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WINTER 2020 TODAY’S GENER AL COUNSEL

LITIGATION ANALYTICS

An Advantage for In-House Counsel By Rachel Bailey

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ontracts are the backbone of business transactions and the lifeblood of many organizations, so when a contract dispute arises, in-house attorneys are often tasked with deciding whether litigation is worth the time, cost and human resources to address the problem. Often this decision is based on a combination of experience, anecdotal information and instinct, but that’s hardly an exact science. When you consider the amount of litigation data that is available to help in-house counsel make decisions, there is no longer any reason for attorneys to guess the best course of action. Legal analytics help in-house counsel make strategic decisions by illuminating big-picture trends and relevant cases to predict outcomes, create a plan of action, and coordinate with outside counsel or other business leaders. Data from similar

cases or about the court, the judge, opposing counsel, timing of key events, findings and likely resolutions can be critical to evaluating all aspects of the case and formulating litigation strategy. Let’s take an example. In-house counsel at a high-end retailer just found out that a supplier didn’t fulfill its contract. There is evidence that the supplier may have lied on purpose to win a more lucrative deal. Counsel needs to decide whether the company should sue the supplier for breach of contract, as well as fraud and tortious interference with contract. Legal analytics help attorneys answer specific questions like:

• How often has this supplier faced litigation, and do they normally settle or litigate? • What is their track record in court when facing contract disputes? • Should we leverage our existing outside counsel or is there another firm with more experience?

• How much time and money would litigation cost? • Is it worth it? Could there be substantial damages?

FIND RELEVANT CASES

Once an attorney has assessed the situation, he or she can take a datadriven report to the relevant departments with the research to back up a decision. The analysis below shows how litigation analytics help attorneys to research relevant cases and answer key strategic questions quickly.

A key advantage of legal analytics is the ability to quickly find and compare relevant cases. In order to decide whether

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