According to a recent article on Axios, an AI-powered database called Pre/Dicta is helping lawyers and plaintiffs predict how judges will rule in civil cases. The database uses around 120 data points to look for patterns in a judge’s past decisions and potential areas of bias. These data points include where the judge went to law school, what their net worth is, how they rule when the lawyers are from big law firms versus boutique practices, and the judges’ history in public law, private practice, and state judgeships. The CEO of Pre/Dicta, Dan Rabinowitz, claims that his AI model can now predict how a judge will rule with 86% accuracy — without even considering the facts of the case. The system claims to have reached 81% accuracy for predicting the decisions of new judges.
AI tools like Pre/Dicta have the potential to reshape which cases are funded and make it to court. Widespread use of AI predictions could reduce the number of cases taken to court — especially by plaintiff attorneys working on commission. That might reduce court backlogs while also shifting disputes to alternative resolution forums. However, it’s important to note that the database covers state and federal civil litigation cases but is not intended to predict the outcomes of criminal cases and jury trials.
The article also highlights that most debate about AI’s impact on the legal profession has focused on how the research work of lawyers and paralegals will be changed by AI, potentially upending the billable hours model of law firms — or how judges can be educated about various uses of AI. Court filings are matters of public record, providing a critical mass of data for AI analysis.
AI tools like Pre/Dicta could revolutionize the legal profession by providing insights into how judges are likely to rule in civil cases. However, it’s important to remember that AI predictions are not infallible and should be used as a supplement rather than a replacement for human judgment.