Survey: Early Case Assessment Results in Favorable Outcomes in 76% of Cases and Reduced Litigation Costs in 50% of Cases

66% of Attorneys Said They Could Improve Case Assessment Skills and 64% Said Time is the Greatest Barrier to Effective Case Assessment

BELLEVUE, Wash.--()--More than three quarters of cases are resolved favorably and litigation expenses are reduced in half of all cases in which early case assessment is performed according to a recent nationwide survey of litigators. Conducted by Cogent Research on behalf of LexisNexis®, a leading provider of information and services solutions, the survey results underscore the importance of performing early case assessment and analysis, as well as reveal the opportunity for technology to help litigators overcome the time and cost barriers to conducting effective early assessments.

Two findings from the LexisNexis survey that directly support my experience are that effective early case assessments increase the favorable resolution of litigation and help control client costs, said Edward Rippey, partner at Washington, D.C. law firm Covington & Burling. While these benefits are clear, such assessment takes time. Thats why litigators seek tools and services that enable them to collect, organize and review case facts in as efficient and as accurate manner as possible.

Survey results

Survey findings can be grouped into three categories the impact of early case assessment on litigation, the challenges to performing effective early case assessment and the current practice of early case assessment by litigators.

Impacts on litigation

Survey results indicate early case assessment has a positive impact on both the practice and business of law, including:

  • Successful outcomes attorneys responded that, on average, performing early case assessment results in a favorable outcome in 76% of cases.
  • Strategic planning 87% of respondents said case assessment is beneficial for determining the best way to proceed with a case.
  • Reducing expenses conducting early case assessment enables attorneys to reduce the litigation expenses in 50% of their cases on average.
  • Managing budgets More than half of attorneys surveyed (57%) find early case assessment assists in their ability to prepare a more accurate litigation budget.

With the strong connection between performing early case assessment and better litigation planning, budget management and ultimately securing a favorable outcome, we believe litigators will seek technologies and services that help them maximize those impacts, said Michael Gersch, vice president of the Case Assessment & Analysis group for LexisNexis that includes LexisNexis CaseMap®, TextMap®, TimeMap®, CourtLink® and other case analysis tools and consulting services.

Challenges

Despite the tangible benefits of performing early case assessment, survey results point to challenges. For example:

  • 87% of attorneys who perform early case assessment said they do so on an informal basis rather than utilizing a specific methodology or set of tools.
  • 64% of survey respondents felt that time is the greatest barrier to performing effective early case assessment.
  • 66% said they could enhance their case assessment skills.

Because of the speed, accuracy and control it offers, technology specifically tailored for early case assessment can play a big part in overcoming the challenges litigators face in terms of formalizing early case assessment into a standard practice, accelerating the process and improving case analysis skills, said Gersch.

Practice of early case assessment

According to the survey, the benefits of early case assessment underscore the value and necessity that litigators assign to the process. For example:

  • 75% of attorneys surveyed said that early case assessment is important to their practice.
  • 90% of partners and 69% of associates perform case assessment in some form or fashion.
  • The most important elements of early case assessment include an initial review of case facts, collecting key documents, looking at case law, interviewing clients and creating a fact chronology.

Survey results show that attorneys put a premium on being able to clearly gather, organize and review the facts of a case before doing anything else, said Gersch. This is a priority even over researching the opposition, judges or potential witnesses.

Early case assessment capabilities delivered by LexisNexis through its CaseMap, TextMap, TimeMap and other services are all part of the LexisNexis Total Practice Solutions strategy to help litigators win by offering them the most complete and integrated selection of litigation support services available. These individual services are available via LexisNexis® Total Litigator - a single online destination offering attorneys the tools and litigation support services needed to manage cases at each step of the litigation process.

About the Survey

Conducted between January 28, 2007 and February 23, 2007 by Cogent Research on behalf of LexisNexis, this online survey asked 341 practicing litigators at mid sized (20-75 attorneys) and large (76+ attorneys) law firms across the United States a series of 40 questions querying them about their early case assessment and analysis practices, the perceived value of those practices and outcomes they ascribe to early case assessment and analysis.

Participating attorneys were required to have litigation as at least half of their practice, as well as perform either a formal or informal case assessment process.

About LexisNexis

LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading provider of information and services solutions, including its flagship Web-based Lexis® and Nexis® research services, to a wide range of professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE:ENL] [NYSE:RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in 100 countries with 13,000 employees worldwide.

Contacts

LexisNexis
Marc Osborn, 425-460-2159
marc.osborn@lexisnexis.com

Contacts

LexisNexis
Marc Osborn, 425-460-2159
marc.osborn@lexisnexis.com