Moneyball and Litigation

Texas Lawyer Analysis

Vivek Hatti, Ryan Hudson, and Jaron Luttich
June 20, 2020

Litigation has a data problem. Ask anyone who has ever looked at the existing litigation billing codes. One code is “analysis & strategy.” Of what? Of everything. That’s why this code alone accounts for a massive number of hours billed by outside litigation counsel.

Every year in-house counsel pay millions of dollars for this code. It infuriates them, but they have no other option. Outside counsel who enter these codes are equally frustrated. To them, it’s like being handed a wooden ruler with all of the numbers sanded off and told to measure 3 ⅝ inches. So they do their best and pick a code (often one that doesn’t really capture the work being delivered).

With this shaky foundation, the technology being built on top of it is just as shaky. The litigation market continues to layer new technologies on top of flawed data, to parse and repurpose it into marginally more useful constructs.

Many litigation industry players are trying to be the Billy Beane of litigation, unlocking the Moneyball value of data that others miss. Moneyball analogies are frequent. In fact, a quick google search for “Moneyball and law” or “Moneyball and litigation” yields countless results.

So why hasn’t baseball’s Moneyball reality been realized by litigators? Why does Moneyball work for baseball but not litigation?

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