In a legal setting, it is frequently important to retrieve all information related to a specific query. However, commonly used boolean search methods (exact matches of specified terms) on full text legal documents have been shown to have an average recall rate as low as 20 percent,[3] meaning that only 1 in 5 relevant documents are actually retrieved. In that case, researchers believed that they had retrieved over 75% of relevant documents.[3] This may result in failing to retrieve important or precedential cases. In some jurisdictions this may be especially problematic, as legal professionals are ethically obligated to be reasonably informed as to relevant legal documents.[4]
^ Kay v. Ehrler, 499 U.S. 432, 435 (1991), citing Gonzalez v. Kangas, 814 F. 2d 1411 (9th Cir. 1987); Smith v. DeBartoli, 769 F. 2d 451, 453 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1067 (1986); Turman v. Tuttle, 711 F. 2d 148 (10th Cir. 1983) (per curiam); Owens-El v. Robinson, 694 F. 2d 941 (3d Cir. 1982); Wright v. Crowell, 674 F. 2d 521 (6th Cir. 1982) (per curiam); Cofield v. Atlanta, 648 F. 2d 986, 987-988 (5th Cir. 1981); Lovell v. Snow, 637 F. 2d 170 (1st Cir. 1981); Davis v. Parratt, 608 F. 2d 717 (8th Cir. 1979) (per curiam).
Even if a system overcomes the language problems inherent in law, it must still determine the relevancy of each result. In the context of judicial decisions, this requires determining the precedential value of the case.[10] Case decisions from senior or superior courts may be more relevant than those from lower courts, even where the lower court's decision contains more discussion of the relevant facts.[10] The opposite may be true, however, if the senior court has only a minor discussion of the topic (for example, if it is a secondary consideration in the case).[10] A information retrieval system must also be aware of the authority of the jurisdiction. A case from a binding authority is most likely of more value than one from a non-binding authority.

Volunteer attorneys keep the calls as short as possible so that LegalLine can help as many people as possible. However, the length of calls varies depending on complexity. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, please be patient. You might hang up and call later in the evening. If you end up in the voicemail system, we will try to have a lawyer call you back that evening.

If you want to appeal the denial of some benefit that is provided through an agency of the United States government or the state of Idaho, you must pursue all of the administrative procedures which are set up by the agency before you can bring a lawsuit. Only after you have pursued and exhausted the administrative procedure will the court have jurisdiction to hear a claim.
In New Hampshire one party is pro se in 85% of all civil cases in the district court and 48% of all civil cases in the superior court in 2004.[40] In probate court, both sides are unrepresented by lawyers in 38% of cases. In superior court domestic relations cases, almost 70% of cases have one pro se party, while in district court domestic violence cases, 97% of the cases have one pro se party.[1]
This information is not necessarily a publication of Merrill Lynch Research (ML Research), although a ML Research report may be referenced as a link or as an attachment hereto. Any summary of ML Research is qualified in its entirety by the views of ML Research and the specific disclaimers associated with that report. This information is for discussion purposes and neither the information nor any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation by us for the purchase or sale of any securities or other financial instruments. Merrill Lynch and any affiliate may trade for its own accounts in any of the securities of issuers mentioned herein or in related investments, and may also from time to time perform or solicit investment banking or other services for, or from, any entity mentioned herein.
When you go into a foreign country and want to communicate with the inhabitants, you have to talk THEIR lingo. Courtrooms are a foreign country and they have their own language. "Complaint language" (or "law talk") is what they call it. If you don't use it in your pleadings (that's what documents you file with the court are), you will not only not be listened to and taken seriously, you will not be HEARD. They will literally not SEE the words on the page if they are not written in their "language."
If the parties have not requested a trial by jury, Local Rule 38.1, the judge becomes the trier of law (the judge) and the trier of fact (the jury). The judge then enters a Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, sometimes prepared by the prevailing party, based on the evidence and arguments presented and then a judgment is entered based on those findings of fact and conclusions of law.
When Motherboard reported in January that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint had sold their customer data to companies that ultimately provided it to bounty hunters and other people unauthorized to handle it, each telco said they were stopping the sale of phone location data to third-parties altogether. AT&T and T-Mobile previously told Motherboard they have already done so, and Sprint said it plans to by the end of May. Verizon made its own commitment after the 2018 Securus scandal.
In most cases, the EEOC can file a lawsuit to enforce the law only after it investigates and makes a finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, and is unable to resolve the matter through a process called "conciliation." The EEOC has discretion which charges to litigate if conciliation efforts are unsuccessful, and ultimately litigates a small percentage of all charges filed. When deciding whether to file a lawsuit, the EEOC considers factors such as the strength of the evidence, the issues in the case, and the wider impact the lawsuit could have on the EEOC's efforts to combat workplace discrimination. Congress also gave individuals the right to file a lawsuit in court.
We’re pro se litigants, and we talk to other pro se litigants all day every day, probably more than any lawyer does. I can tell you no one needs to “pit” pro se’s against lawyers; you guys have that covered. Perhaps if you all would take more seriously your obligation to deliver access to justice, we wouldn’t need to stand in for you. Thanks again for the comment.

Legal Information Retrieval attempts to increase the effectiveness of legal searches by increasing the number of relevant documents (providing a high recall rate) and reducing the number of irrelevant documents (a high precision rate). This is a difficult task, as the legal field is prone to jargon,[5] polysemes[6] (words that have different meanings when used in a legal context), and constant change.
If you are contacting us on behalf of another person, DO NOT respond to the demographic questions with information about yourself. Instead, please only answer all these demographic questions with information about the person in need of legal information or assistance. If you asking on your own behalf, your answers to the demographic questions should reflect yourself.

One newspaper report from the time suggests Parker did fine, though it was clear he was an amateur. He arrived with a thick pile of notes, wagged his fingers at the justices, and wore striped pants and a cutaway jacket. That was what all lawyers once wore to argue at the court, but it had fallen out of favor for all but government lawyers by the time Parker appeared before the court.

Sara J. Berman is the Director of Academic and Bar Success Programs at the nonprofit AccessLex Institute Center for Legal Education Excellence, an organization committed to understanding the barriers that impede access to law school for historically underrepresented groups and improving access to law school for all; identifying actionable strategies and public policies to increase law school affordability; and strengthening the value of legal education. Berman is the author of several bar exam and legal education books and articles, including Pass the Bar Exam: A Practical Guide to Achieving Academic & Professional Goals and Bar Exam MPT Preparation & Experiential Learning for Law Students: Interactive Performance Test Training. Before joining AccessLex, Berman worked for more than two decades in various law schools.  She has more than 15 years of experience in distance learning in legal education, and co-authored Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare and Try a Winning Case and The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System, plain English primers on the civil and criminal justice systems. More on Berman’s publications at https://ssrn.com/author=2846291 and on AccessLex publications at https://www.ssrn.com/link/AccessLex-Institute-RES.html


Are you facing a legal issue, or just looking for more information about a specific legal topic? FindLaw's Learn About the Law section is the perfect starting point. Learn About the Law features informational articles about a wide variety of legal topics, as well as specific information about subjects such as how to hire an attorney and understanding your state's unique laws.
Local Rule 54.3, Award of Attorney Fees, states that "attorney fees will not be treated as routine items of costs. Attorney fees will only be allowed upon an order of a judge of the court after such fact finding process as the judge shall order." Rule 54.3 sets out the requirements for petitioning the court for an award of award fees; and after the petition is filed by the prevailing party, the other party has fourteen days to object to the award.
But in the course of my experience, it became very apparent that the deck was stacked against me just because I was proceeding pro se – that is, representing myself, without an attorney. It's hard enough for a layman to win in court as it is, but the apparent disdain and discrimination that courts and judges show toward pro se litigants make it that much harder.
Once convicted, a prisoner no longer has the right to a public defender. Motions for post conviction relief are considered civil motions. Brandon Moon is an example of an unsuccessful pro se litigant who became successful when his case was taken by a lawyer. Moon's case was taken by the Innocence Project, and he was released after 17 years in jail for a rape that he did not commit.[50]
If the defendant chooses to file an answer within the time permitted, the answer must address each of the plaintiffs' allegations. The defendant has three choices to make, which include either admitting to the allegation, denying it, or pleading a lack of sufficient information to admit or deny the allegation. Some jurisdictions, like California and Florida, still authorize general denials of each and every allegation in the complaint. At the time the defendant files an answer, the defendant also raises all "affirmative" defenses. The defendant may also assert counterclaims for damages or equitable relief against the plaintiff. For example, in the case of "compulsory counterclaims," the defendant must assert some form of counterclaim or risk having the counterclaim barred in any subsequent proceeding. In the case of making a counterclaim, the defendant is making a motion directed towards the plaintiff claiming that he/she was injured in some way or would like to sue the plaintiff. The plaintiff in this example would then receive some amount of time to make a reply to this counterclaim. The defendant may also file a "third party complaint", which is the defendant's privilege to join another party or parties in the action with the belief that those parties may be liable for some or all of the plaintiff's claimed damages. An answer from the defendant in response to the claims made against him/her, can also include additional facts or a so-called "excuse" for the plead. Filing an answer "joins the cause" and moves the case into the pre-trial phase.
×