Introducing Legal Maps
When we strip down the big idea and consider what it will take to rationalize the legal services market, it comes down to information — access to information that is, relevant to services that lawyers are paid to provide.
The legal maps we are proudly introducing today preview Justly’s commitment to informing the market and offer a window into our work to identify standards, norms and patterns in the adjudicatory process, for the market then to consider when engaging counsel (or being engaged as counsel), budgeting costs and making other “legal business” decisions.
We want you to think of Justly as the legal industry’s first desktop globe (with a responsive web design fit for mobile), offering a 360° view of the adjudicatory process, beginning with U.S. litigation.
Within the American legal system, doctrines of precedent were developed to further the belief that throughout a jurisdiction and across time judges and other public officials should treat like cases alike. Further to inducing consistency and predictability in adjudication, case law also informs a broad range of private decisions, like whether to bring a lawsuit or how to structure a deal.
The thing about it is, precedent is useless if it can’t be accessed. For example, a judge cannot consider and apply prior opinions as precedent unless the judge or the lawyers in the case can identify and access them. The same holds for those who would consider precedent — not only case law but docket entries, case documents and more — in shaping transactions or planning some other course of action.
And, with regard to data structures, access to information is governed as much by the architecture of the system providing access as the information itself.
Existing systems providing access to court records, like PACER, Westlaw and LexisNexis, work well if you want to access records of discrete proceedings or search records across cases and courts. But they do not allow inspection of precedent from novel vantage points or allow free range through their databases, and hence the market’s need for an accessible source of legal information.
As we begin our journey together, Justly’s legal maps are being drawn using data from millions of contemporary U.S. court proceedings — as near to a complete record of commercial-grade litigation, spanning decades, as you’ll ever find in one place (or see on a single screen). And all of it is being structured, for the first time in this way, to advance the public’s demands for consistency and predictability, not only in adjudication but also in adjudication costs.
We will be saying more on these subjects and about the data, indexing additional facets of the data, and releasing new and improved maps and other features in the coming weeks and months.
Justly exists to inform the legal services market. Sign up to receive updates, and please let us know how we can help your business control legal costs.