2019 has been a banner year for UniCourt, marked by incredible expansion, growth, publicity, and new opportunities to increase access to justice. Here, we revisit some of our key accomplishments impacting our colleagues, clients, and the legal tech community at large, while sharing our vision for continued growth in 2020.
Intersecting with Legal Tech Leaders
This year, we met with and learned from some of the most influential legal tech pioneers nationwide, from representing the company at national conferences to launching our Influencer Q&A Series on our blog.
Five members of the UniCourt team headed to CodeX Future Law 2019 to hear from panels of legal industry pioneers on topics ranging from the implications of free law and to the evolution of legal tech.
Florida Bar Conference
As an exhibitor at the annual Florida Bar Conference, we learned more about how real Florida attorneys use court data in their practices and shared how they can make the most of UniCourt’s services. We also learned what resonated most with attorneys: our single portal to access state and federal court records. This opportunity helped us hone and refine our offerings to better serve our law firm clients.
In April, UniCourt’s CEO Josh Blandi, UniCourt’s Director of Content Jeff Cox, and Lily Li of Metaverse Law presented to the Orange County Legal Hackers on the impact of the CCPA and GDPR on access to public records at CASEPeer’s headquarters. In June, Josh returned to CASEPeer’s HQ to give a Legal Hackers presentation on CRM solutions for law firms and legal tech companies, and he also participated in a panel discussion on the topic.
On the content side, UniCourt gained traction in the legal tech community for our new blog series, Influencer Q&A. We interviewed legal tech pioneers across industries for their insight on the changing nature of the legal field, how to craft an adaptable and progressive career trajectory, and how their companies promote access to justice. We were fortunate to intersect with the following leaders in the legal field:
- Eve Barrett, CEO and Founder of Expedite
- Kevin P. Lee, Professor of Law at Campbell Law School
- Jodie Baker, CEO and Founder of Xakia
- Tim Pullan, CEO and Founder of ThoughtRiver
- Lily Li, Owner of Metaverse Law
- John Tredennick, Executive Director of Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation
Making Strides in Legal Analytics
At the beginning of the year, we dubbed 2019 the Year of Legal Analytics – and for good reason. In 2019, we deepened our commitment to provide our clients with meaningful legal analytics, from launching our analytics dashboard, to making portions of our California legal analytics reports publicly available, to enhancing our normalization technology by merging court records with other public records, such as business records, attorney/law firm records, and more.
Within our dashboard, UniCourt clients can now pull their own legal analytics reports on-demand for California, Florida, and Federal courts, and can quickly uncover top attorneys/law firms, top judges, and litigation trends regarding particular case types and court systems. They can also use our compare attorney/law firm feature, which allows clients to compare the experience of up to three attorneys or law firms head-to-head.
To further highlight the top litigators around the U.S. and share more of our analytics, we also began our Leaders in Litigation series starting this past November. As a part of the series, each month we are showcasing the top plaintiff and defense attorneys/law firms for a particular case type across all U.S. District Courts. In November, we shared the top litigators for Labor litigation, and earlier this December we shared the top litigators for Securities litigation. To kick off 2020, we’ll start by sharing the top litigators for Patent litigation.
Enhancing Member Benefits
This year, we were proud to become an approved Member Benefit of The Florida Bar. Florida attorneys can now get real-time access to Florida and federal court records all in one portal through UniCourt, and can leverage our Florida legal analytics reports for competitive intelligence and business development.
In addition to The Florida Bar, we also became an approved Member Benefit of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). CLOC is one of the most forward-thinking organizations shaping the legal industry today, and we are glad to help legal ops teams across industries innovate in their legal departments with our Legal Data APIs, legal analytics, and process automation. Finally, we rounded out the year by partnering with litigation support leader One Legal to provide their customers with easy access to state and federal court records and legal analytics.
Expanding Access to Court Records
Along with expanding access to legal analytics, UniCourt also made a concerted effort in 2019 to improve access to court records by onboarding dozens of new court systems into our database. As a newly minted Member Benefit of The Florida Bar, we successfully onboarded court records from over 30 new counties into our database, expanding our court data coverage to 45 of the 67 counties across Florida.
Moreover, we also onboarded both New York and Indiana state court systems into our database. Our clients can now access trial court records from 56 of New York’s 62 counties, including New York Supreme Courts, City Courts, and District Courts in Nassau and Suffolk counties. For Indiana, our clients also now have on-demand access to trial courts from 74 of Indiana’s 92 counties, and they can access court records from statewide courts, such as the Supreme Court of Indiana, the Court of Appeals of Indiana, and the Indiana Tax Court.
We are also glad to share that our PACER Collective with Justia expanded in 2019 to include additional members. This has allowed UniCourt, Justia, and our other partners to greatly reduce our PACER costs and provide our clients with more regularly updated case information. We will look to continue growing our PACER Collective in 2020 and we welcome others who are interested in joining to Contact Us.
UniCourt in the News
Above all, we were thrilled to be featured in a variety of legal publications, offering our insight on issues impacting the legal industry and the access to justice movement. Here are some of the publications UniCourt was featured in throughout 2019:
- ABA Law Practice Today – Law Firm Innovation and Automation with APIs
- ABA Law Technology Today – Why Every State Should Require Technology CLEs
- Above the Law – Legal Analytics in Litigation Finance; and hiQ v. LinkedIn – Why It Matters for Legal Analytics
- ACC Docket – A Guide to Proving Legal Tech’s ROI; Vetting Local Counsel with Legal Analytics; Knowing Your Profile: Why Litigation Portfolios Matter for Legal Ops; and Arming Legal Ops with Actionable Intelligence
- Artificial Lawyer – Leveraging Court Data for Wealth Management
- Attorney At Work – Josh Blandi: Disrupting Access to Court Documents With UniCourt; and APIs for Lawyers: Saving Time through Automation
- Daily Report – Georgia Law Copyright Case Is Pivotal for Legal Innovators
- Legal Business World – Using Litigation Trends for Strategic Law Planning; and Powering Business Development with Court Data
- LegalTech News – How Data-Driven Firms Develop KPIs from Court Data
- Cybersecurity Law & Strategy – Implications of GDPR & CCPA on Public Records
UniCourt as an Amicus Curiae
In 2019, we were grateful to be included as an amicus curiae in two prominent access to justice cases: National Veterans Legal Services Program, et al., v. United States and Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org.
In National Veterans, UniCourt partnered with innovators from the Stanford Law Juelsgaard IP Clinic to argue for the reduction of PACER fees, which have traditionally barred parties from freely accessing federal court records and greatly hinder the development of meaningful legal analytics.
In Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, we joined Stanford Law Juelsgaard IP Clinic again along with nine other legal tech companies and advocates in support of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to grant cert. Together, we authored and filed an amicus brief petitioning the Court to grant cert, affirming the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling that the Georgia statutory code is not subject to the protections of copyright law. After SCOTUS granted cert, we then assisted in filing a final substantive amicus brief on the merits of the case.
Where to Next in 2020?
If 2019 was the year of legal analytics for UniCourt, 2020 will be the year of Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS). UniCourt is already a leader in making court records more accessible and useful, and in 2020 we will be focusing our efforts on becoming the core data infrastructure for our clients and others by providing bulk access to court data through our APIs as LDaaS.
Next year, we will be enhancing our offerings to provide APIs for data on attorneys, law firms, parties, and judges involved in litigation, and exposing analytics for all of them through our APIs. With our enhanced APIs, we’ll also provide the ability to drill into any entity or party for a court record and then go circular, meaning that our clients can go into and out of different data points based on connected associations.
For instance, after drilling into a court record to grab data on a particular attorney, a client could then broaden beyond that court record to see all the cases that attorney has handled, and could further see all of the parties that attorney has represented. This is all made possible by the deep merging of our court records with other public records data sets.
On top of enriching our API offerings to promote LDaaS in 2020, we will also look to partner with other affiliates in matter management and litigation support, onboard court records from multiple new state court systems, release improved docket tagging searching features, and provide a new dashboard specifically for business development reports, market penetration analysis, and alerts on new business opportunities.
From all of us at UniCourt, we wish you a very happy New Year and we look forward to sharing our new developments in 2020!