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Cognitive computing and proposed approaches to conceptual organization of case law knowledge bases: a proposed model for information preparation, indexing, and analysis

Research paper by Amie Taal, James A. Sherer; Kerri-Ann Bent; Emily R. Fedeles

Indexed on: 09 Nov '16Published on: 21 Oct '16Published in: Artificial Intelligence and Law



Abstract

Abstract Carole Hafner’s scholarship on the conceptual organization of case law knowledge bases (COC) was an original approach to distilling a library’s worth of cases into a manageable subset that any given legal researcher could review. Her approach applied concept indexation and concept search based on an annotation model of three interacting components combined with a system of expert legal reasoning to aid in the retrieval of pertinent case law. Despite the clear value this tripartite approach would afford to researchers in search of cases with similar fact patterns and desired (or undesired) outcomes, this approach has not been applied consistently in the intervening years since its introduction. Specifically, the conceptual representation of domain concepts and the case frames were not pursued by researchers, and they were not applied by the legal case indexing services that came to dominate the electronic case law market. Advances since Hafner’s original scholarship in the form of (1) digitized case law and related materials; (2) computer science analytical protocols; and (3) more advanced forms of artificial intelligence approaches present the question of whether Hafner’s COC model could move from the hypothetical to the real.AbstractCarole Hafner’s scholarship on the conceptual organization of case law knowledge bases (COC) was an original approach to distilling a library’s worth of cases into a manageable subset that any given legal researcher could review. Her approach applied concept indexation and concept search based on an annotation model of three interacting components combined with a system of expert legal reasoning to aid in the retrieval of pertinent case law. Despite the clear value this tripartite approach would afford to researchers in search of cases with similar fact patterns and desired (or undesired) outcomes, this approach has not been applied consistently in the intervening years since its introduction. Specifically, the conceptual representation of domain concepts and the case frames were not pursued by researchers, and they were not applied by the legal case indexing services that came to dominate the electronic case law market. Advances since Hafner’s original scholarship in the form of (1) digitized case law and related materials; (2) computer science analytical protocols; and (3) more advanced forms of artificial intelligence approaches present the question of whether Hafner’s COC model could move from the hypothetical to the real.