Legal Expert System Building: A Semi-Intelligent Computer Program Makes it Easier


Grayfred B. Gray, Bruce J. MacLennan, John E. Nolt & Donald R. Ploch


VOL. XII • Spring 1994 • NO. 4 (table of contents)

Order this issue


The Natural Language Expert System Builder (NLESB) assists attorneys in producing intelligent, precise and clear legal documents. This system allows the user to link from one rule to another, which helps the attorney to find differently stated propositions that mean the same thing. In addition, the NLESB serves as a check to verify that the law within the document is in good form.

The system promotes consistency by bringing similarities to the attorney's attention, it increases the clarity and precision of an argument within a legal document, and it eliminates passive voice and places the emphasis on the object of the sentence rather than the act, which helps the attorney produce overall enhanced legal documents.

The NLESB, however, is not without fault. First, it does not respond to "what if" scenarios or hypothetical situations. Second, it is ineffective for determining potential parties to a cause of action. For example, when the system prompts the attorney for information, the question posed is often vague and requires interpretation.

Ultimately, NLESB allows the attorney to gain greater access to the rules of law and highlights the interconnection among the rules, which allows for a more complete analysis of the law. The system also has the tangential benefit of assisting attorneys to produce clearly written and concise legal documents.

Related Articles: