Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

While it is still too soon to tell whether it will bite a major chunk from the bottom lines of the big legal research tools of Lexis and Westlaw, newcomer Judicata is showing promise.

While Judicata’s long-term competitive clout is unclear as it currently only covers California state court decisions and statutes, the legal research tool offers features its more expensive challengers do not. According to California lawyer Mark DelRosario, Judicata has “significantly improved my research abilities.” The business litigation and entertainment law senior associate with Kushner Carlson, PC says while Westlaw continues to be his go-to when conducting legal research, Judicata offers unique services that help him in ways other legal research methods do not.

He calls Judicata “intuitive” in that it does at least two things extremely well. First, it locates cases featuring relevant issues quickly, which in turn allows him to expend more time on writing. “I’m able to focus more time on writing instead of worrying if I will ever be able to find any on-point cases that support my arguments,” he says.

Second, Judicata reveals cases and arguments that may support an opponent’s arguments. “It’s such an amazing time saver,” says Delrosario. DelRosario says he looks forward to when Judicata adds Federal cases and legislation to its menu.

Itai Gurari, one of Judicata’s three founders and its CEO, touts what he says are its advantages over the big names in legal research. “Judicata is a search engine that returns the best results by mapping the legal genome” with extreme accuracy and granularity, he says. If a person searches certain keywords, they “might get less relevant search results with competitors.”

As for offering research capabilities beyond California state civil courts and statutes, Gurari says that’s definitely in the offing. He says plans call for an expansion sometime in 2019, with California federal courts and possibly New York civil trial courts next on the company’s docket.

He’s also excited about a feature the company recently introduced that can revolutionize legal research. “Users can upload a brief and have Judicata analyze it to suggest other cases to support the outcome” they seek, says Gurari.

Known as Clerk, the markup tool “makes the most of a tactical challenge,” he says. Clerk analyzes briefs and “identifies strengths, weaknesses and errors to increase your chances at succeeding,” Gurari says. Moreover, it can perform the same analytical investigation on an opposing party’s brief.

Understanding the strengths and vulnerabilities of an opponent’s arguments can go a long way towards overcoming and attacking them, respectively. “People use Judicata because Clerk is a unique product that helps attorneys create better briefs that are more likely to win while performing their research more quickly,” says Gurari. But Judicata doesn’t stop there. The company says shephardizing cases is also a breeze because it features a “citator” service. 

Soon-to-be-released technology will focus on Judges overseeing cases. This judicial analytical tool will allow users to delve into decisions issued by judges to decipher which issues weighed the most heavily in their rulings, says Gurari.

“Law has its own rules and logic. Judicata translates those rules and logic into codes a computer can understand so people can research more quickly and write more persuasively,” sums Gurari.

Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer.

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