Dr. Adam Wyner of the University of Leeds Centre for Digital Citizenship has published Towards Annotating and Extracting Textual Legal Case Elements, in LOAIT 2010: Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Legal Ontologies and Artificial Intelligence Techniques, European University Institute, Fiesole, Florence, Italy, July 7th, 2010, at 9-18 (Enrico Francesconi, Simonetta Montemagni, Piercarlo Rossi, and Daniela Tiscornia eds., 2010). Here is the abstract:
In common law contexts, legal cases are decided with respect to precedents rather than legislation as in civil law contexts. Legal professionals must find, analyse, and reason with and about cases drawn from a set of cases (a case base). A range of particular textual elements of a case may be relevant to query and extract. Commercial providers of legal information allow legal professionals to search a case base by keywords and meta data. However, the case base and the search tools are proprietary, of limited, non-extensible functionality, and are restricted access. Moreover, no provider applies natural language processing techniques to the cases for text analysis, XML annotation, or information acquisition. In this paper, we discuss an initial experiment in developing and applying natural language processing tools to cases to produce annotated text which can then support information extraction.