Technology Resources for Arbitration Practitioners - Analytical tools and mind mapping
Technology Resources for Arbitration Practitioners
Analytical tools and mind mapping
New software applications can help lawyers to develop and explore facts and legal issues, and organise them in a logical, often visual, structure. These analytical tools can be used to map case strategies, and identify critical information and uncover patterns, relationships, priorities and trends.
Modern analytical tools can help lawyers to organise information logically and visually, and gain a comprehensive overview of their cases. These tools can then be used to streamline information and focus on the most important aspects of the case.
Other advances in machine learning and mind-mapping may make it possible to achieve reasonably accurate predictions of outcomes in a particular case. For example, a program that was fed a dataset of sample decisions of the European Court of Human Rights was able to predict the outcome of other cases with 79 per cent accuracy by looking for relationships between words, word sequences and clusters of words that indicated one outcome or another. Prediction-based programs can also handle certain ‘expert’ tasks, for example, by quickly assessing a range of potential damages figures by manipulating a series of inputs. Below are software applications in the analytical and/or mind mapping category.
Brings together machine learning and visual analytics to interpret data and assist with the review of large and complex datasets, and is largely intended for use in the document review and production context.
It is machine learning software that detects and relates unique phrases in unstructured datasets and expresses that data through interactive visualisations that are adaptable following review. It presents data through a map-like content ‘Cluster Wheel’ and a ‘Communications Network’ view to track email traffic flows and volumes, which can then be used to organise data for fast review and reduction of data volumes. It also analyses the word content of the data and detects phrases and expands concepts to uncover adjacent material. Users can assign weights to discovered terms within the datasets, and then extrapolate related datasets through visualised maps or narrow datasets using the weighted terms for a more focused review. The software also creates a bird’s-eye view of the flow and volume of email, and simplifies the view by consolidating email aliases into a single identifier representing each person. This helps with the instantaneous identification of relevant content and the people participating in the discussion. Finally, the software can deploy filtering tools to reduce clutter and focus on the communications and content that matter.
Uses AI and analytics to reveal patterns in data from prior disputes.
For example, it can analyse trends of a certain judge that emerge from his or her judgments in prior cases or can help lawyers to identify their opposing counsels’ total open litigation cases, relevant experience in litigation and other data. Lex Machina can also help to find tendencies in how decisions are made, and apply these tendencies to a concrete case.
MindManager, a mind mapping software program, is designed to visually and collaboratively manage information and tasks.
It includes tools for creating flow charts and concept maps. The digital mind maps can be used as a ‘virtual whiteboard’ for brainstorming, managing and planning projects, compiling research, information and knowledge management, and for strategic planning. Among other things, MindManager allows budget calculations and formulas, Gantt chart views of project timelines, and guided brainstorming. Documents can be attached to designated mind map topics and viewed within the MindManager application; links, images and notes can also be added to mind map topics and viewed and searched in a side panel.
Ross Intelligence is a legal research tool that was developed as part of IBM’s Watson.
Ross is meant to emulate a lawyer’s legal research. It uses AI to understand natural language questions, analyse unstructured information, and provide analytical responses for concrete cases from published and unpublished case law. Ross can track developments in the law on any particular issue and send notifications with any relevant legal updates. Ross can also assist in preparing legal briefs by extracting quotes and key points of law from case law, and provide a quick overview of what key legal analyses are discussed within the case as they relate to a query.
Visual decision analysis software that can be used to create decision trees representing the problem in a legal case, help users evaluate and compare legal strategies, and study uncertainties in outcomes.
It offers basic model building and analysis tools, as well as an advanced tool called the ‘Excel Module’. Once a decision tree has been created, TreeAge Pro helps to calculate the value of each option, taking into account probabilities and applying sensitivity analyses. The Excel Module allows users to export graphical and numerical output to Excel. With the visual Tree Diagram Editor, users can create model structures to represent the legal problem being studied, including decision points and expected events. Different node types within the structure reflect whether branches are options or possible events. As an example of an application relevant to arbitration, the tool can create a legal decision tree mapping the options of proceeding to dispute resolution or settling the case at different phases of the case, or assessing various potential damages awards and the likelihood of achieving them.