The system downloads new cases in real time, as they are filed. It analyzes them, creates complex tables, mining overall win rates, and differences from judge to judge looking for specialists in varying case types. Most of all, it looks for outliers, litigators with long strings of unbroken wins before particular judges.
In a discussion I had with Toby Unwin, inventor and co-founder of Miami-based Premonition Analytics, he told me, “The only item that affects the likely outcome of a case is the attorney’s prior win rate, preferably for that case type before that judge.”
Having downloaded hundreds of thousands of cases, Premonition set about the huge task of teaching the AI system to read the cases. Like a child, the system learned slowly at first, but rapidly gained in speed and accuracy. The system downloads new cases in real time, as they are filed. It analyzes them, creates complex tables, mining overall win rates, and differences from judge to judge looking for specialists in varying case types. Most of all, it looks for outliers, litigators with long strings of unbroken wins before particular judges.
The co-founders recounted one story of a paralysis case on the verge of trial for a very nervous insurance company. Premonition downloaded 15,000 cases—three-years-worth of civil actions in a Reno, Nevada, courthouse. The system found one attorney with 22 straight wins before the judge—the next person on the list had seven wins. A bit of checking revealed the lawyer was actually a criminal defense specialist who operated out of a strip mall. The lawyer had little reason to be before a civil judge, let alone so often and with such a stratospheric win rate. Premonition advised he be hired as co- counsel. The case settled within weeks. Premonition claims such outliers are far from rare. Their website, shows an example of an attorney with 32 straight wins before a judge in Orange County, Florida. The attorney, an associate at a major national law firm, has a higher win rate than the partners at his office.
And ‘win rates’ aren’t the only metric Premonition tracks. Case duration is vitally important. “Many attorneys are notorious clock-runners. They’ve got away with it, because there has been no transparency,” Unwin says. “Clients will often focus on an attorneys’ hourly rate, but you need to look at your total spend: hourly rate x length of case losses.” Over a portfolio of cases, these savings can be significant.
It’s no secret that technology is having a significant impact of litigation, with the advent of cloud-based tools and collaborative workspaces. Now with the advent of AI and Big Data, this is but one new development that could be a real game-changer.
Source: Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute (www.legalexecutiveinstitute.com)