The term competitive intelligence is most often associated with business models. In this use, competitive intelligence is the research or gathering of information about what competitors are doing, finding out details about current and new products in the same market, and in providing the information executives and company leaders need to make informed and accurate decisions based on information that is not readily available.
Thanks to technology and specially developed software analytics programs, there is now the option to use competitive intelligence in litigation in California courts. However, this is not work the law firm has to complete; there are third-party software companies in the state that have this information available. Lawyers can access this information through a judicial analytics report that includes a range of different data based on the specific reporting software.
A New Frontier
The use of competitive intelligence in litigation has always been a common practice, but it was relatively limited. In the past, attorneys would talk to other lawyers who had appeared before a judge, and they may have even had staff complete some analysis of how the judge ruled on different motions and the outcomes of various cases.
Through the use of software programs that are customized to search for information on the judge’s background information, rulings, workload and even the docket speed through the court, the attorney can use this information to not only match the case with the most favorable judge but also to provide insight for the client.
Most of the top law firms in California are now routinely using this type of competitive intelligence in litigation. It is a step in preparing for a case, in advising the client as to how the judge is likely to rule on motions and to have an overall summary of how other attorneys have experienced working with the judge.