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Easing the Challenges of Legal Research and Due Diligence with Highlights, an Award-Winning New Tool

By:
Michelle Spencer
Posted On:
Mar 2, 2022
Last Updated:

Legal research can be extensive and time intensive. Keeping track of changes in case law can become a part-time job, and incorrectly citing a recently updated ruling can seriously harm your argument. The burden of legal research is on the lawyer, and finding every motion, brief, and response can be difficult, especially for larger and longer cases.

Vendors like LexisNexis provide critical research capabilities that lawyers trust and have taken advantage of for decades. And previously, if a firm had both NetDocuments and LexisNexis, working between the two platforms involved multiple steps like copying and pasting cites or downloading and uploading documents.

But now, this has changed.

Introducing Highlights from NetDocuments powered by LexisNexis® — a legal research solution designed to bring the benefits of LexisNexis directly inside the NetDocuments document management system (DMS). Both litigation and transactional firms can benefit from having this solution in place because it brings the industry-leading content provided by LexisNexis into your documents in NetDocuments. This allows lawyers to stay in the flow of work while accessing LexisNexis research, making it easy to refine arguments contained in both new and precedent documents without needing to switch between the two platforms.

Highlights embeds enrichments from LexisNexis within the NetDocuments service, which recognizes both citations and entities. Citations are automatically validated via the Shepard’s service and enable you to immediately assess the precedents in your prior work product. Several different types of entities are highlighted and linked to sources, which provide relevant on point information.

Highlights vastly streamlines preparation, helps create more effective documents, saves time on research, and ultimately produces more strategic arguments.

Award-Winning Legal Research Solution

Prior to its release, Highlights was selected as a 2022 National Law Journal "Technology Trailblazer" for its game-changing legal research and knowledge management solution. Technology Trailblazers recognizes those "who have moved the needle in the legal industry," and Highlights definitely has done that. The ability to start and finish essential legal research and due diligence tasks all from within NetDocuments with only a few clicks is a first of its kind. Law firms adopting this type of workflow solution increase productivity and save time. Highlights allows lawyers to focus on winning strategies and better client service.

How Does Highlights Work?

Highlights will analyze and extract key information from your documents, such as lawyers, expert witnesses, law firms, companies, citations, and more, displaying them in a side panel. By doing so, it not only makes the information available to users working in the document, but it makes this information available as searchable fields, so that extracted information can be used to locate additional documents or access additional information on that entity.

Screenshot of the Advanced Search feature for NetDocuments' Highlights
Advanced Search within Highlights

Users can easily search desired fields including lawyers, judges, expert witnesses, legal citations, courts, companies, legal document type, and more. With entity extraction from documents, legal teams can put together a game plan and play to the strengths, trends, and opportunities presented.

Highlights also extracts citations contained in a document and creates links to the full citation information within LexisNexis. Highlights will also apply the appropriate LexisNexis Shepard’s Signals<sup>TM</sup>, which allows the user to quickly see whether the precedent is still good law. This feature is extremely useful in determining the relevance of the citation to their case and whether the ruling in the case is still good law, is going through the appeals process, or has been overturned.

Screenshot of the citations feature within NetDocuments' Highlight
Citations Example within Highlights

With NetDocuments Highlights, lawyers stay in the flow of working on a brief, motion, or agreement and do not need to switch to another tool to complete research tasks.

Highlights Isn't Just for Litigators

Most of the time, when we think about legal research, it’s in the context of litigation, but the entity extraction within Highlights makes it extremely valuable for transactional attorneys as well. Imagine doing due diligence where the entities are all pulled out of the documents and listed for you with links to access information in Google, Bing, LinkedIn, and LexisNexis. Simply click the link and there is all the information you need to fully vet the companies and individuals — Edgar filings, analyst reports, Dun & Bradstreet info, and news from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other sources.

Screenshot of Entity Extraction within NetDocuments' Highlights
Entity Extraction within Highlights

Knowledge Management for Small Firms

Larger firms have had knowledge management teams for several years to ensure they are getting the most out of the precedents and institutional knowledge within their firms. For example, instead of sending emails around about working with specific firms, lawyers, or judges, they have developed resources containing that information. The same goes for information to get new associates up to speed on a specific nuanced area of law or work for a client.

With Highlights, an associate can quickly see all relevant documents with a particular cited case or seek out a specific type of document or pleading for a client. They can view arguments previously made in the context of those documents with the current Shepard’s Signals<sup>TM</sup> displaying which items are still relevant. For a deeper dive, the full LexisNexis case information is a single click away.

With the entity extraction in Highlights, an associate can simply search for a specific judge, lawyer, company, or expert witness to see which matters previously involved those people in context within their NetDocuments document repository, and which people in the firm worked on those matters. Links to LexisNexis then provide even more detailed information at their fingertips.

The Future of Legal Research is Here

Isn’t it time you brought your documents to life with richer insights? By using Highlights to streamline and improve your legal research process, legal teams can access a wealth of information directly from the documents they are working on. From time savings to reducing the back and forth between different platforms, Highlights has the capability to significantly improve the way firms perform litigation, precedent, and due diligence research.

Through this new development, litigators, researchers, and even transactional legal teams can more easily put together compelling arguments while removing roadblocks. To learn more, request a demo today.

Both NetDocuments and LexisNexis are excited to share Highlights with the market! The solution will be launched at the ABA Techshow. Come by Booth #1200 for a demo and see it for yourself.

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