A litigation analyst helps those involved in a lawsuit or legal dispute to determine the likelihood of the court deciding the case in a given way. Litigation analysts can be very helpful to both a plaintiff and defendant in civil litigation. They can help determine when to make a settlement offer, what type of offer to make, whether to accept an offer, and what the client's likelihood of winning his case is.
Litigation analysts normally work within the context of civil litigation. This means that it is unlikely a litigation analyst would be hired by an accused criminal or criminal attorney to evaluate a case and determine the likely outcome of the jury sending the client to jail. Instead, analysts work with clients who either brought a private lawsuit or who are defending themselves against a private lawsuit.
A litigation analyst looks at the evidence collected by either the plaintiff or the defendant or both. He reviews the discoverable information, or the information that both the plaintiff and defendant have presented up to that time. He evaluates all the evidence available in the case, as well as the applicable laws of the jurisdiction, to determine what the likely outcome of the case will be.
Because juries and judges are sometimes unpredictable, a litigation analyst's work is not an exact science. An analyst can make a prediction that a given case will turn out one way, and end up being wrong. The opinion of the analyst, however, can provide a good framework for determining how best to proceed in a litigation situation and can help point out to the hiring client the weaknesses of his case.
Information from a litigation analyst is used in a number of different ways. Most often, it is used to determine whether to settle a case. Settling refers to the defendant's offer and the plaintiff's acceptance of a sum of money to avoid bringing the case to trial. The plaintiff knows exactly how much he is receiving in a settlement and the defendant limits his potential liability risk.
A defendant may not want to settle unless he believes he is going to lose a case in court or he believes the court will award larger damages to the plaintiff than the settlement he is offering. Litigation analysts can help the defendant make a prediction on these issues so the defendant can make a decision on whether to offer a settlement or take his chances. Likewise, a plaintiff might not want to settle if he believes he will win a larger verdict in court, so a litigation analyst can help him make this decision as well.