At the Association of Legal Administrators annual conference today in Austin, Texas, NetDocuments is unveiling a powerful knowledge management product to automatically add legal research intelligence to litigation documents, through a partnership with LexisNexis.

The new NetDocuments Highlights embeds LexisNexis case analysis and intelligence technology directly into the NetDocuments platform, automatically scanning and highlighting documents for key case, court and entity information.

What that means is that NetDocuments customers who also have subscriptions to either Lexis or Lexis+ can now automatically enrich litigation documents such as briefs, memoranda and motions with case citations, entity identification, and other information that they can then use for advanced search within NetDocuments or for connecting directly to legal research resources in LexisNexis.

With NetDocuments Highlights, every document uploaded to the NetDocuments cloud is automatically scanned for key case information (including image-only PDF files). It scans for document type (e.g. motion, brief, etc.), finds and hyperlinks citations, and identifies entities, attorneys, law firms, judges, expert witnesses and courts.

This extracted information is indexed into the firm’s repository, making it easy for users to search for specific information, such as for all documents containing the name of a specific judge or expert witness, or all documents of a specific motion type.

The new product is currently in beta testing and will be generally available starting in January 2022 to U.S. law firms with up to 100 users as an add-on to the NetDocuments LEARN product, which the company introduced last year.

When previewing a document, see Shepard’s citation analysis.

Enhancing Litigation Documents

On Friday, I was given a preview of NetDocuments Highlights by Dan Hauck, chief product officer at NetDocuments; Travis Reed, product manager at NetDocuments, Jill Schornack, vice president, product, at NetDocuments; and Doug Stansfield, senior director, product management, LexisNexis.

Hauck said Highlights evolved from the fact that NetDocuments houses a tremendous amount of litigation-based materials that have direct connections to legal research sources, and that lawyers are constantly moving between NetDocuments and LexisNexis as they work on documents.

“We wanted to make that dramatically easier and also make it searchable,” he said.

Highlights brings knowledge management technology developed by LexisNexis directly into the NetDocuments cloud platform. When previewing documents in NetDocuments, or even just when viewing them in a folder  list, users can see the extracted information, include Shepard’s Signal indicators, in tandem with the document. Users can click the link to view the case directly in Lexis or Lexis+.

“From a experiential standpoint, what that means is, if you have Highlights enabled in your NetDocuments repository, when you’re doing an advanced search, for example, you’ll now be exposed to all sorts of new fields, that will enable you to better find the content that you’re looking for,” Hauck said.

See the details of any case and click the citation to see the full case in Lexis.

“If you want to look for a specific attorney or a specific expert witness, you can make those fields appear, and search for them. Moreover, if you want to look at a particular document and see what citations are there and what their status is, you can do that as well.”

With Highlights, a user could search across all the firm’s documents to find any in which a particular case was cited, which could be useful when drafting or reviewing a brief. Or a user could find any documents of a particular type filed in a specific court.

“NetDocuments becomes the hub where you start your research, because it is where your documents are,” said Reed, the product manager. “We then give directed paths into the deeper research in LexisNexis where you need to be, so you can get that deep value out of it without having to do a lot of work to get there.”

NetDocuments says that Highlights enables users to:

  • Work within NetDocuments and LexisNexis together in a seamless experience, removing the need to search in two windows or copy citations from one system to another.
  • Automatically link to the citations in documents, enabling review of cited documents, and ensuring relevant, case-specific information.
  • Identify the validity of any citation with Shepard’s Signal indicators within NetDocuments, to see if cited documents are good law, neutral or harmful to an argument.
  • Automatically classify and group documents by type – e.g., complaint, answer, motion to dismiss.

“Bringing the benefits of LexisNexis directly into NetDocuments will help users vastly streamline their understanding of briefs, create better documents, save time on research, and ultimately augment their intelligence and value to clients in every case,” Hauck said.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.