Leave No Legal Research Stone Unturned
August 21, 2019
Today's TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide report covers an AI tool that analyzes a brief (yours or opposing counsel's) to recommend cases you overlooked as well as cited cases that might have been implicitly or explicitly overruled.
Leave No Legal Research Stone Unturned With the Help of Westlaw Edge Quick Check
Thomson Reuters' Westlaw product team regularly meets with lawyers and legal research professionals to better understand challenges when conducting legal research. Those interviewed often share two related problems — not knowing if they had found all relevant cases, and struggling to connect dots across vast amounts of data. These problems are tailor-made for artificial intelligence (AI).
Westlaw Edge Quick Check in One Sentence
Westlaw Edge Quick Check analyzes your briefs as well as those of opposing counsel to ensure that you don't overlook important cases or cite cases that might be bad law.
The Killer Feature
"Even using our leading legal research products, legal professionals still sometimes fear there is an authority they haven't considered in their argument or that there may be a hole in their work," says Carol Jo Lechtenberg, Sr. Director, Westlaw Product Management. "The Westlaw team is always looking for opportunities to make legal research faster and more on-point, giving legal researchers more confidence that they have left no stone unturned. These efforts led to Quick Check."
Quick Check, included in Westlaw Edge subscriptions, can analyze any Word or text-based PDF document with case citations such as a brief or memo. Use cases include analyzing your first draft or a colleague's old brief on a similar case, conducting a final check before filing, and identifying weaknesses in opposing counsel's arguments.
Start by selecting from two options — Check Your Work or Analyze an Opponent's Work. Processing is encrypted and takes just a minute after which the document you upload is deleted. Quick Check's AI algorithm draws on Westlaw Edge's proprietary content such as KeyCite and the Key Number System, and also analyzes relevant language and citation relationships in your document to identify connections that human beings are prone to miss.
When you check your own work, the report recommends cases and other authorities you didn't cite. Quick Check organizes these cases by the headings in your brief, enabling you to find cases of interest quickly.
Each recommended case features a summary of the outcome, a relevant snippet, and related cases in your document if applicable. Quick Check lets you know if you previously viewed the case during your research. It also lists "recommendation tags" such as "high court," "frequently cited," and "last 2 years" that may increase the impact of a case.
Quick Check organizes its recommendations by the headings in your brief or memo.
Other Notable Features
In addition to recommendations, the report also contains helpful information about the citations in your brief in two adjacent tabs. The Warnings for Cited Authority tab identifies cases with negative and severely negative treatment. It also lists cases that imply an overruling given their identical or similar language. The Table of Authorities tab lists all your case citations with checkboxes for downloading, printing or saving authorities to a folder.
The report for analyzing your opponent's work also contains a Table of Authorities but differs in key respects given the different context. The Potential Weakness tab lists cases in the brief with all forms of negative treatment. The Omitted Authority tab lists potentially useful cases omitted by opposing counsel organized by the headings in the brief.
Both reports enable you to filter Quick Check's results using a variety of parameters, including type of content, date, jurisdiction, brief headings, recommendation tags, etc.
What Else Should You Know?
"Clients want to hear that we're using the most efficient, up-to-date, and innovative approaches and tools we have available to us," says Vince Galluzzo, Counsel, Crowell & Moring LLP. "That's why we use Westlaw Edge and Quick Check." Learn more about Westlaw Edge Quick Check.
Meet Neil J. Squillante
Neil J. Squillante is the founder and publisher of TechnoLawyer, an award-winning network of free email newsletters for lawyers and law office administrators. Many consider TechnoLawyer the only email subscription they need. Previously, Neil practiced commercial litigation at Am Law 100 firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University.
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