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Re: [ontology-summit] First Model Bench Challenge

Cc: Ontology Summit 2012 discussion <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: LaVern Pritchard <lavern@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2012 15:33:10 -0500
Message-id: <4FA2EB86.5060106@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Perhaps the issue is that the law is "alive" and the legal system too is 
alive - a social organism, according to one insightful author:    (01)

David R. Johnson, a professor at New York Law School
http://www.nyls.edu/faculty/faculty_profiles/david_johnson    (02)

See: The Life of the Law Online (Feb. 2006)
http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1314/1234    (03)

Select quotes from this article:    (04)

"I would like to suggest that the law (a legal system, generally, such 
as the U.S. legal system as we know it) has a life of its own. The law 
is an organism rather than a mechanism. It is alive.    (05)

"We can't fully understand organisms by dividing them into separate parts."    (06)

"Each component of this complex system can only be explained with 
reference to all the relationships among all the components."    (07)

"It is a commonplace that the law has grown too complex for anyone to 
deal with. Statutes and regulations have proliferated to the point that 
no one, not even experts, can hold them all in mind, much less provide a 
consistent, theoretically satisfying, gloss."    (08)

"The problem is that our current legal system lacks the most fundamental 
mechanism, used by more rapidly replicating and adapting biological 
organisms, to keep undesirable levels of complication under control. ... 
[T]he tendency of all rule sets to become more complicated over time, 
especially when written by people considering only parts of the system 
in analytical isolation, has not been checked by evolutionary forces."    (09)

---    (010)

So case law too is just part of the social organism's ongoing digestion 
process, if you will, or perhaps melody making. Case law may be 
contradictory from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and higher courts 
regularly reverse lower courts. Certain things become settled, of 
course, but many remain, from clients' point of view, frustratingly open 
enough to be the subject of litigation than cannot be made to go away 
easily. And of course most disputes are mediated, arbitrated, or settled 
out of court so there is a rhythm of custom that the organism follows in 
the absence of firm guideposts.    (011)

LaVern A. Pritchard - Pritchard Law Webs
Publisher, LawMoose / MooseBoost - www.lawmoose.com
Practitioners' Legal Problem Solving Framework
Law Practice Intellectual Capital System
Semantic Legal Search Assistant
900 Flour Exchange, 310 4th Av S, Mpls, MN 55415
612-332-0102 - lavern@xxxxxxxxxxxx
___________________________________________________    (012)

On 5/3/2012 2:53 PM, Adrian Walker wrote:
> Hi LaVern,
> Perhaps interpretation of a law by means of decided cases ("case law")
> should also be on the list?
>                         -- Adrian    (013)

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