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Cardozo School of Law: Conference

Graphic and Visual Representations of Evidence and Inference in Legal Settings

Dates: January 28-29, 2007.

Venue: Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, 55 Fifth Avenue (5th Ave. & 12th St.), New York (Manhattan), New York

Description of conference:

One of the largest problems faced by criminal investigators, litigators, paralegals, triers of fact, and others interested in disputes about factual questions in legal settings is the sheer mass of evidence available. It is often difficult to remember, retrieve, and interpret voluminous evidential information, and important relationships and inconsistencies may go unnoticed as a result. Tools that support the storage, retrieval, and interpretation of large masses of evidence would therefore be of great use.

Psychological studies have shown that people's ability to remember, retrieve, and interpret information is greatly enhanced when they organize it in a way that is meaningful to them. Scholars of the law of evidence have long suggested that graphical representations of evidential arguments and inferences could help people make sense of masses of evidence. As early as 1913, John Henry Wigmore claimed that his charting method promotes rational thinking about legal evidence. Wigmore had only pencil and paper to draw his cumbersome graphs. Today computer software may make it possible for almost anyone to construct useful graphical representations of arguments and inferences related to large collections of evidence. If such software were combined with with existing database, document management, and search technology, documentary evidence could be stored and retrieved in accordance with the user's view of a case. This would facilitate the transfer of a case file from one person to another because it would make it easier for recipients of files to grasp the signficance of the evidentiary details of a case.

Software for graphical representation of evidential argument is currently being investigated for use in various domains. Argument visualization software has been designed, for instance, to support the teaching of scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills (e.g., Belvedere, Reasonable, Araucaria, Convince Me), to support intelligence analysis, and to facilitate individual or collaborative problem solving (e.g., Questmap, SEAS). Moreover, current artificial intelligence research offers precise accounts of evidential reasoning and thus provides a clear semantics of graphical notations as well as computational methods.

In the legal domain, fact investigators and litigators increasingly use software that supports the storage and retrieval of information in terms of conceptual and relational networks (e.g., Holmes 2, Analyst's Notebook). As yet, however, as yet, such tools offer little or no support for structuring thinking about information: existing software allows users to store evidentiary data in terms of events, objects, actors, and the relations among these things, but it does not allow users to represent how such data support or undermine factual hypotheses.

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars and practitioners from fields such as law, philosophy, computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. The following topics and issues will be addressed:

  • New and current graphical means for visualization of factual inference and proof.
  • Semantics of graphical notations: what are the underlying theories of evidential reasoning, including jurisprudential, philosophical, psychological, rhetorical, logical, and mathematical theories?
  • Software tools that are currently available or under development for graphical representation of factual inference and proof.
  • Potential contexts for the use of such software (e.g., criminal investigation, intelligence analysis, trials, and law teaching).
  • Can graphical representation of evidential argument support automatic evaluation of hypotheses?
  • How can current insights into human-computer interactuions be exploited to increase the usefulness of such software; e.g., how can visual complexity generated by large masses of evidence be managed?
  • Are there pertinent empirical studies and findings about real-world use of evidence-charting methods in legal and other contexts?
Conference officials:
Peter Tillers (Cardozo Law School): Conference chair; e-mail address:
Henry Prakken (Universiteit Utrecht / University of Groningen): Program chair; e-mail address:
Thomas D. Cobb (University of Washington, Seattle): Deputy program chair; e-mail address:
Jonathan Gottfried: Local arrangements coordinator; e-mail address:


Terence Anderson
Professor of Law
University of Miami School of Law

Kevin Ashley
University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Comment on Lowrance

Philip Dawid
Professor of Statistics
University College London

Dawid-Hepler Abstract
Dawid-Hepler Slides [OpenOffice]
Dawid-Hepler Slides [Powerpoint]
Hepler, Dawid & Leucari Paper

Deirdre M. Dwyer
British Academy Post Doctoral Fellow
Pembroke College
Oxford University

Neal Feigenson
Quinnipiac University School of Law

Feigenson-Sherwin Paper

Branden Fitelson
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of California at Berkeley

Fitelson Slides & Text
Tim van Gelder
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Melbourne
T-van-Gelder Abstract
T-van-Gelder Draft Paper
T-van-Gelder Paper
Thomas F. Gordon
Senior Research Scientist
eGovernment Competence Center
Fraunhofer Institut fuer Offene Kommunikationssysteme; web log
Gordon Paper

Bruce Hay
Harvard Law School

Hay Abstract
Amanda B. Hepler
Department of Statistical Science
University College London

Dawid-Hepler Abstract
Dawid-Hepler Slides [OpenOffice]
Dawid-Hepler Slides [Powerpoint]
Hepler, Dawid & Leucari Paper
John Josephson
Research Scientist
Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence Research
Computer Science and Engineering
Ohio State University

Marc Lauritsen
Capstone Practice Systems

Richard Lempert
Eric Stein Distinguished University Professor of Law and Sociology
University of Michigan Law School

Ronald P. Loui
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Washington University in St. Louis

Draft Paper
Comment on the Cardozo Conference
John D. Lowrance
Program Director, Artificial Intelligence Center
SRI International
Lowrance - Draft Paper
Lowrance Paper

Jennifer Mnookin
UCLA School of Law

Mnookin - Extended Abstract

Jon Morris
Affiliate Faculty Member
School of Information Engineering and Technology
Systems Engineering and Operations Research
George Mason University

Schum-Morris Abstract
Schum-Morris Slides [PowerPoint]
Schum-Morris Slides [OpenOffice]
Schum-Morris Draft Paper
Schum-Morris Paper
Dale Nance
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Draft Comment

Priit Parmakson
Tallinn University

Parmakson - Abstract & Outline & Images
John L. Pollock
Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science
University of Arizona
Pollock - Draft Paper
Pollock Paper
Henry Prakken
Lecturer, Department of Information and Computing Sciences
Utrecht University
Professor of Law and ICT
Faculty of Law
University of Groningen

Prakken Abstract
Bex-Prakken-Verheij-Vreeswijk Paper

Chris Reed
Senior Lecturer & Assistant Head of Research
University of Dundee

Reed - Slides
Reed - Diagramming Trinity
Reed - Diagramming History
Reed - Draft Paper History
Reed & Rowe - Final Conference Paper - A Pluralist Approach
David Schum
Systems Engineering & Operations Research
George Mason University

Schum-Morris Abstract
Schum-Morris Slides [PowerPoint]
Schum-Morris Slides [OpenOffice]
Schum-Morris Draft Paper
Schum-Morris Paper
Richard Sherwin
Professor & Director, Visual Persuasion Project
New York Law School
Feigenson-Sherwin Paper

Samuel Solomon
Chairman & CEO
DOAR Litigation Consulting

Solomon Paper

David Tait
Senior Lecturer
School of Law
University of Canberra

Peter Tillers
Cardozo School of Law
Yeshiva University

Introduction: Visualizing Evidence in Legal Settings
William Twining
Quain Professor of Jurisprudence emeritus
University College London Law Faculty &
University of Miami School of Law
Comment on Prakken

Bart Verheij
Lecturer & Researcher
Artificial Intelligence
University of Groningen

Verheij Slides
Verheij Draft Paper
Verheij Paper - Final Draft
Vern Walker
Hofstra University School of Law

Walker Abstract
Walker - Outline of Presentation
Walker Paper
Douglas N. Walton
Professor of Philosophy
University of Winnipeg
Walton-Gordon Draft Paper
  • Walton-Gordon Powerpoint Slides
  • Walton-Gordon Open Office Slides
    Walton Paper

  • Program

    First day (January 28, 2007):

    9.00am-9.20am: Welcoming Comments (P. Tillers)


    Moderator: Henry Prakken
    Vern Walker, Visualizing the Dynamics around the Rule/Evidence Interface in Legal Reasoning
    Richard Sherwin & Neal Feigenson, Thinking beyond the Shown: Implicit Inferences in Visual Evidence and Argument
    Marc Lauritsen, Comment

    11.00am-11.20am: coffee break


    Moderator: Thomas Cobb
    Tim van Gelder, Rationale: A Generic Argument Mapping Tool
    Chris Reed, Wigmore, Toulmin and Walton: The Diagramming Trinity and their Application in Legal Practice
    Dale Nance, Comment

    1.00pm-2.00pm: lunch


    Moderator: Justin Hughes
    John L. Pollock, Some Puzzles about Defeasible Reasoning
    Ron Loui, A Modest Proposal for Annotating the Dialectical State of a Dispute
    Richard Lempert, Comment

    3.40pm-4.00pm: tea break


    Moderator: Richard Lempert
    Thomas F. Gordon & Doug Walton, Visualizing Arguments of the Carneades Argumentation Framework
    Bart Verheij, Virtual Arguments: On the Design of Argument Assistants for Lawyers and Other Arguers

    5.20pm-6.30pm: dinner


    Moderator: Thomas Gordon
    Doug Walton, Argumentation Theory for the Law of Evidence
    Henry Prakken, Argument Visualisation Software for Crime Investigators: Design and First Experiences
    William Twining, Comment

    Second day (January 29, 2007):


    Moderator: William Twining
    John Lowrance, Graphical Manipulation of Evidence in Structured Arguments
    John Josephson, Graphical Display of Evidence and Inference in a Prototype System for Command-Post Information Fusion
    Kevin Ashley, Comment

    10.40am-11.00am: coffee break


    Moderator: Kevin Ashley
    David Schum & Jon Morris, Law Comes to the Rescue of Intelligence Analysis: Evaluating HUMINT
    Philip Dawid & Amanda B. Hepler, Bayesian Networks for the Analysis of Evidence
    Branden Fitelson, Argument Diagrams, Bayes Nets, and Independent Evidence

    1.00pm-2.00pm: lunch


    Moderator: Jonathan Gottfried
    Bruce Hay, The Iconography of the Wigmore Chart
    Priit Parmakson, Can Effective Visual Representations Be Produced Systematically?
    Neal Feigenson, Comment

    3.40pm-4.00pm: tea break


    Moderator: Neal Feigenson
    Jennifer Mnookin, Visual and Expert Evidence: Rhetorical Connections and Invisible Affinities
    Samuel Solomon, Visual Storytelling - Contextualizing Evidence through Visualization Taken from Real Cases
    Deirdre Dwyer, Comment
    David Tait, Comment

    6.00pm-6.15pm: Closing Comments (Henry Prakken)

    Drafts and abstracts of additional papers and presentations will be made available on this web page shortly. Final versions of many of the papers will be published in Law, Probability and Risk in 2007 and 2008.


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