How To Shepardize in Law and AI

In common law systems such as in the US and the UK, cases which have been decided by judges (precedents) play a critical role in determinations of current, undecided cases. One of the critical reasoning principles in case based reasoning is stare decisis, which is a principle of legal conservatism — current decisions should adhere to or abide by past decisions unless specifically overturned. It is critical then to be able to identify not only what precedents bear on the current case, but also whether those precedents still represent good law, that is, legal decisions which have not been overturned. The legal researcher must search through the case base identifying those good precedents.
Shepard’s Citations is a compilation of court opinions and the relationships among the cases. To examine a current case in light of precedents is called Shepardization. An online tutorial can be found at:
How to Shepardize
An article from the journal Artificial Intelligence bearing on aspects of automated shepardization is:
Information extraction from case law and retrieval of prior cases

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