Gavelytics, the judicial analytics company that uses artificial intelligence technology to help litigators quickly identify judges’ tendencies, today announces a supercharged judicial insights tool that now features a rulings database and arbitrator archive.
Since the legal search platform’s Southern California launch in 2017, Gavelytics has enabled litigators to access critical background information and key tendencies for civil trial court judges, including: propensity for favoring plaintiffs or defendants; how they are inclined to rule on pivotal motions; judicial workload; contact information and courtroom rules; and pre-bench career. Now, with the addition of a comprehensive rulings database, attorneys can dig even deeper and gain a more complete understanding of a given judge’s style, preferences and legal writing and analysis.
“Pairing actionable, data-driven insights with written rulings just makes a lot of sense – not only as a business model, but in terms of how attorneys actually prepare for litigation,” explains Rick Merrill, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Gavelytics and a former Big Law firm litigator. “Our rulings database isn’t a conventional legal research tool – users’ primary goal is not merely to locate judicial precedent in support of a legal argument, which is the focus of most historical products. Rather, our users are looking for deeper insights about a specific judge’s anticipated behavior.”
The rulings database includes thousands of L.A. trial court orders dating back to 2000. Users can easily identify relevant documents by judge, subject matter and type of motion. This sort of preliminary research can often prove decisive, particularly where, as in California, parties are able to remove or “ding” judges from a case with little or no cause (CCP §170.6). Merrill notes that the product expansion has been integrated as a core function of the existing Gavelytics platform; there is no upcharge for the additional services.
“When litigators want to quickly get the lowdown on a judge, understand how she thinks and figure out how she can be persuaded, they will look to Gavelytics,” adds Merrill. “This gives them a huge competitive edge to help deliver a successful outcome for their client.”
As part of the same rollout, Gavelytics has introduced an arbitrator archive that provides greater understanding into the past behavior of more than 30 arbitrators who are former L.A. Superior Court judges. The archive is a tool that helps attorneys ask the right questions about their assigned arbitrator, such as: Was your arbitrator 170.6’d by defendants at a significantly higher rate than her peers? Did she grant MSJs for plaintiffs at a rate well below the county average? Did she preside over cases that resulted in huge wins for firms in town and is your opposing counsel one such firm?
“Unlike traditional litigation where a judge is assigned to you, attorneys have a lot of say regarding who their arbitrator is, so having insight into how an arbitrator ruled when she was a sitting judge is critical,” Merrill said. “This kind of transparency will fundamentally change how litigators evaluate arbitrator candidates.”
Currently available in Los Angeles, the rulings database and arbitrator archive will soon be rolled out to San Francisco and will be available statewide later this year.
This announcement continues the significant momentum that Gavelytics has enjoyed since its launch in September 2017, as it steadily expanded both its geographical footprint and product features. In April, the company announced the extension of its coverage into San Francisco County Superior Court, the legal epicenter of one of the most significant business and technology markets in the world. Earlier this year, the legal tech startup announced it closed a second seed round of funding totaling $3.2 million. The company has raised a total of $5.7 million since 2016.
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