Computer Power And Legal Language

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Computer Power and Legal Language explores the central issues involved in the use of computers to conduct legal business. The contributors, all experts in their field, take as their starting point fundamental questions about the potential utility of computational models of linguistics, intelligence, and logic in the law: Is it possible to use computing to communicate in the manner legal experts do? Can legal language be represented in computational form? How does natural language serve as both a bridge and a major stumbling block for the communication of concepts—both among jurists and computers? In answering these and other questions regarding computers in the law, the contributors present the results of research on the cutting edge of legal informatics, expert systems, and legal language, and they introduce important new applications of computers for lawyers.

Walter begins with an introductory chapter on the ways language is used in law. Subsequent chapters address a wide range of concerns: the relationship between precision in meaning and open texture in legal writing; the application of logic programming to law; a semantic representation of pre-contractual and contractual verbs of exchange; the use of CCLIPS, a computer program that reads and understands the Louisiana civil code; the interface between human users and legal information retrieval systems; and more. A state-of-the-art contribution to current research in the field, this book offers a much-needed synthesis of current theory and practice regarding computers and legal language.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899303062
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/14/1988
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

CHARLES WALTER is Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Law & Technology Institute, and former Director of the Program on Law and Technology at the University of Houston Law Center.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Charles Walter

Precise Meaning and Open Texture in Legal Writing and Reading by Peter Linzer

Elements of Legal Language by Charles Walter

Toward a Model of Legal Argumentation by Donald Berman and Charles Walter

A Brief Introduction to Logic Programming and Its Applications in Law by Marek Sergot

Toward A Rule-Based Representation of Open Texture in Law by Trevor Bench-Capon and Marek Sergot

A Semantic Representation of the Pre-Contractual and Contractual Verbs of Exchange by J. Hook

The Discourse Properties of the Criminal Status by Michael Hoey

The Implementation of CCLIPS by George Cross, Cary deBessonet, Teri Bradshaw, Glynn Durham, Rittick Gupta, and Mohammed Nasiruddin

Representing Contractual Situations by Seth Goldman, Michael Dyer, and Margot Flowers

The Text Retrieval System as a Conversation Factor by Jon Bing

Natural Language Interfaces by Michael Hoey and Charles Walter

Semiotic Orders in Law by Michael Heather

Distinguishing Legal Language-Types for Conceptual Retrieval by Cary deBessonet and George Cross

The Basic Logic for the Interpetation of Legal Texts by Hector-Neri Castaneda

Obstacles to the Development of Logic-Based Models of Legal Reasoning by Donald Berman and Carole Hafner

The Relation between Language Studies and Expert Systems by J. C. Gardin

An Experiment with Normalized Statutes in an Emycin Expert System by Grayfred Gray

Exploring Computer-Aided Generation of Question for Normalizing Legal Rules by Layman Allen and Charles Saxon

Expert System Shells and the Judicial Process: An Evaluation by Bethany Dumas and Charles Walter

Expert Systems for Law by Charles Walter

Toward a Legal ExpertSystem Shell: A Prolog Implementation by C. Duncan MacRae and Elizabeth Chase MacRae

State of the Art of Computerization in Law Practice by Charles Walter


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