Legal decision-makers are used to seeing other departments employ analytics to understand their customers and be more successful. Many legal departments use software or processes to control costs, but these have little to do with the ultimate outcome of particular cases or investigations. It is past time for those same tools to be put to work in improving and predicting legal outcomes.

Analytics can also be used to look at jurisdiction-wide trends on particular types of litigation . . . or to look at likely outcomes for other government investigations that could culminate in a fine or penalty.

In an article, just published in the BNA Product Liability Reporter, Schiff Hardin partner Jonathan Judge introduces the concept of substantive legal analytics, and uses them to predict a company’s estimated fine from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for failing to timely report hazards as required. The same overall approach can be used to analyze a company’s litigation history, particularly for systematic or mass tort litigation, to understand which law firms or jurisdictions or fact patterns actually affect the values of cases.

Analytics can also be used to look at jurisdiction-wide trends on particular types of litigation, such as employment cases or class actions, or to look at likely outcomes for other government investigations that could culminate in a fine or penalty. Substantive legal analytics requires outside counsel who both possess statistical expertise and are experienced product liability attorneys.