August 16, 2012 in ATDC News

Startup Chronicles: CaseMetrix

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CaseMetrix At a Glance

After working with two national consumer marketing and statistical research startups, Alan Pershing didn’t initially intend to wind up in the legal database arena. But when a dinner party conversation with a local attorney revealed the industry’s lack of comprehensive tools for personal injury settlement and verdict research, the serial entrepreneur was intrigued. After analyzing the existing options – and conducting numerous conversations with Georgia-based lawyers – the concept for a new startup began to take shape.

“The lightbulb moment for me was when I asked an attorney about where he got information on settlements and he said there was no such place, even though billions of dollars are spent each year settling claims nationwide. It just didn’t exist,” said Pershing, who previously co-founded NextAction and served as a Senior Vice President of Abacus Direct. “All of the big national databases have public information on verdicts, so you can easily get access to them. But settlements are private – and 95 percent of all cases settle, while only five percent ever go to trial. The attorneys work the case, settle it and it winds up either on a desktop hard drive or in a box somewhere that later gets shipped out to a storage facility. That information could be really beneficial when it comes to mediation.”

Determined to find a solution, Pershing partnered with Kim White, a freelance paralegal with 27 years of experience, on the design of a data collection form and eventually launched CaseMetrix in June 2009.

“It’s a great partnership,” said Pershing, who is CEO/Co-Founder of CaseMetrix. “Kim understands the legal landscape and is a natural born salesperson, while I handle the technology and analytics. Even with that, it took a year to design all the interfaces and collect enough data to go live.”

The ATDC member company combines comprehensive, real-time legal information with cutting-edge technology to create a powerful research tool for lawyers statewide. Now offering the most extensive motor vehicle accident and premises liability databases in Georgia, CaseMetrix grants access to thousands of settlements and verdicts. With today’s economy demanding that law firms operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, Pershing says that information can ultimately aid in case evaluation, venue research, mediation preparation and management of client expectations.

“About 180 law firms across Georgia now use it,” said Pershing. “The feedback has been great. Our users are genuinely excited because they’ve never had access to data like this before. A big component for both the plaintiff and defense sides is client management because plaintiffs always overvalue their cases and insurance companies tend to undervalue them. A plaintiff’s attorney can use our software and say, ‘here are 40 cases similar to yours and nobody has ever gotten more than X dollars out of it.’ That can bring a client back to reality. So attorneys settle cases faster, clients are happier and they keep revenue coming into their practice.”

Earlier this year, CaseMetrix was recognized by the State Bar of Georgia as a bona fide attorney referral service. That means if a member of the general public reaches out to CaseMetrix for assistance finding an attorney, the company will use its search infrastructure to provide a ranked list of lawyers in their network that the consumer can contact. Now focused on expansion, the four-person startup plans to utilize ATDC’s resources as they move into their next phase of growth – which will have a national scope.

“In the next year or two, I’d like to be well established in Florida and a few other states,” said Pershing, whose company is working on creating similar research tools for Florida. “The interest is there. It just depends on how quickly we can get the databases developed and how much capital we’ve got to work with.”

CaseMetrix is currently seeking Series B financing to secure expansion capital and is also looking for salespeople experienced in technology startups.

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