Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 347–370 | Cite as

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

  • Amie TaalEmail author
  • James A. Sherer
  • Kerri-Ann Bent
  • Emily R. Fedeles


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.


Concept indexation Case law domain Case law knowledge bases Digital search and conceptual retrieval 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amie Taal
    • 1
    Email author
  • James A. Sherer
    • 2
  • Kerri-Ann Bent
    • 3
  • Emily R. Fedeles
    • 2
  1. 1.DeutscheBank AGNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.BakerHostetlerNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.BarclaysNew YorkUSA

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