5 Things Litigators Should Look for in a Legal Research Tool

By Deepank Varshney

We all learned in law school that quality legal research is critical to the practice of law in any area of the profession. For litigators, pinpointing the most relevant legal issues, case precedents and legal insights often make the difference between winning and losing in the outcome of a dispute.

The Importance of Legal Research for Litigators

Legal research tool support litigators by efficiently delivering the information they need to decipher from the facts, the legal issues of your case, gather sources of law and check your citations for good law. But not all legal research tools are created equal.

Precision in Legal Research: The Key to Success in Litigation

What should litigators look for in a legal research tool that will best meet their specific needs as disputes practitioners?

For starters, the “table stakes” to even make it onto your radar should be a tool that searches with maximum precision and accuracy. One of the most difficult things about litigation research is finding all related materials available for cases with similar fact and issue patterns. The types and sources of research content are often in different systems or databases, which require varying approaches to finding the right terminology that will surface the . This can be time-consuming, inefficient and frustrating for legal professionals.

Look for a tool that incorporates state-of-the-art AI-enabled litigation search taxonomy behind the scenes to find materials with the applicable legal terms of art for your search query. The tool should extract information from all case law dating back more than a century and unpublished decisions to uncover everything you need, giving you full confidence that your research is precise and complete. Make sure the tool you select was designed from the ground up to mimic the exact processes that litigation professionals perform when researching their cases.

Essential Features of a Litigation-Specific Legal Research Tool

Beyond searching with precision, here are five important requirements that you should look for in a litigation-specific legal research tool:

1. Results dashboard

Time is of the essence when litigating a dispute for a client, so make sure the tool you select displays a complete overview of the information and insights curated to your searched facts, issues and area of law on an easy-to-understand interactive dashboard. This will allow to quickly assess your research so you can have a full picture of the case in one glance.

2. Case Lifecycle

No litigator wants to be caught off-guard by a judge or opposing counsel. Choose a tool that gives you the ability to provide a complete picture of a case. This should include case opinions, cited cases and statutes, dockets, pleadings, motions, briefs and other relevant content so you are aware of all developments.

3. Guidance materials

Take full advantage of the wealth of available legal insights and knowledge from other lawyers who are experts in the area of practice involved in your case. Look for a litigation-specific legal research tool that provides you with access to Practical Guidance and administrative resources from practitioners who have handled cases similar to yours, saving you time and providing you with valuable insights.

4. Expert witnesses

The outcome of many legal disputes is tied to the testimony of expert witnesses who provide important third-party insights on the facts in a case. Make sure that you choose a legal research tool that enables you to identify expert witnesses who have proven experience with the facts, topics and issues involved in your case.

5. Case value assessment

One of the first steps undertaken by litigators is conducting early case assessment to determine the potential risks/rewards involved with litigating the dispute at hand. The best litigation-specific legal research tools will provide you with access to data analytics that reveal the potential value of cases, based on previous verdicts and settlements in similar cases.         

Introducing Lexis+ Pinpoint: A Tailored Solution for Litigators

Lexis+ Pinpoint is a unique practice-area-specific litigation research solution that helps legal professionals quickly find the relevant information they need across the spectrum of published and unpublished decisions that are related to facts, issues and topics involved in a case they are researching. It is currently available for eight practice areas with more planned for release in 2024:

  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Business & Commercial
  • Civil Procedure
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment
  • Real Estate
  • Torts & Personal Injury

Enhance Litigation Research with Lexis+ Pinpoint

Lexis+ Pinpoint is available on Lexis+. Subscribers and those with Free Trial access to Lexis+ have access to Lexis+ Pinpoint and the dashboard. Access to the underlying legal research content is dependent on the user’s subscriptions to the appropriate databases. Experience Lexis+ Pinpoint for yourself by signing up for a 7-day instant free trial of Lexis+ or go to www.lexisnexis.com/lexisplus.


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