May 18, 2022

From Legal Information Institute: "New Research on Legal Metadata at International Conference"

From a Legal Information Institute Blog Post:

A research abstract reporting new research on legal metadata (see slides here), by LII Director Tom Bruce, and Robert Richards of the University of Washington, was presented on June 8 at ICAIL 2011, the 13th InternationalConference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. The research abstract — entitled Adapting Specialized Legal Metadata to the Digital Environment: The Code of Federal Regulations Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules — describes a specialized category of legal research tools — which the authors call “ponts” — that “express connections between different categories of legal metadata.”


In this research abstract, the authors note that the information in these tools, created for the print environment, is often imprecise or ambiguous. Thus these tools were originally designed to require human users to intervene to complete the desired connection between different types of metadata. Such imprecision, ambiguity, and dependence on human intervention reduce the value of ponts in the digital environment, in which metadata is most useful if it can be processed by software without human intervention.

Through a case study of the PTOA, the authors demonstrate how ponts can be re-engineered to be of greatest use in the digital environment. With examples of PTOA data marked up in XML and RDFS/OWL, the authors describe how such re-engineering could render the PTOA interoperable with many information systems and other data, could encourage innovation, and could be used for a variety of purposes and in a variety of systems, including scholarly research, information retrieval, public administration systems, regulatory compliance systems, geographic information systems, and e-Participation systems.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.