Due to continued lockdowns and court closures, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled trials and created an immense backlog that lawyers, judges, and law firms are still wading through this summer. What else has changed in the litigation landscape throughout the first half of 2022?

Litigation in High Demand

Last year saw a notable increase in litigation demands (demand for litigation was up 3% in 2021) – and insiders say they expect the demand to continue throughout 2022 and into 2023. While the backlog from the pandemic has yet to be resolved, there are also a large number of new filings and trials that are driving up litigation demands this year.

Real Estate and M&A

According to the 2022 State of the Legal Market report, there has also been notable growth in real estate, which increased by 10% over the past two years, and mergers & acquisitions, which increased by 10.6%. The latest Peer Monitor Index Report shows that real estate and M&A deal work is comprising an increasing percentage of law firms’ hours.

Data Dependency

According to a 2022 Annual Survey put forth by Lexis Nexis and Lex Machina, 68% of firms are now using legal analytical tools, a 7% increase from last year. Legal analytics help lawyers compile and analyze legal data by identifying patterns and insights. This allows lawyers to increase efficiency and better serve clients. Not only are more firms using these assistive technologies, more lawyers believe these tools are benefitting their practices – 98% of survey respondents said the tech was valuable or somewhat valuable.

Cannabis Trends

According to a July report put forth by Thompson Reuters, the first half of the year has revealed interesting trends in the legal cannabis industry. States and federal dockets show that the most common area of litigation dispute in the industry are commercial issues (including breach of contract, landlord-tenant disputes, securities issues, and some business torts). Most estimations hold that the cannabis industry’s impressive growth is unlikely to slow any time soon, and commercial disputes are likely to remain prevalent. 

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