LexisNexis Launches AI/Ravel-Powered ‘Context’ Analytics System

LexisNexis has today launched Context, a new AI-powered component of the recently deployed Lexis Analytics suite, and what the company says is a ‘groundbreaking’ capability that is ‘one of the most significant new legal technologies the industry has seen in some time’.

The short version is this: it helps you to craft legal motions by providing you with the insights you might want from previous cases and citations. For now, this will be only for the US market.

On face value there do seem to be several competitors out there in the market, such as Casetext, for example. Thomson Reuters’ new Westlaw Edge system (i.e. the one with all the new NLP capabilities) is also not a million miles away.

However, never underestimate lawyers’ desire to have a ‘one stop shop’ service that already includes a host of other capabilities and is part of the suite they already use. In this regard Context may well create some headaches for several legal tech companies working in the case analysis sector.

Well, let’s see what it does and you can decide how signifiant it is. This is what it mainly covers:

  • Analysis on 100 motion types from federal and state trial courts to pinpoint specific motion grant/deny rates as well as the language judges used in granting or denying that motion type.
  • Case language and judges your judge relies on. Context compiles the opinions and jurists your judge cites most frequently and delivers specific passages with no searching required.
  • Thorough expert witness analysis: Instantly gauges a witness’s credibility and track record, and it shows specific reasons why their challenged testimony was admitted or excluded. ‘No other resource in the legal market can match the depth of expert witness content,’ they say.

The first two bits sound good (though it’s ground other tech companies have explored before), but the witness analysis aspect does seem more novel and perhaps may swing it for some.

This is also building upon the two previous legal AI acquisitions LexisNexis made: LexMachina and Ravel. 

In fact, LexisNexis says that: ‘Context is the result of integrating industry-leading Ravel analytics with the deep case law and expert witness content from Lexis Advance. Today’s launch is the culmination of more than a decade that the Context development team, attorneys, top data scientists and legal subject-matter experts, has spent creating the training data and refining the algorithms that power Context.’

So, there you go, further proof that ‘Big Legal Tech’ may be slow to move, but eventually it seeks to catch up with what else is on offer in the market. To some extent this was inevitable. LexisNexis wasn’t going to let legal AI startups and major rivals eat its lunch.

It also shows that Big Legal Tech will work very hard to produce a ‘finished product’, rather than push out an experimental product and learn on the job. It’s had Ravel for some time, for example, but only now is Context coming to market.

Perhaps the bigger question now is: when is it going to launch its own legal AI-powered doc review system….? That can’t be that far away….? Can it? Watch this space….

Let’s allow Jeff Pfeifer, Vice President, Product Management at LexisNexis, to conclude the Context launch pitch: ‘When attorneys know what specific language a judge regularly uses, or how well an expert’s testimony will stand up to judicial scrutiny, they are empowered to argue more persuasively and effectively on behalf of their clients. Context delivers the critical insights and analysis attorneys need to more quickly and successfully prepare their cases for court.’

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