End of Second Day at LVI 2012 – more pics

It’s over! It was a great conference and congratulations to John Joergensen and Núria Casellas for putting together a great collection of presentations for Track 5, Data Organization and Legal Informatics.

Clay Shirky delivered a great opening plenary this morning talking about crowdsourcing, openness and “cognitive surplus.” Time to stop watching TV and start working on shaping the web, at least that’s one conclusion to draw (Wikipedia=100 million hours of work; U.S. TV viewing=200 billion hours per year).

Clay Shirky delivering a great plenary.

Then it was Jerry Goldman and Matt Gruhn talking about the multimedia Oyez Project and some fascinating work on machine readable access to U.S. Supreme Court information. Broccoli was high on the word cloud for this session.

Jerry Goldman

Matt Gruhn

Had a chance to take a short walk around Ithaca at lunch and check out more of the gorge.

Hey, that’s me at the top of Catherine St.!


The gorge at Stewart St.

After lunch Track 5 started to bunch up a bit with two half hour programs; although some seemed like hour programs compressed into that half hour. Yoshiharu Matsuura and Amy Huey-Ling Shee talked about translation issues between Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China. Interesting to see the different interpretations and English translations of the same and similar ideograms.

In the second half hour Michael Curtotti shared his research on visualizing the law. I think visualization of data is an area that will become increasingly important especially as we start negotiating our way through linked data on the semantic web.

Michael Curtotti

The next double whammy began with a write in presentation with Susan Newell Hart comparing Lexis and Westlaw and their development of the digest and citator components of their platforms. Very interesting to hear about Lexis using machine algorithms to catch up with the legacy of human created digests created by Westlaw.

Susan Newell Hart

The second half of this hour featured Pompeau Casanovas presenting his research on crowdsourcing “relational law” and I was really disappointed that we didn’t have time to hear more about this very interesting area of research. He raised some great questions: how do you define knowledge when you can connect everything together; what is law today?; what is a legal document?

Pompeu Casanovas

The final pair of presentations began with Lee Hollaar and his statutory “time machine.” This was an interesting report on an older project and I would have liked to have had an opportunity to see this in action.

Lee Hollaar

Søren Nielsen and Rasmus Lohals shared their experience with optimizing Danish statutory law so that they had better exposure in general search engines on the web. Loved the “extreme search” option that they provided on their own site.

Søren Nielsen

Rasmus Lohals

Thanks for the hospitality Cornell Law School and Itahca. Enjoyed the conference!

Sunset over the Ithaca gorge.

P.S. Gotta get me a real camera …


Some Pics from the Law via the Internet Conference

So I’m down in Ithaca attending the Law via the Internet congference. It’s a beautiful little city surrounding Cornell University and nestled against Cayuga Lake. It being October the leaves are starting to change colour which provides some wonderful vistas.

I’m essentially following Track 5 which is focused on Data Organization and Legal Informatics. Here are some shots of the speakers I had an opportunity to hear today.

Richard Susskind

Richard Susskind delivering this morning’s opening plenary at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Mr. Susskind delivered a talk almost identical to the one he gave at AALL in Boston this past summer. Still good to hear it again. Although, as my colleague Louis Mirando noted, he did not mention his view that, “Law schools have always been on the cutting edge of tradition.” 🙂

After the plenary we trooped over to Myron Taylor Hall crossing “the gorge” with this wonderful view from the bridge:

View from the bridge over “the gorge” at Cornell University.

Beautiful fall colours.

I then heard Anurag Acharya, the founding engineer for Google Scholar talk about how they are providing access to U.S. case law. Very interesting, but still wondering how they define “significance” without any reference to a classification structure.

Anurag Acharya

Anurag Acharya talking about legal search and Google Scholar.

After lunch I heard Phillipe Grand’Maison and Daniel Poulin talk about statistical analysis of Supreme Court of Canada decisions and the idea of the “half-life” of a digital document.

Daniel Poulin

Daniel Poulin discussing statistical perspective of SCC decisions.

I then enjoyed Philip Chung from AustLII talk about citation searching in a session provocatively titled, “Searching Without Search Terms.”

Philip Chung

Philip Chung, one of the AustLII developers.

And the last session was delivered by Enrico Francesconi from the Institute of Theory and Techniques of Legal Information. A fascinating talk on the impact of semantic web technology on legal information.

Enrico Francesconi

Enrico Francesconi talking about legal information and the semantic web.

A great first day at LVI 2012. Looking forward to tomorrow!