We discuss several aspects of legal arguments, primarily arguments about the meaning of statutes. First, we discuss how the requirements of argument guide the specification and selection of supporting cases and how an existing case base influences argument formation. Second, we present,our evolving taxonomy of patterns of actual legal argument. This taxonomy builds upon our much earlier work on argument moves and also on our more recent analysis of how cases are used to support arguments for the interpretation of legal (...) statutes. Third, we show how the theory of argument used by CABARET, a hybrid case-based/rule-based reasoner, can support many of the argument patterns in our taxonomy. (shrink)
The BankXX system models the process of perusing and gathering information for argument as a heuristic best-first search for relevant cases, theories, and other domain-specific information. As BankXX searches its heterogeneous and highly interconnected network of domain knowledge, information is incrementally analyzed and amalgamated into a dozen desirable ingredients for argument (called argument pieces), such as citations to cases, applications of legal theories, and references to prototypical factual scenarios. At the conclusion of the search, BankXX outputs the set of argument (...) pieces filled with harvested material relevant to the input problem situation.This research explores the appropriateness of the search paradigm as a framework for harvesting and mining information needed to make legal arguments. In this article, we describe how legal research fits the heuristic search framework and detail how this model is used in BankXX. We describe the BankXX program with emphasis on its representation of legal knowledge and legal argument. We describe the heuristic search mechanism and evaluation functions that drive the program. We give an extended example of the processing of BankXX on the facts of an actual legal case in BankXX's application domain — the good faith question of Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy law. We discuss closely related research on legal knowledge representation and retrieval and the use of search for case retrieval or tasks related to argument creation. Finally we review what we believe are the contributions of this research to the understanding of the diverse disciplines it addresses. (shrink)
In this short note, we discuss several aspectsof dimensions and the related constructof factors. We concentrate on those aspectsthat are relevant to articles in this specialissue, especially those dealing with the analysisof the wild animal cases discussed inBerman and Hafner's 1993 ICAIL article. We reviewthe basic ideas about dimensions,as used in HYPO, and point out differences withfactors, as used in subsequent systemslike CATO. Our goal is to correct certainmisconceptions that have arisen over the years.
In this article we evaluate the BankXX program from several perspectives. BankXX is a case-based legal argument program that retrieves cases and other legal knowledge pertinent to a legal argument through a combination of heuristic search and knowledge-based indexing. The program is described in detail in a companion article in Artificial Intelligence and Law 4: 1--71, 1996. Three perspectives are used to evaluate BankXX:(1) classical information retrieval measures of precision and recall applied against a hand-coded baseline; (2) knowledge-representation and case-based (...) reasoning, where the baseline is provided by the functionality of a well-known case-based argument program, HYPO (Ashley, 1990); and (3) search, in which the performance of BankXX run with various parameter settings, for instance, resource limits, is compared. In this article we report on an extensive series of experiments performed to evaluate the program. We also describe two additional experiments concerning(1) the program's search behavior; and (2) the use of a modified form of precision and recall based on case similarity. Finally we offer some general conclusions that might be drawn from these particular experiments. (shrink)
Legal reasoning is an engaging field for cognitive science, since it raises so many fundamental questions, such as the representation and evolution of complex concepts. This article focuses on aspects of legal reasoning that require reasoning with cases, often in concert with other modes of reasoning.