Analytics Articles

The Impact of the Pandemic Shutdown on New Case Filings in State Courts

The COVID-19 pandemic halted non-essential social and economic activities including the day-to-day operation of courthouses. During the shutdown, courts adopted special guidelines for providing essential legal services (e.g., bond hearings, temporary restraining orders). Some courts encouraged the use of electronic filings while others emphasized physical dropboxes. Lex Machina surveyed its current state civil trial court modules to examine how the pandemic shutdown impacted new case filings in state courts, which handle a tremendous volume and breadth of matters. Our survey of new case filings in nine state courts during April and May 2020 revealed the following observations: Case filings in state courts were significantly reduced during the shutdown. For the nine state courts that Lex Machina reviewed, total case filings in April 2020 were down 53% compared to April 2019, and filings in May 2020 were down 49% compared to May 2019. Case filings for limited jurisdiction cases were more impacted than general/unlimited jurisdiction cases in the California and Texas courts that Lex Machina reviewed, suggesting that corporate litigation plaintiffs were less affected in pursuing litigation than individuals. Courts that permitted only essential civil cases to be filed during the pandemic shutdown saw a surge in new filings after courthouses [...]

By |2020-06-27T07:43:43+00:00June 25th, 2020|Analytics Articles, Legal Trends|

April 2020 Summary: Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Litigation Activity in Federal District Court

Lex Machina continues to explore how courts are affected by the social changes due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Our analysis of court activity through March and the first two weeks of April in 2020 compared to the previous two years revealed the following: Case filings have not yet been significantly impacted year-over-year, though the overall total remains slightly down in 2020 compared to previous years. Case activity is down in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019. COVID-19 is showing up in 2020 court records mainly due to general orders. However, 200+ cases filed since April 1st mention the coronavirus pandemic in the complaint. Now, we are looking at updated data from the first four weeks of April. To understand whether these trends continue, we compared court activity for the four weeks of April 2018, 2019, and 2020. Our analysis of court activity in April revealed the following: Year-over-year trends that continue through April of 2020: Case filings continue to not be significantly impacted year-over-year, and litigants continue to move forward with planned litigation, though the overall total remains slightly down in 2020 compared to previous years. Watching each specific practice area, we notice, however, that filings are trending up for some [...]

By |2020-05-26T15:30:27+00:00May 26th, 2020|Analytics Articles, Legal Trends|

Tracking New Litigation Caused By COVID-19

The social and economic changes due to the COVID-19 crisis are affecting the business and practice of law. In federal district court, we have seen a slowdown in court activity, but not in case filings. In this blog post, we investigate situations in which COVID-19 social and economic changes may be the driving forces behind new case filings. Here is a summary of the trends that we’ve observed so far: COVID-19 Case Filings are Trending Upward. New cases with complaints citing COVID-19 are increasing week-over-week since March 1, including 110% between the weeks of April 12-18 and April 19-25 alone and 16% the following week. Leading Practice Areas with COVID-19 Keyword Matches. Contracts and insurance are the two practice areas with the largest number of complaints filed in the specified time period that cite COVID-19 keywords, with 168 and 104 cases respectively, followed by employment with 42. Leading Practice Areas with Confirmed Case Filings Directly Resulting from COVID-19. Contracts, insurance, and employment are the three practice areas with the largest number of cases (128, 98, and 19 cases respectively) that (a) would not have been filed if not for the pandemic, and/or (b) have claims substantially exacerbated by the pandemic. [...]

By |2020-05-13T22:10:10+00:00May 11th, 2020|Analytics Articles, Legal Trends|

April Two-Week Update: Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Litigation Activity in Federal District Court

Lex Machina continues to explore how courts are affected by the social changes due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Our analysis of court activity in March revealed the following: Case filings have not yet been significantly impacted year-over-year. Case activity is down. COVID-19 is showing up in court records mainly due to general orders regarding procedural changes. To understand whether these trends continue, we compared court activity for the first two weeks of April 2018, 2019, and 2020. Our analysis of court activity in April revealed the following: The trend continues into April: case filings have not yet been significantly impacted year-over-year. The trend continues into April: case activity is still down. The trend continues into April: COVID-19 is showing up in court records mainly due to general orders. However, 200+ cases filed since April 1st mention the coronavirus pandemic in the complaint. To understand whether the March trends continued into April, we compared court activity for the first two weeks of April 2018, 2019, and 2020 including 10 business days each year. The specific dates are April 1 to April 14, 2018; April 1 to April 14, 2019; and April 1 to April 14, 2020. Trends through April 2020 [...]

By |2020-05-04T20:23:25+00:00April 25th, 2020|Analytics Articles, Legal Trends|

Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus on Litigation Activity in Federal District Court

As part of our mission to bring openness and transparency to the law, Lex Machina is exploring how courts are affected by the social changes due to COVID-19. Our work requires us to review what is going on in federal district court every day, and we’d like to share our findings publicly. So, do we see the impact in the data? In terms of the effects of COVID-19 on litigation, it may still be too early to see significant changes in litigation activity, and there's a lot we don't yet know about how COVID-19 will eventually impact litigation. Here's what we do know so far. Summary Of Findings And Possible Explanations Federal district courts are changing their operating procedures such as using remote communication and moving to essential personnel only, but are not closing completely. There is still daily court activity. In order to gain a better understanding, we compared court activity for four full weeks during March 2018, 2019, and 2020. In order to include 20 business days each year, the specific dates are March 4 to March 31, 2018; March 3 to March 30, 2019; and March 1 to March 28, 2020. Here is a brief summary of [...]

By |2020-05-04T17:55:33+00:00April 7th, 2020|Analytics Articles, Legal Trends|

Using Contracts Analytics in Franchise Disputes

Franchisors frequently become embroiled in contract disputes with their franchisees. Many franchisors have cases pending against their franchisees for breach of the franchise agreement in district courts across the country. In each case, franchisors are facing, not only different franchisees, but also different judges, opposing counsel, and local counsel. Predicting timing, outcomes, and cost is essential to evaluating and resolving franchise claims. Franchisors (and their counsel) need a data tool that provides insights into the litigation process when the parties are litigating a breach of franchise agreement claim. Data on the court, the judge, opposing counsel, the franchisor’s counsel, timing of key events, and likely resolutions is critical to evaluating all aspects of the case and formulating litigation strategy. Lex Machina provides analytics that assist counsel in developing litigation strategy both before and after a lawsuit has been filed. Franchisors and their counsel can utilize Lex Machina’s Contracts data set to implement winning strategies in any federal jurisdiction and with any judge. The Contracts module contains over 147,000 cases. Lex Machine has developed a unique “Franchise Agreement” case tag, so that attorneys can focus on cases involving breach of a franchise agreement. This dataset includes over 6,600 cases that are most relevant to franchisors. Top Franchise Case Jurisdictions Where are franchise cases being [...]

By |2019-05-17T21:57:55+00:00May 17th, 2019|Analytics Articles|

Analytics for Insurance Litigation

For a long time the insurance industry has been leveraging analytics to understand and predict risk when writing policies. But what happens when a disputed claim becomes a legal matter? Using advanced technologies, Legal Analytics gives you insights into legal cases and trends that were previously unknowable to provide better legal advice, develop better litigation strategies and win more cases. Data-Driven Strategy With Legal Analytics, insurance lawyers can discover what types of cases have actually been litigated, who represented the opposing parties, how long the parties litigated, what findings the court or jury made, and what damages were awarded. It can also provide a detailed litigation history of an opposing party, allowing counsel to understand the party’s strategies and litigation outcomes. Using that information, both in-house counsel and their law firms will be much better equipped to predict how long a case may take, how much it will cost, what damages might be expected, what strategy their opponent might employ, what strategy is likely to be successful, and many other important considerations. Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics for Insurance Litigation brings data-driven insights to insurance cases pending in Federal District Court from 2009 to the present. The module includes over 98,000 [...]

By |2019-03-14T00:22:05+00:00March 13th, 2019|Analytics Articles|

Legal Analytics vs. Legal Research: What’s the Difference?

For hundreds of years, litigators have served their clients by applying facts to law using legal reasoning. To identify relevant law—statutes, cases, rules—to apply to the facts of a case, lawyers conduct legal research. Performing accurate legal research remains a core skill of successful lawyering. But over the past few years a new tool has appeared in litigators’ toolkits: legal analytics. Legal analytics involves mining data contained in case documents and docket entries, and then aggregating that data to provide previously unknowable insights into the behavior of the individuals (judges and lawyers), organizations (parties, courts, law firms), and the subjects of lawsuits (such as patents) that populate the litigation ecosystem. Litigators use legal analytics to reveal trends and patterns in past litigation that inform legal strategy and anticipate outcomes in current cases. While every litigator learns how to conduct legal research in law school, performs legal research on the job (or reviews research conducted by associates or staff), and applies the fruits of legal research to the facts of their cases, many may not yet have encountered legal analytics. Data-driven insights from legal analytics do not replace legal research or reasoning, or lawyers themselves. They are a supplement, both prior [...]

By |2018-06-13T16:37:55+00:00June 13th, 2018|Analytics Articles|

2017 Second Quarter Litigation Update

1,138 patent cases were filed in the second quarter of 2017, a 18% increase over number of cases filed in the first quarter of 2017.  A similar increase from the first to second quarter has happened in each of the previous 4 years. Although the number of cases filed in the first quarter of 2017 was one of the lowest in the last 5 years, the first half of 2017 only trails 2016’s first half by 7%.

By |2018-01-17T18:52:41+00:00July 18th, 2017|Analytics Articles, Legal Trends|

Lex Machina Launches Legal Analytics for Employment Litigation

As the next step in bringing Legal Analytics to more areas of the law, Lex Machina has expanded our coverage of employment cases pending January 1, 2009 through the present.  Our employment module offers the same ease-of-use and intuitiveness as our other practice areas, but introduces new tags, findings, remedies and damages specific to employment law. Discrimination, Retaliation, Harassment Lex Machina tags employment cases by the nature of the claims asserted, resulting in three (overlapping) categories: discrimination, retaliation, and harassment/ hostile work environment. Discrimination cases involve claims under federal statutes that prohibit adverse employment actions against members of a protected class. Harassment cases involve claims of unwelcome conduct based on an employee's protected status. Retaliation / hostile work environment involve claims that an employer punished or retaliated against an employee because the employee engaged in a legally protected activity. Based on cases filed between January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2017, discrimination lawsuits are by far the most common (87% of cases), followed by retaliation (66%) and harassment (35%).  However, employment cases often involve overlapping kinds of claims - discrimination and retaliation claims are combined more than half the time (54%), and the other two combinations occur in about a [...]

By |2017-10-10T01:45:33+00:00July 12th, 2017|Analytics Articles, Announcements|