Thursday, June 23, 2011

Charting Evidence Arguments in the Classroom

My course in fact investigation inevitably, and often very soon, turns to assessment of the probative force of the available evidence

and to

assessment of witness credibility based on evidence and assumptions about the witness' testimonial qualities.

Since the fact investigation course has now mercifully expanded into a two-semester course, Phil Segal and I have the luxury this year to take chains and webs of evidential inference seriously. This raises the question of the extent to which Phil and I will and should force students to engage in the painstaking process of developing inference networks (either in the form of Wigmore charts or Schum-style inference networks, which I now call NAGs). If students are to be won over, it is critical that they be provided with computer-based tools that make the chore of developing inference networks, if not easy, easier and less tedious than it can be. (Wigmore's classroom experiments with charting evidence arguments notoriously sank like the proverbial lead balloon.) We may enlist the help of Joseph Laronge, who has graciously (if foolishly) offered it to us.


The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

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