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Early case assessment (ECA) yield 20 percent cost savings

Speaking at a panel discussion published by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (Sept. 2005 at 36), Blane Erwin of Bridgeway Software cited as an effective tool “on-line early case assessment systems.” Erwin added that ECA systems “optimize [a defense team’s] pre-trial options, including motion[s] for summary judgment, which judges are increasingly willing to support. Studies show litigation costs can be cut by more than 20 percent as a result.”

I wish we had citations for those studies, because slicing a fifth off a law department’s litigation budget “’tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.” I also wish there were less ambiguity in the quote’s second sentence. Does the 20 percent plus saving come from seeking summary judgments more frequently or from employing ECA in general, i.e., what does “as a result” refer to? Finally, what data proves that judges are increasingly willing to grant defense motions for summary judgment?