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Category Archives: Courts

Justice by Algorithm: Are Artificial Intelligence Risk Assessment Tools Biased Against Minorities?

Conklin, Michael and Wu, Jun, Justice by Algorithm: Are Artificial Intelligence Risk Assessment Tools Biased Against Minorities? (June 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3877686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3877686

“This is a review of Katherine B. Forrest’s new book When Machines Can Be Judge, Jury, and Executioner. The book does an excellent job discussing issues of fairness and racial disparities from the use of artificial intelligence risk assessment tools (hereinafter “AI”) for decisions such as pretrial release and likelihood of recidivism. This is a timely topic as the technology is currently a tipping point. While Europe has begun to implement protections for defendants regarding AI, the U.S. is increasing its reliance on AI without such safeguards. This review includes a discussion on the topics of how AI compares to human judge predictions and decisions, fairness and racial outcomes, how recidivism is frequently misunderstood and its relevance, how human decisions are inextricably intertwined with AI, and the proper understanding of an AI’s “error rate.”

Text Analytics, Court Stats, and Privacy

National Center for State Court:  “A couple of weeks ago I shared some of “my problems with pending case statistics”.  Before that, I posted another note regarding an alternative for analyzing criminal justice data.  I generally try not to complain about things without having a solution in mind.  In this article, I will share a… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Interpretation of CFAA A Win for Collecting Data With Web Scraping

Center for Data Innovation: “Web scraping—the use of automated tools to extract data from websites—helps businesses, researchers, and others quickly and efficiently gather publicly available information from the Internet, such as consumer product reviews or social media posts, that would otherwise require significant labor to collect. Unfortunately, uncertainty about the legality of scraping under the… Continue Reading

How to find the documents behind big legal cases

The Verge / Adi Robertson: “Earlier this year, I spent a month covering the trial for a dispute between Apple and Epic. The case was one of the biggest antitrust suits in recent memory, and it brought to light revelations about both companies and the larger tech industry, often in the form of legal filings.… Continue Reading

Domestic Terrorism: Overview of Federal Criminal Law and Constitutional Issues

CRS Report – Domestic Terrorism: Overview of Federal Criminal Law and Constitutional Issues, July 2, 2021: “Federal statute defines domestic terrorism to include dangerous criminal acts intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence or affect government policy or conduct within the jurisdiction of the United States. Despite the federal statutory definition,… Continue Reading

Virtual Juries

Hans, Valerie P., Virtual Juries (June 4, 2021). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3860165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3860165 “The introduction of virtual or remote jury trials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a remarkable natural experiment with one of our nation’s central democratic institutions. Although it is not a tightly controlled… Continue Reading

Privacy or crime prevention? Big Tech gets cozy with police

Christian Science Monitor: “When United States law enforcement officials need to cast a wide net for information, they’re increasingly turning to the vast digital ponds of personal data created by Big Tech companies via the devices and online services that have hooked billions of people around the world. Data compiled by four of the biggest… Continue Reading

Soon You May Get to Watch Major Supreme Court Cases Broadcast Live on TV

Gizmodo – “For the first time in more than a decade, a legislative effort to capture Supreme Court hearings and other federal court proceedings on camera has cleared the Senate committee. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two bills aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the nation’s highest courts. The Cameras in the… Continue Reading

Citation Stickiness, Computer-Assisted Legal Research, and the Universe of Thinkable Thoughts

Kirschenfeld, Aaron and Chew, Alexa, Citation Stickiness, Computer-Assisted Legal Research, and the Universe of Thinkable Thoughts (April 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3860978 “Legal information has been available in widespread digital format for more than forty years. In that time, law librarians have wondered whether this digital switch has changed how law students and lawyers… Continue Reading

A Plan for the Federal Courts CM ECF

NCSC Court Technology Bulletin: “18F, a team within the General Services Administration(GSA), carried out an 11-week Path Analysis on the federal judiciary’s Case Management and Electronic Case Filesc(CM/ECF) system. Our research focused on user needs, business agility, organization and processes, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts’ (AO) culture and legal mandates. Our synthesis… Continue Reading

DOJ requested data on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses from Apple

CNN – “The Department of Justice sent a broad request in February 2018 to Apple as part of its investigation that collected data on members of Congress, staffers and their families. The department demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses from Apple, the company said Friday evening. Apple received the subpoena from… Continue Reading

Ohio sues Google, seeks to declare the internet company a public utility

The Columbus Dispatch: “Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a lawsuit asking a court to declare Google a public utility that should be regulated as such. “Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products – that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said in a statement. “When you own the railroad or… Continue Reading