Computer-aided Judicial Analysis: Predicting, Prescribing, and Administering

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Quorum, Jan 1, 1992 - Computers - 372 pages
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Decision-aiding software, the underpinning of computer-aided judicial analysis, can facilitate the prediction of how cases are likely to be decided, prescribe decisions that should be reached in such cases, and help administrate more efficiently the court process. It can do so, says Nagel, by listing past cases on each row of a spreadsheet matrix, by listing predictive criteria in the columns, and in general by showing for each factual element the estimated probability of winning a case. The software aggregates the information available and deduces likely outcomes. But it can also prescribe judicial decisions by listing alternatives in the rows, the goals to be achieved in the columns, and by showing relations between alternatives in the cells. By similar means decision-aiding software can also help perform administrative tasks, such as rationally assigning judges or other personnel to cases, and by sequencing cases to reduce the time consumed by each case. In Part I, Nagel provides an overview of computer-aided analysis and the role of decision-aiding software in the legal process. In the second part he deals with judicial prediction from prior cases and from present facts; and in the third part he emphasizes the prescribing role of judges, particularly in deciding the rules that ought to be applied in civil and criminal procedures. Nagel also covers computer-aided mediation and provides a new perspective on judicial decisions. Then, in Part IV, he treats at length the process of judicial administration and how to improve its efficiency. Of particular interest to court personnel will be the benefits to be derived from reducing delays and in the docketing and sequencing of cases.

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ComputerAided Judicial DecisionMaking
DecisionAiding Software and the Law

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About the author (1992)

Stuart S. Nagel was professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was secretary-treasurer and publications coordinator of the Policy Studies Organization and coordinator of the Dirksen-Stevenson Institute and the MKM Research Center. He held a Ph.D. in political science and a J.D. in law, both from Northwestern University. His major awards include fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Social Science Council, East-West Center, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His previous positions include being an attorney to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Legal Services Corporation. He has been a professor at the University of Arizona and Penn State University.

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