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Feature Spotlight: Lexis+™ – A New Experience for Litigators

September 15, 2020

When it comes to being efficient with time and resources, litigators from small law firms must generally be a bit more adaptive than those from larger firms. For this reason, small law firm litigators are no strangers to AI and machine learning. Why? Because many of them operate solo or with minimal staff, so they must rely heavily on those tools to propel them through arduous, time-consuming pre-trial phases like discovery. Simply put, small firm litigators are resourceful and scrappy.

To that end, the folks at LexisNexis® developed the Lexis+™ online legal research platform. It offers several new features powered by natural language processing, and includes features offered in the Lexis® service, plus additional capabilities. Small firm litigators in particular can benefit from the new platform: it’s built for speed, streamlining the research process and cutting down on the time it takes to search. Litigators everywhere know how critical it is to minimize research time and gather evidence for a case: the less time it takes to gather background information, the more time you have to focus on building a winning argument.

Small firm litigators will find three components of Lexis+ especially helpful:

1. Shepard’s® At Risk:

This feature of Lexis+ identifies cases at risk of being overturned, where the underlying points of law have been negatively treated by other decisions in the same jurisdiction. The “At Risk” feature highlights the text of the passage in question and displays the cases that indicate that risk. This handy tool has the potential to save litigators hours of time searching for other decisions that might affect a case and can assist in avoiding weakly constructed arguments built on decisions that may soon be overturned. 

2. Brief Analysis: 

Upload either your own document, or an opponent’s to the Brief Analysis tool. It scans the document, and then offers the user a menu of recommendations on relevant cases that may have been missed. It also offers an overview of important legal concepts extracted from the document and uses this information to map to other documents or briefs that might be relevant. This feature empowers litigators to build stronger arguments and find additional relevant materials with targeted research recommendations. 

3. Search Term Maps:

The Search Term Maps feature of Lexis+ is just like the one offered through the Lexis service, only more robust. Lexis+ offers searching capabilities for more than 30 content types and makes it easy to identify relevant passages. The Search Term Maps feature can be used for cases, news, statutes & legislation, administrative codes & regulations, pleadings & motions, secondary materials, administrative materials and briefs. The tool will display the distribution and location of each search term in both the results list and within the full text of the document, making it easier than ever for litigators to identify patterns and see the largest concentration of search terms within a single document. 

Watch this quick video to see firsthand how Search Term Maps can help find the meaningful connections in sometimes complex search results.


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