Since January 1, almost 4,000 cases have been filed with the Federal District Court due to COVID-19. Insurance, contracts and employment are the most common areas of activity.
Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, announces updated COVID-19 litigation tracking tools to help users assess and understand the impact of the pandemic. The Company has published research on the effects of COVID-19 on litigation through its COVID-19 Impact Analyzer App ("COVID App") and blog posts. As federal court activity increases and more information becomes available, Lex Machina has updated its systems with new tools to track the impact of COVID-19 on litigation. It has three new tools:
The COVID-19 case label
Lex Machina created a Case Tag that allows users to view and analyze cases with allegations that are directly caused or significantly affected by the coronavirus health crisis or related societal changes. Lex Machina's team of legal experts reviewed cases with complaints mentioning COVID-19 keywords and checked to see if the case was brought in as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This allows users to track cases in their area of activity or district that were submitted as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, practitioners can easily track contract cases to see if a judge is ruling on a force majeure clause.
Since January 1, 2020, almost 4,000 cases have been filed with the Federal District Court due to COVID-19. These cases peaked in May and then declined in recent months.
The main areas of activity with cases caused by COVID-19 are insurance (698 cases), contracts (696 cases) and employment (198 cases). Outside of Lex Machina's practice, many cases are civil rights issues.
Updates to the COVID-19 Impact Analyzer app
Lex Machina has expanded its COVID app to include additional date ranges. Users can now see how COVID-19 has affected various metrics in weekly, monthly or yearly increments. The app is open to the public and analyzes case records, court activity and cases caused by COVID-19 in the federal district court.
A large number of product liability cases were filed from January 1st to September 6th this year, leading to an increase in filed cases for 2020. Without product liability cases, however, the number of cases submitted is 11% lower than in 2019. In most areas of activity, however, this will be the case fewer cases in 2020 than in 2019; from 2019, more cases have been filed in the areas of activity contracts, insurance, patents, product liability and securities.
One way to measure the activity of the court is to examine the number of cases with a finding (i.e. a court decision). There were fewer cases with findings at all stages of the study, from standard judgments to studies. Looking at cases within Lex Machina's areas of activity, standard judgments are down 13% from 2019, while court cases are down 51%.
The Business Interruption Case Day
Insurance claims are a particular area of interest as many companies are waiting to see if losses from COVID-19 shutdowns are covered. Lex Machina has developed a business interruption case tag so users can review cases entitled to reimbursement for lost revenue or additional expenses in the event that business is interrupted due to loss or damage to property.
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These cases weren't particularly common prior to the pandemic, with only around 300 to 500 business interruption cases per year, but increased significantly in 2020, with 684 business interruption cases filed in the first half of 2020 alone. By tracking these cases across the Lex Machina system, users can review the analyzes specific to those cases. For example, you can find out if a judge has previously ruled the matter, or discover damage related to those claims.
"These tools are a huge step forward in quantifying, tracking and analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on the federal judicial system," said Rachel Bailey, data relations manager at Lex Machina. "With practitioners facing unprecedented challenges, it is especially important to be able to quickly and easily research activity in specific courts and understand what cases are creeping through the system and how current activity compares with previous trends . "
Lex Machina plans to continue posting updated blog posts that explain analytics trends with practice-specific insights. An update of the cases caused by COVID-19 is planned for September 30th. Click here to view Lex Machina's blog posts on COVID-19.
Click here to view the COVID-19 Impact Analyzer app.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help clients improve productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and improve the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to put legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves clients in more than 150 countries with 10,600 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analysis and decision-making tools for professional and business clients.
About Lex Machina
Now celebrating the 10th anniversary of Legal Analytics, the Lex Machina platform is fundamentally transforming the way companies and law firms compete in business and legal practice. The company provides strategic insights into judges, attorneys, law firms, parties, and other critical information in 16 federal territories and select state courts. Lex Machina enables law firms and corporations to predict the behavior and outcomes of various legal strategies to win cases and close deals.
Legal Analytics was named “Best Decision Management Solution” (AI Breakthrough Awards, 2019) and “Disruptor of the Year” (Changing Lawyer Awards, 2019). Lex Machina is based in Silicon Valley and is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analysis. More information is available at http://www.lexmachina.com.