Pleadings: Practical Tools for Legal Document Drafting and Review

Pleadings: Practical Tools for Legal Document Drafting and Review

This second part of our litigation lifecycle series looks at the Pleadings stage. As a dispute enters the formal process of statements of case, the focus of litigators turns to drafting documents and reviewing those submitted by other parties. 

Outlining the legal basis or defence to a claim sets the scene, and the parameters, for the litigation. It is why legal teams spend many hours carefully crafting, checking and revising their statements of case. It is why litigators meticulously read through and fact-check documents submitted by other parties. With LitiGate, the process of drafting and analysing pleadings becomes more efficient and accurate, freeing up legal teams to focus on the high-level legal analysis and strategy. Let’s dive into the details.

Draft: Your Toolbox for Storytelling

Statements of Case tell stories. These stories include alleged facts which follow a sequence of events. But capturing this sequence often requires manual work – highlighting key events across all relevant documents and organising them in a desired order and format. With LitiGate, events are sequenced automatically, allowing lawyers to focus on the art of weaving a cohesive narrative from the facts. 

LitiGate’s AI-based litigation platform automatically identifies and extracts key facts and events. It classifies their type and source and organises them in chronological order. With the data-related heavy lifting completed by LitiGate, the facts of your case are automatically accessible to you as a case chronology. You can also fine-tune this chronology to create custom versions, focusing on particular issues, time frames or actors. With the key facts automatically extracted from case documents, LitiGate lays the groundwork for legal drafting.

Reading with a critical eye is another classic legal skill. In the pleadings context, it means careful consideration of the facts stated and language chosen by those drafting core case documents. This review can serve as the basis for a defence or a response, counterclaim, or inform settlement negotiations and other strategic moves. 

LitiGate’s CrossCheck invokes an algorithm to identify factual inconsistencies, highlighting similarities and areas of agreement and flagging unseen links to other case documents. You can also use CrossCheck to identify discrepancies and vet your own document drafts before submission.

As you’re drafting a statement of a case, LitiGate provides additional tools to support your creative process and allows you to interact fluently with your case data. Our Smart Search allows you to use natural language to find the specific text you’re looking for. LitiGate OCRs all your documents automatically, so even unsearchable PDFs and scanned files become searchable. It means you can quickly track down that sentence you were looking to quote, but couldn’t recall where you saw it.

Drafting statements of case is about telling your client’s story. LitiGate’s Actors tool helps you to reveal the comprehensive picture of who did what and when, as it relates to a specific actor or multiple key actors. When drafting or reviewing a statement of case, identifying the important players – and revealing their aliases, connections and mentions across all case documents – is especially helpful. LitiGate Actors gets you one step closer, faster, to completing your initial statement of case draft. 

No less time consuming, is bundling your supporting evidence, whether it’s for experts, Counsel, Court, or for internal review. LitiGate’s Bundles functionality allows you to create fully court compliant bundles in just a few clicks. The index, cover pages, pagination and document dating are all automated end-to-end.

Inviting your clients, experts and Counsel to LitiGate creates a collaborative environment not only for your remote teams, but for everyone who expects to contribute to or review the statements of case. Sharing the case with the relevant team members boosts efficiency and teamwork, facilitates live discussions and allows for task assignment. Keeping everyone on the same page – pun intended!

Looking Ahead

These are a few high-level examples of how LitiGate is helping legal teams across the globe reduce time spent on manual tasks and spot patterns emerging from case documents.

Interested in learning more about what LitiGate can do for you?

Request a demo with one of our litigation experts