Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Intelligence of Litigators

Lawyers and some other people may not be aware that some of the most esoteric theorizing about "artificial intelligence" -- about computer tools for the support of argument, inference, decision, and planning -- sprang from reflections about the activities of litigators and trial lawyers -- about the methods that litigators use to organize, investigate, and prepare possible cases for trial. These methods include (i) the development of time lines, (ii) the development of scenarios, (iii) the development of narratives, (iv) the marshaling of evidence on the basis of legal theories and their ingredients (including (v) the marshaling of evidence on the basis of affirmative defenses and their ingredients, or elements), (vi) analysis of attributes that bear on the credibility of witness, (vii) "intelligent" methods of preserving evidence and information, (viii) brainstorming, (ix) collaborative, or "distributed," work on cases, and a host of other procedures, practices, and routines.

I want trial lawyers everywhere to take a moment to pat themselves on the back -- before they return to the battlefield.

Caveat: Lawyers can't take all the credit for work on intelligence: many sophisticated contemporary students of artificial intelligence and related matters are blissfully ignorant of lawyers' work (as are, it seems, an increasing number of law teachers).

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The dynamic evidence page

Coming soon: the law of evidence on Spindle Law

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