than 62,000 commercial cases pending since 2009. Lex Machina is the only solution with practice area-specific tags that are key to true Legal Analytics, which provide attorneys a distinct competitive advantage in commercial litigation. Strategic insights include trends in case timing, resolutions, findings, damages, and remedies, as well as actionable intelligence on opposing counsel, law firms, parties, judges, venues, and more.

As part of the product development process, Lex Machina interviewed commercial litigators from top law firms and major corporations to better understand their particular analytics use-cases. The product team incorporated their feedback directly into the new offering. To meet the needs of commercial litigators, Lex Machina has added new features with unique, practice area-specific tags such as:

Expanded case timing analytics: In addition to time to dismissal, trial and termination, Lex Machina has added 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.

Commercial cases also have relevant general litigation tags, including orders for contested dismissal or summary judgment, declaratory judgment, multi-district litigation, class action, jury trial, bench trial, and appeal.

“Commercial litigation is by far Lex Machina’s biggest, most ambitions endeavor yet because its
all-encompassing nature transcends so many other legal practices. Up to now, this has made it extraordinarily difficult for commercial litigators to gather critical insights they need to properly defend their clients,” said Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina. “Legal Analytics plays a crucial role in helping attorneys unravel the complexity of commercial litigation by providing them with relevant data and information they can use to quickly make informed business and legal decisions and provide better counsel for their clients.”

Of over 62,000 commercial cases filed since 2009, 80% include a breach of contract claim, and 57% include a business tort claim. PACER, the online platform containing federal docket entries and related documents, does not contain a Nature of Suit (NOS) code that captures all commercial cases. Lex Machina’s new offering resolves the challenge of defining “commercial” cases, which are often filed under multiple NOS and Cause of Action (COA) codes. Approximately 25% of commercial cases meet the definition of an intellectual property, securities or antitrust case, and are coded in PACER as such. 

“We’re excited to offer commercial litigators the first platform that enables valuable strategic analysis for commercial cases,” said Karl Harris, CTO of Lex Machina. “The high volume of commercial cases along with the shortcomings of PACER have been major obstacles for attorneys trying to get an accurate and comprehensive view of commercial litigation. Legal Analytics now offers a solution to that problem, and the addition of multiple tags specific to commercial litigation will unlock a wealth of new insights that have never been available before.”

Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics is a “must have” tool for litigators in many of America’s top law firms and corporations. More than half of Am Law 100 law firms use Lex Machina to craft successful litigation strategies, win cases and land new clients. For more information about Lex Machina’s newest practice area,  register here https://vts.inxpo.com/scripts/Server.nxp?LASCmd=AI:4;F:QS!10100&ShowKey=40443 for Lex Machina’s commercial launch webcast entitled “New Legal Analytics for Commercial Litigationhttps://vts.inxpo.com/scripts/Server.nxp?LASCmd=AI:4;F:QS!10100&ShowKey=40443 scheduled for June 20 at 9:00 PDT, 12:00 EDT. The webcast will be moderated by Above The Law’s managing editor David Lat. Joining him will be David J. Tsai, co-managing partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP, Mark Herrmann, vice president and chief litigation counsel at Aon Corp., and Owen Byrd, general counsel and chief evangelist at Lex Machina.

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform is a new category of legal technology that fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Lex Machina provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, parties, and more, mined from millions of pages of legal information. This allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
Lex Machina was named “Best Legal Analytics” by readers of The Recorder in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and received the “Best New Product of the Year” award in 2015 from the American Association of Law Libraries.

Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading information provider and a pioneer in delivering trusted legal content and insights through innovative research and productivity solutions, supporting the needs of legal professionals at every step of their workflow. By harnessing the power of Big Data, LexisNexis provides legal professionals with essential information and insights derived from an unmatched collection of legal and news content—fueling productivity, confidence, and better outcomes. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com.

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