I recently wrote about how Gavelytics is transforming California Superior Court motion practice, with our best-in-class judicial analytics platform leading the way in providing actionable data regarding trial court judges’ handling of a broad range of civil motions. A less obvious, but equally essential benefit of judicial analytics is the capacity to hone and refine pitches for new business and win the trust of potential clients. When searching for an attorney or firm to represent them in a piece of litigation, large businesses look for a litigator who will provide them the greatest advantage. And there is no greater advantage in litigation than the ability to effectively anticipate a judge’s behavior and build a litigation strategy informed by actionable data.
Imagine this scenario: you are a California medical device manufacturer being sued for an allegedly defective product, and you are in the market for a law firm that excels in consumer product liability defense. You begin reaching out to a handful of firms regarding potential representation. Each of the five firms puts together an impressive “pitch,” with a laundry list of past court victories, a concise explanation of their industry expertise and relevant background regarding the experienced litigators who would be handling your case.
But only one of the firms utilizes a judicial analytics platform and is able discuss, in detail, the judge to which your case has been assigned, and what that means in terms of the anticipated duration, trajectory and likely outcome of the suit. More than that, this firm can offer recommendations regarding whether to file a CCP §170.6 motion to nix the judge, and provide a data-supported assessment regarding whether to respond to the complaint by filing a demurrer, given the likelihood of such a motion’s success. It’s not hard to imagine the client choosing the firm versed in judicial analytics — all else being equal.
Moreover, one of the most important factors in retaining clients and building out a book of business is the successful management of client expectations. Clients do not like surprises, and they like guesswork even less. When a litigator has judicial analytics in her toolbox, she is able to offer her clients a preview of how litigation is likely to proceed, flag potential stumbling blocks and share an action plan regarding how to navigate procedural hurdles and devise a winning strategy. This is the kind of advanced planning and data-supported counsel that builds strong relationships with clients, and leads to repeat business.
If you find that you are invited to submit numerous pitches for new litigation business, and consistently struggle to differentiate your pitch from the pack, perhaps it’s time to consider how judicial analytics can give you the winning edge. The firm armed with competitive intelligence is quite often the firm that will make the best impression. It’s time to be that law firm.