PreCYdent Creates New Search Technology for Lawyers and Public

    SAN DIEGO, March 10 /CNW/ -- PreCYdent, a start-up based in San Diego and
Milan, Italy announced today that it has created a new legal research
technology that is many times more effective at finding relevant case law than
the decades-old Westlaw and LexisNexis.  The search engine's alpha version is
available at and is free to users.
    "Our technology mines the information in legal citations," said
co-founder and CEO Tom Smith, who is a professor at the University of San
Diego Law School.  "It makes searching for law as easy as searching the Web,
which means anyone can do it."
    The search algorithm was created by the PreCYdent team, led by Antonio
Tomarchio, a mathematician from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy's most
prestigious technical university.  Politecnico professors Piero Fraternali and
Stefano Ceri are the company's scientific advisors.  "By adapting web-style
mathematical measures to the legal citation network, we can identify the most
authoritative legal cases in any area," Tomarchio said.  "According to our
tests, our search engine is four to five times more effective than both
Westlaw and LexisNexis natural language engines in identifying relevant
cases."  Smith said the PreCYdent algorithm has been tested against Westlaw
and LexisNexis by examining each engine's predictions of what citations would
occur in over 200 articles, notes and comments written by legal experts.  "One
patent law expert said our search quality was so good it was 'astounding,'"
Smith said.
    The PreCYdent website has a number of Web 2.0 features.  Users may
comment on cases and rank their importance.  Lawyers can upload documents to
help potential clients find them and identify their expertise.
    PreCYdent is free.  "We have all U.S. Supreme Court cases, U.S. Court of
Appeals cases to 1950, and recent Supreme Court cases of large states such as
New York, Florida, Illinois and California.  We will have all 50 states soon,"
said Smith.  "Our technology can be extended to other legal systems.  We plan
to cover the UK, Canada, Australia, India and other common law countries,"
Smith said.
    "PreCYdent technology can be extended to other verticals," Tomarchio
said, "such as bio-medical databases, e-discovery, e-commerce and online
advertising.  The algorithm is very fast and scalable."

For further information:

For further information: Tom Smith, CEO|co-founder of PreCYdent, 
1-800-320-2841, ext. 1, Web Site:

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