eDiscovery Daily Blog

Moneycase: Should Your Law Practice Be Run Like a Baseball Team? — eDiscovery Trends

Remember the movie Moneyball (adapted from the book of the same name) about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s use of computer-generated analytics to pick his players to successfully assemble a baseball team that advanced to the baseball playoffs while spending a fraction of the budget as other teams?  Can law firms learn from that example?

According to Angela Hunt in a recent article in Law Technology News (Why Attorneys Love-Hate Data Analytics), maybe they can.  As she notes in her article, James Michalowicz, managing director of Huron Legal advises firms to use big data and performance metrics to minimize legal spending.

Like the old-time baseball experts in Moneyball that scoffed at the use of computer-analytics to pick baseball players, some attorneys question the benefits in the legal arena.  “As much as I think the use of analytics is now penetrating the sports world, I think it’s slower in the legal world,” Michalowicz told Law Technology News. Since a law firm’s value depends heavily on its legal knowledge base, installing a program that does all the heavy thinking can make attorneys feel like their hard-earned legal education is being undermined, explains Michalowicz. “There’s this emotional piece to it. Lawyers don’t want to rely on data. It’s a challenge to their pride.”

However, for large firms and corporations that deal with litigation regularly, Michalowicz recommends using strategic case analytics, a predictive technology that helps attorneys pick their battles.  As the article notes, “[b]y evaluating venue data and case histories within a jurisdiction, law firms and corporate legal departments can give unbiased advice on whether to litigate or settle.”

The past three years, at LegalTech New York (LTNY), we have conducted and published a Thought Leader Series of interviews with various thought leaders in the litigation and eDiscovery industry (here’s the link to this year’s set of interviews).  One of the interviews was with Don Philbin, President and Founder of Picture It Settled®, which is a predictive analytics tool for the settlement negotiation process.  To support this process, they collected data for about ten thousand cases – not just the outcomes, but also the incremental moves that people make in negotiation.  If Billy Beane were an attorney, he’d love it!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at other analytics mechanisms to improve efficiency in the litigation and discovery process.

So, what do you think?  Do you employ any data analytics in your discovery practice?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Image © 2011 – Sony Pictures

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.