Legal Analytics for Antitrust Litigation: Sizing Up the Antitrust Landscape

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Author: Rachel Bailey, Legal Data Expert, Lex Machina

Data analytics is big business right now. Many types of businesses are using analytics to become more competitive and efficient. It’s no longer just “Moneyball” in sports, but styling analytics in retail, adaptive learning analytics in education and – you guessed it – litigation analytics in the legal sector.

While there are a variety of analytics purveyors in the legal space, one vendor recently released a report specifically on antitrust litigation. Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, crawls PACER data and cleans and structures it to help users gain insights – and strategic advantage – in federal antitrust litigation.

Lex Machina’s Antitrust Litigation Report shows trends in antitrust litigation including case filings, timing metrics, top districts and judges, top parties and law firms, case resolutions, findings and damages. Legal Analytics is all about winning strategies. Going beyond anecdotal evidence to data-driven strategies allows attorneys to be more competitive and efficient.

 

Using Reports Trends to Your Advantage

These overall trends are interesting from a research and current events standpoint, but legal analytics can also answer questions attorneys want to know about their ongoing litigation. Analytics is particularly helpful when using two or more metrics to find data that is relevant to your case. For example:

  • How long does it take an antitrust case to reach summary judgment in my district?
  • How have antitrust cases resolved where opposing counsel appeared?
  • Has my judge ever approved a class action settlement and, if so, what was the amount?

 

First, let’s look broadly.

Looking at the number of cases filed each year in the last decade shows how important large numbers of related cases can be in the antitrust landscape. For example, in 2013 there were nearly 100 cases filed alleging price-fixing on lithium ion batteries, and in 2015, there were 200 multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases filed associated with the airline price-fixing case In Re: Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation. Having this information helps us understand that the significant peaks in filings during these periods were likely due to these unusually large groups of related cases.

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Similarly, timing information is intriguing in the aggregate. It can also be used to make important calendaring, budgeting and forecasting decisions.

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Now, let’s look at a particular law firm’s question.

Let’s use these two metrics to answer the first of the three questions I asked earlier: How long does it take an antitrust case to reach summary judgment in my district? The screenshot below provides an answer. It shows that in the Central District of California it takes a median of 589 days to reach summary judgment in antitrust cases (excluding MDL associated cases). This information can be very useful for planning and budgeting. It also gives the attorneys who have this information—who know there is almost a year difference between the overall antitrust median time to summary judgment (above) and the Central District of California’s median time—a competitive edge.

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For the curious out there, let’s answer those last two questions as well:

How have antitrust cases resolved where opposing counsel appeared? If you’re litigating against Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy (as Bona Law has), then it will be helpful for you to know that opposing counsel’s cases have mostly consolidated into multidistrict litigation master case (87 times). However, they also include three claimant wins and four claim defendant wins.

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Has my judge ever approved a class action settlement? If so, what was the amount? If you’re litigating in front of Judge Josephine L. Stanton, then the answer is yes. Judge Stanton approved $13,450,000 in Adel Tawfilis, et al. v. Allergan, Inc.

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Antitrust litigation is a highly specialized and complex area of the law. Having current data that allows users to see the information that is most relevant to their own cases allows them to strategize faster and plan better in a landscape that is more competitive than ever. Still interested? Request the report here and see what kind of data might be available about you and your case.