Sarah Glassmeyer and Pete Smith have posted their new article entitled Open law: Technology in service of the rule of law, forthcoming in Legal Information Management, 14(3) (2014).
Here is the abstract:
As law librarians we have ready access to the full range of legal materials – from free sources and powerful commercial legal databases, from medieval times to the modern day. We can have the entirety of primary law (and the secondary materials needed to decipher it) at our fingertips within seconds.
For those without such access- which is the majority of the general public – what are their options? How do those who do not have access to the likes of Lexis and Westlaw, or even a library with printed legal materials, find legal information- and why is it important that they can?
This article will consider these questions, covering the United Kingdom and the United States of America, with a particular focus on the issue of open law. First we will have a short historical overview of access to legal information; we will then turn to the reasons why wide and full access to legal information is important, and look at some examples of systems which aim at providing such access. Some of the issues with such systems are discussed, followed by a brief outline of an ideal open law system. We end with a look at the social and political elements needed to make the technology of open law systems work.
Posted in Applications, Articles and papers, Policy debates, Technology developments
Tagged Free access to law, Legal Information Management, Open law, Open law systems, Open legal data, Pet Smith, Public access to legal information, Sarah Glassmeyer
Gary Edmond and Joëlle Vuille have published Comparing the Use of Forensic Science Evidence in Australia, Switzerland, and the United States: Transcending the Adversarial-Nonadversarial Dichotomy, Jurimetrics Journal, 54, 221–276 (2014).
Here is the abstract:
This article compares responses to incriminating expert evidence (that is, forensic science) in Australia, Switzerland, and the United States. It begins with an outline of the three systems. Then, drawing on recent reviews of the forensic sciences, it explains that many of the forensic sciences have not been formally evaluated—that is, never subjected to validation studies. This means that in many cases we do not know if techniques work, nor how well. It also means that standards, claims about proficiency and experience, as well as the expressions used by analysts are not empirically based. These critical findings from a range of peak scientific organizations and commissions of inquiry (for example, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Institute of Standards and Technology) are then used to illuminate the impact of rules, procedures, and the performance of personnel (such as forensic scientists, prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges) across our three jurisdictions. The article explains how three different criminal justice systems each failed to identify or credibly respond to deep structural and endemic problems with many types of forensic science and medicine evidence routinely used by investigators and prosecutors. Serious problems with forensic science techniques and derivative evidence are rarely identified, let alone explained and conveyed in ordinary criminal proceedings. Indeed, there is very limited evidence that lawyers and judges are conversant with emerging critiques or the corrosive impact of speculative expert evidence on criminal proof. The article endeavors to understand these failures and the weakness of processes and safeguards across advanced criminal justice systems that include adversarial and nonadversarial elements. It also considers why many of the problems were initially identified in the United States, although not necessarily in courts, and what might be done in each of these jurisdictions to improve awareness and enhance legal responses to weak and speculative forms of incriminating expert evidence.
Posted in Articles and papers, Policy debates
Tagged Expert evidence, Expert evidence about forensic science evidence, Expert testimony about forensic evidence, Expert testimony about forensic science evidence, Forensic evidence, Forensic evidence information systems, Forensic science, Forensic science evidence, Forensic science evidence information systems, Gary Edmond, Joëlle Vuille, Jurimetrics, Legal evidence information systems
Jonathan J. Koehler has published Forensic Fallacies and a Famous Judge, Jurimetrics Journal, 54, 211–219 (2014).
Here is the abstract:
Probabilistic reasoning in the law is replete with well-documented errors and pitfalls. The errors include the prosecutor and defense attorney fallacies, the transposed conditional, the source probability error, the numerical conversion error, the probability of another match error, the false positive fallacy, the base rate fallacy, selection bias, the individualization fallacy, the fingerprint examiner fallacy, the uniqueness fallacy, the conjunction fallacy, disjunctive errors, the imperfection fallacy, misconceptions of chance, and pseudodiagnosticity. These errors arise most often in cases that include forensic science evidence. Because statistical reasoning can be both complex and counterintuitive (for example, application of Bayes Theorem to conditional probability matters), it is not entirely surprising when jurors and attorneys commit these errors. But it is more surprising, and more damaging to the legal system as a whole, when those we trust to get it right commit and perpetuate those errors.
Posted in Articles and papers
Tagged Errors in legal reasoning, Errors in reasoning about forensic science evidence, Forensic evidence, Forensic science evidence, Forensic science evidence information systems, Jonathan J. Koehler, Jurimetrics, Legal evidential reasoning, Legal evidentiary reasoning, Legal reasoning, Probabilistic legal reasoning, Probabilistic reasoning about forensic evidence, Probabilistic reasoning about forensic science evidence, Probabilistic reasoning about legal evidence, Reasoning about forensic evidence, Reasoning about forensic science evidence, Reasoning about legal evidence, Statistical reasoning in law
Professor Ted Sichelman of the University of San Diego, and Conference Chair of ICAIL 2015, scheduled to be held 8-12 June 2015 in San Diego, California, USA, sends the following information:
The International Association of Artificial Intelligence and Law (IAAIL) is offering a mentoring program for papers being submitted to its  biennial ICAIL conference, the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law.
The program is intended primarily for junior authors who have not previously published an Artificial Intelligence and Law paper at a conference or in a journal. If you would like help with your submission, you may ask for a mentor ― a person who will help you with your submission to the IAAIL audience through one-on-one advising, usually via e-mail. A mentor can also familiarize you with the standards and deadlines of ICAIL submissions. Mentors are volunteers familiar with successful submissions. To request a mentor, please send email by the Mentoring Program Request Deadline to the organizers: Guido Governatori, Guido.Governatori@nicta.com.au; Burkhard Schafer, email@example.com; and John Zeleznikow, John.Zeleznikow@vu.edu.au. Please include:
- Your name and the names of your co-authors;
- The name of your school (or department) and institution;
- A plain-text description of your work (a title and abstract is a minimum requirement);
- Any specific questions or areas in which you would like help;
- But don’t include your draft paper.
Reasonable expectations for a mentor include the following. A mentor may be able to advise you about the most appropriate forum for your work, suggest improvements to your submission, suggest how to deal with language problems, or refer you to relevant research of which you might not have been aware. Typically, a mentor might spend 3-7 hours on a submission. We carefully match mentors to mentees, and wish to support you in developing your work into a high-quality submission with a good chance of being accepted and published.
Note the following:
- People requesting mentoring must have a complete draft ready for the mentor to review by the Mentoring Program Paper Deadline;
- If there is an experienced AI & Law-related researcher in your department, it is expected that you would approach her/him first;
- No notification of mentor/mentee assignments will be made until after the Mentoring Program Paper Deadline;
- Reviewers will not be informed of whether a paper has been mentored. That is, the fact that a paper was mentored is not considered during the paper selection process.
Mentoring Program Organizers
- Guido Governatori—NICTA and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
- Burkhard Schafer—Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
- John Zeleznikow—Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
PACER, the fee-based information service for the U.S. federal courts, announced recently that large numbers of court documents are no longer in its databases, as of August 10, 2014.
Journalist John Hawkinson, citing a source at the Second Circuit, said yesterday that the reason was a “system integration issue — didn’t prioritize backwards compatibility”.
Here is the text of the announcement, on the PACER Website:
As of August 10, 2014 the following information will no longer be available on PACER:
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit: Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit: Cases filed prior to CM/ECF conversion
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit: Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: Cases filed prior to March 1, 2012
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California: Cases filed prior to May 1, 2001
For further information please contact the court directly. Contact information for each court is available on the Court Locator page.
For more resources related to this issue, please see the comments to this post.
A program entitled Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds? was held 21 August 2014 at ILTA 2014: International Legal Technology Association Annual Educational Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
The Website for the program does not appear to have a stable, publicly available URL, but those with a username and password may be able to access the site at: http://ilta.ebiz.uapps.net/personifyebusiness/Default.aspx?productid=1795754
Here is a summary of the program, from the program’s Website:
Imagine a future of robot lawyers — real technology doing real legal work. Throughout history, the future of technology has been studied, analyzed and predicted, sometimes with shocking accuracy. We know changes are coming, but what do they mean? How will they impact the law firm structure, efficiency, client relations and the legal realm as a whole? Come hear the observations and predictions of a dynamic lineup of legal technology experts to find out.
The speakers were:
The Twitter hashtag for the program was: #SPEC18
Click here for a storify of Twitter tweets and photos from the event.
For more resources related to this event, please see the comments to this post.
Posted in Applications, Conference resources, Policy debates, Presentations, Slides, Storify, Technology developments, Technology tools
Tagged #ilta14, Artificial intelligence and law, Disintermediation of lawyers, Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds?, IBM Watson, ILTA, ILTA 2014, Innovation in law practice, Innovation in legal technology, Intelligent agents and law, International Legal Technology Association Annual Conference, Joshua Lenon, Law firm technology, Law practice innovation, Law practice technology, Lawyer disintermediation, Legal intelligent agents, Legal prediction, Legal robots, Legal technology innovation, Michael Mills, Noah Waisberg, Quantitative legal prediction, Robot lawyers, Ryan McClead, SPEC18, Stuart Barr, Watson
Code the Deal: A Transactional Legal Tech Hackathon is scheduled to be held 19-21 September 2014 in New York City.
Here is a description from New York Legal Hackers, one of the organizers of the event:
[...] Code the Deal is a hackathon that will take place on September 19 to 21, 2014, at Dev Bootcamp‘s NYC financial district campus.
Participants will compete to create tech-enabled products that will improve transactional legal practice–tools that aid in counseling businesses through the legal and regulatory hurdles of consummating a sale or purchase. We believe that this is a huge, untapped market for entrepreneurship. Join us as we build some amazing products and compete for generous prizes.
More info at: http://codethedeal.com
Find teammates and projects at: https://www.hackerleague.org/hackathons/code-the-deal
What’s at Stake?
Grand Prize: $2500
Second Prize: $1000
Third Prize: $500
For more details, please see the event Website or the Hacker League site.
HT New York Legal Hackers
Posted in Applications, Conference Announcements, Hackathons, Hacking, Technology developments, Technology tools
Tagged Code the Deal, Code the Deal: A Transactional Legal Tech Hackathon, Legal hackathons, Legal hacking events, New York Legal Hackers, Transactional legal information systems, Transactional Legal Tech Hackathon