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Lex Machina Releases Top Law Firm Report for Select Federal Litigation

— March 21, 2018

Our friends at Lex Machina, recently released the company’s first Top Law Firm Report for Select Federal Litigation. The report is a valuable resource for firms and companies in planning litigation strategies. Below is the company’s announcement and a preview of the helpful information found in the report.

Our friends at Lex Machina, recently released the company’s first Top Law Firm Report for Select Federal Litigation. The report is a valuable resource for firms and companies in planning litigation strategies. Below is the company’s announcement and a preview of the helpful information found in the report.

“Lex Machina’s first Top Law Firm Report for Select Federal Litigation surveys each of Lex Machina’s federal practice area modules: patent, trademark, copyright, securities, antitrust, commercial litigation, employment, product liability, and bankruptcy appeals in district court.

For each practice area, the report examines the top 20 firms filing the most cases and the top 20 defending the most cases over 5 years of data, from January 2013 through December 2017. The report provides in-house counsel with a starting point for outside counsel selection, and allows law firms to see how they compare with the competition.

While the number of cases filed or defended is a good measure of a firm’s experience in a particular practice area, such metrics are not the sole (or even primary) factor when it comes to finding the right firm for a particular case. The report ranks each practice area separately, as well as separating cases representing plaintiffs from cases representing defendants. But other factors, such as the billing rate, prior successful outcomes, and geography, should also be considered in selecting a firm.

Determining whether a hammer or a screwdriver is the “best” tool requires reference to the task it’s meant to perform, just as the “right” firm may vary by case according the business goals of a client’s litigation. This report is not meant to suggest that higher ranked firms are inherently better than those lower ranked (or not ranked), but instead to provide insight into one key metric relevant to firm selection for a large segment of litigants in each space.

Planning meeting; image via Pxhere, CC0.
Planning meeting; image via Pxhere, CC0.

The report also includes an example of a more detailed comparison using Lex Machina’s Law Firm Comparator App. The app helps companies (or firms) to compare their performance using a variety of different analytics. Taken together with a firm’s proposed price and legal strategy, such analytics can enable in-house counsel to increase their odds of achieving the best possible outcome in litigation.

Quick Highlights

Patent: Between 2013 and 2017, Stamoulis Weinblatt filed the most patent cases of any firm (1,259 cases) followed by the Tadlock Law Firm (970) and then by Russ August & Kabat (716). Representing defendants, Fish & Richardson defended the most cases (919 cases), followed by Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell (856 cases). Morris Nichols, based in Delaware, is also the only firm to appear on both plaintiff and defendant representation lists.

Securities: Governmental actors top the list of firms representing plaintiffs, including the top-ranked Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with 919 cases, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (11th, 124 cases), and the United States Attorneys’ Offices (12th, 107 cases). Pomerantz is 2nd overall with 642 cases, followed by Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd (453 cases). The top firms representing defendants are nearly all national big-law firms, led by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (174 cases).

Antitrust: As with securities litigation, top firms representing plaintiffs tend to be smaller and more specialized. Notable exceptions include top-ranked Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy (193 cases) and the third-ranked firm Susman Godfrey (167 cases), which is also active in a variety of other practice areas. The top firms representing defendants tend to be larger and have national reach, including Latham & Watkins (313 cases) and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (269 cases).

Product Liability: Like many firms on this list, Mostyn Law (8,902 cases), which leads among firms representing plaintiffs, focuses heavily on pharmaceutical and/or medical device litigation, as do the next four: Arnold & Itkin (6,911 cases), Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz (6,815 cases), Beasley Allen (6,002) cases and Douglas & London (5,389 cases). The top firm representing defendants is Shook, Hardy & Bacon (32,865 cases), followed by Butler Snow (28,640 cases). Many of the top firms representing defendants are national full-service firms.

Bankruptcy Appeals: The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices top both appellant and appellee lists, and several firms appear on both lists as well. Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill is 2nd among firms representing appellants (54 cases) and 16th among appellee firms (47 cases), Delaware-based Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor is 6th in appellant representation (38 cases) and tied for 16th in appellee representation (47 cases), and Ballard Spahr is 17th in appellant representation (21 cases) and 18th in appellee representation (46 cases).

You may view the full report by following this link.

About Lex Machina
“Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform is a new category of legal technology that fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Lex Machina provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, parties, and more, mined from millions of pages of legal information. This allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina was named “Best Legal Analytics” by readers of The Recorder in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and received the “Best New Product of the Year” award in 2015 from the American Association of Law Libraries. It was recently named a 2017 “Legal A.I. Leader” by the National Law Journal.

Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading information provider and a pioneer in delivering trusted legal content and insights through innovative research and productivity solutions, supporting the needs of legal professionals at every step of their workflow. By harnessing the power of Big Data, LexisNexis provides legal professionals with essential information and insights derived from an unmatched collection of legal and news content—fueling productivity, confidence, and better outcomes. For more information, please visit”

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