Research your judge’s background

Let’s say you’re planning to file a motion in state court. You’ll have to tell your client about the judge, and you’ll want to know how to tailor your motion. With Trellis you can get your judge’s bio and a statistical breakdown of the judge’s rulings.

Sign into On the home page choose the “Judges” button. Enter the last name of the judge in the search box on the right. Click on the judge you are researching. Voila!

You’ll get the judge’s career history, political affiliation if available, clerk and filing contact info, links to all applicable local/department rules, and courtroom specific procedural and evidentiary guidelines. No more fiddling around with websites, no more reliance on emails from other attorneys.

You now know your judge’s background. You have to know how she rules.

AI-powered analytics on Trellis provide never before seen insight into how each judge rules on specific motions. You’ll also see where the judge’s rulings are an outlier within the county and state.

To see the analysis click on the “Judicial Strategy Report” button at the top of the judge’s profile.

You will get a printable analysis of her rulings on dispositive motions, discovery motions, discovery, sanctions, and a variety of other matters.

Set your clients’ expectations and build confidence before you bring your motion.

What do cats, dogs, and legal motions have in common?

In two words, machine learning. To train a machine to identify pictures of dogs, you show it a ton of dog photos, and also show it a ton of photos where there are no dogs.

Why not approach motion writing the same way? To get better at writing a particular motion we’d take all examples of motions in that subject, along with the outcome, and find what makes a good, convincing motion.

Doing that today takes a lot of effort. First, you’d have to know all the cases in which your particular motion was present. Then you’d fetch each individual case through the Superior Court County Website (all the moving papers and tentative rulings for those motions along with the final rulings). Only after you’ve gathered all those documents could you then begin to painstakingly sift through to uncover what was a winning motion.

Luckily — with the data Trellis has access to today, and some help from machine learning, the hard work is done.

No more wondering which cases contain a specific motion. No more having to go to individual county websites. No more painstakingly gathering and sifting through disparate pieces of information.

Just search on Trellis and find relevant results. Simple. Easy. Powerful.


Lawyers: Screw Email

Legal research is powerful. It’s the lifeblood of a case. It can shape an argument, improve a motion, and win credibility with clients.

Sadly, the best option is often a haphazard company-wide email desperately requesting information on a judge. At best you get kinda-helpful anecdotal info from a colleague who appeared before your judge too many years ago.

Finding accurate, organized, helpful information, quickly, is a surefire way to unlock potential. That’s what makes a powerful search engine like Google valuable. Providing a user with accurate relevant content can make or break their experience.

To those very lawyers, looking for organized, accurate, helpful information on a moment’s notice, Trellis provides that value. In fact, no legal research search engine comes close, when it comes to local level information.

Having access to how judges ruled on a motion and how they shaped their argument is game-changing. It’s thrilling to see our customers take a look at the value we provide and think to themselves, it’s about time.

Search first

The internet has trained us to search for things. Whether it be food, news, reservations — or your opposing counsel win-streak — we are constantly searching. Search is so powerful that it guesses what you are about to type just with the few letters you entered. The data from other people searching informs what you will likely be looking for.

Let’s say it’s early February. You’re in the United States, and you start typing “s-u-p…” into Google. It’s more likely that you’re looking for SuperBowl content than ‘Superior Court of Los Angeles’. In contrast, if you’d logged previous searches for ‘subpoenas’ or other legal terms, there’s an increased likelihood that you’re be looking for ‘Superior Court of Los Angeles’.

Context matters and a user’s search context is key to a rich experience.

Trellis analyzes the contents of tentative rulings — motion, parties, judges, departments, case-type — to find the information you’re looking for. We know you are looking for great insights on your local judges. We know that with existing solutions you would be searching for information on your judge in the abstract rather than being able to see how they actually rule on their state cases.

We deliver the context. All you have to do is search.

Attorneys in California

Using Trellis we looked into which of the California counties had the most attorneys. The graph below shows the percentage of attorneys in the top 10 counties.Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.33.49 AM.png

But where do I go to find the most attorneys per population? This graph shows the number of attorneys per every 1,000 people. (The populations are according to 2012 census estimates.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 3.58.40 PM.png

San Francisco is the place with the most attorneys per person by far. Riverside, on the hand, has the lowest number of attorneys per resident. Now I know where to go for an attorney get-together….

How to organize a “Motion to Compel Arbitration” in CA Superior Court

How did you write your last “motion to compel arbitration”? Trellis analyzed tentative rulings from judges across California and we found that judges prefer this outline when writing the motion….

I. Intro

II. Statement of Facts

III. Legal Analysis

     a. Applicability of FAA

     b. Agreement to Arbitrate

     c. Agreement Not Unconscionable

          1. NOT Procedurally Unconscionable

          2. NOT Substantive Unconscionable

     d. Class Arbitration

     e. PAGA

     f. Matter should be stayed

IV. Conclusion

Our CEO, Nicole Clark, used Trellis to write better motions while she was an attorney at Newmeyer & Dillion. She won every motion for two years.

Trellis makes over a decade of California Superior Court records searchable for the first time. Instead of researching a matter in the abstract, see what your judge actually thinks.

How to prepare for partner meetings

An associate at Newmeyer & Dillion LLP who uses Trellis writes:

I just got a new case with (partner). It’s a landlord-tenant case in which we represent the landlord. As partners will do, (partner) just dropped the complaint on my desk this morning and asked me to analyze it and be ready to talk to the client this afternoon.

It’s a roach infestation claim. Causes of action are negligence, nuisance, breach of implied warranty of habitability, and constructive eviction.

First thing I did is type this search into Trellis: roach AND “constructive eviction.” I got 5 hits from 4 cases: They all look really good. Can’t think of any other way I could have more effectively prepared for this call.”