Applying “Moneyball” to the Legal Department

By on December 1, 2015

Andy Wilson,

Twenty years ago, baseball front offices bankrolled scouts who would evaluate talent by box score and physical stature. Fast forward to the age of “moneyball,” a management philosophy that enhances performance through innovative analysis and use of data. The results are unity of purpose, operational efficiency and decision making that yields better results.

Just as effective moneyball redounds to all areas of an organization, so too can savvy legal teams spearhead data-driven change that bridges departmental gaps, positively affecting compliance, security, risk, records management and revenue.

Electronic discovery cuts across all these competencies and is ripe for a more data-focused assessment. Discovery is among the most expensive and risk-laden aspects of litigation, but it can be streamlined in ways that brings value. Data-driven legal departments reuse document collections and privilege decisions for similar matters, supplementing them only if necessary. They track document review costs by matter type, using data obtained from previous matters to project future costs. They make decisions about whether to fight a case or settle by weighing the amount in controversy with legal fees incurred from recent cases, and they look carefully at the documents and information likely to be relevant to assess the validity of the case and expected outcomes.

In a cost conscious corporate environment it doesn’t pay to be indifferent toward the widely-accepted benefits of using data smartly. That way of thinking cost an entire generation of baseball executives their careers.

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