AI and Law contacts in Boston, MA

On a recent visit to Boston, Massachusetts USA, I had the opportunity to visit the Berkman Center for Internet and Law. It so happened that Kevin Ashley of the University of Pittsburgh was visiting the center for a meeting about legal document assembly. Kevin is a well-known expert in AI and Law, specialising in case based systems for legal reasoning that are geared towards helping law students learn to reason about the law. Kevin and I have met before and have a shared interest in ontologies and case based reasoning. We discussed research trends in legal case based reasoning, funding sources, and lines of collaborative research. I also found out that Richard Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers? was giving a talk at the Berkman center the same day, so I attended that talk, which was a distillation of his recent book. As it turned out Edwina Rissland of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, another key figure in AI and Law (and Kevin’s former thesis advisor), was also at Susskind’s talk and also participating in the legal document assembly meeting. I’d not met her before, so it was a treat to have a brief chat. Finally, I met with Carole Hafner of Northeastern University, another central figure in legal case based reasoning. Carole was particularly helpful in drawing my attention to some of the earlier key articles on these topics by her and by Edwina. I meet with Carole every time I’m in the Boston area to get her views on AI and Law. In all, a very sociable and informative series of discussions.
Copyright © 2009 Adam Wyner

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