The Carole Hafner Best [Overall] Paper Award

Researcher, scholar, educator, facilitator, collaborator, community-minded human being. These are but a few of the expressions we would use to describe Carole Hafner, a doyenne of our field. Carole passed away on Sunday, April 5, 2015, following a prolonged illness. It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Carole’s death as she was a long-standing proponent and active participant in Artificial Intelligence and Law community.

Carole completed one of the first PhD theses in Artificial Intelligence and Law. Her dissertation, from the University of Michigan in 1981, was titled An Information Retrieval System Based on a Computer Model of Legal Knowledge. Carole continued to pursue state-of-the-art approaches to conceptual information retrieval following her graduate studies. She joined the faculty at Northeastern University, where she formed a particularly productive relationship with her distinguished colleague, Professor Don Berman. In 1989, one of their joint articles was featured in a special edition of the Communications of the ACM that focused on the social aspects of computing: “The Potential of Artificial Intelligence to Help Solve the Crisis in our Legal System,” 32(8), 928-938. The paper led to the founding of the journal Artificial Intelligence and Law, which began publication in 1992 with Carole and Don as its first co-editors.

Carole also served as the chair of the very first ICAIL conference, held in May of 1987 in Boston at Northeastern. At early ICAILs, Carole and Don conducted tutorials on the field of AI and Law. Most importantly, they went on to co-author an acclaimed trilogy of ICAIL papers on case-based reasoning. These papers, published in 1991, 1993, and 1995, articulated important aspects of real-world legal reasoning and problem solving that were largely absent from earlier CBR and argumentation models: the dependence of the precedential force of judicial decisions on (1) the procedural context in which the decision is made, (2) the rationale underlying the decision, and (3) the evolving network of other decisions that over time can extend or erode aspects of a decision's holding. At several later ICAILs, Carole again gave introductory tutorials. It was important to Carole to welcome new faces to the community and share her passion about enticing aspects of the field. She served as Program Chair at the 12th ICAIL, held in Barcelona in 2009.

Carole was the “moving force” behind both the ICAIL conference and our organization, IAAIL, which was established in 1992 to provide the institutional structure to manage the conferences. She served as Secretary-Treasurer of IAAIL from its inception. At the last ICAIL that Carole attended, in Pittsburgh, the IAAIL organization gave her a lifetime service award, which noted: “On the occasion of the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, ICAIL 2011, the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law recognizes Prof. Carole D. Hafner for her tireless efforts in organizing and sustaining the Conference, the Association and the journal of Artificial Intelligence and Law. June 8, 2011." We will be sharing a special tribute to Carole in the near future. We send our sincerest condolences to her family and friends. We will miss her dearly.

On behalf of the IAAIL Executive Committee
Jack Conrad
Thanks to Kevin Ashley, Karl Branting, Anne Gardner and Thorne McCarty for their contributions.

The Donald H. Berman Award for ICAIL Best Student Paper honors the memory of Don Berman, a Professor of Law and co-director of the Center for Law and Computer Science at Northeastern University, who authored many articles on AI and law and co-founded the journal Artificial Intelligence and Law (the “Journal”). Born in 1935 in Portland, Maine, Don graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, served two years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, and later practiced law in Maine and in Boston. He served as a law clerk for Justice Spalding of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and received an L.L.M. degree in taxation from Harvard Law School. In 1968, he joined the faculty of Northeastern University and helped found its law school, where he taught courses on property law, intellectual property, and taxation law, as well as AI and law.

From 1985 until his death in 1997 at age 62, Don Berman and Carole Hafner, a member of the computer science faculty at Northeastern University, collaborated in research and teaching in AI and law. Their 1989 article in Communications of the ACM, “The Potential of Legal Expert Systems to Help Solve the Crisis in Our Legal System,” led directly to the creation of Artificial Intelligence and Law, which under their co-editorship quickly established itself as the journal of record in the field. Initially, Don’s AI and law research focused on rule-based legal expert systems where he emphasized the importance of distinguishing between predictive, normative, and choice-of-law expert systems. Later, he and Carole Hafner published a series of articles on case-based legal reasoning. Their focus on the need to model contextual and teleological aspects of legal decisions, in addition to factual similarities, has influenced the development of case-based models of legal argument ever since. In 2002, the Journal published a special issue in Don Berman’s memory; it showcased research in the field influenced by his and Carole Hafner’s seminal contributions (Special issue in memory of Donald H. Berman, C. Hafner and E. Rissland (eds.) Artificial Intelligence and Law 10: 3–6, 2002.)

Among AI and Law researchers, Don is remembered for his “broad knowledge of many different areas of law, his mastery of the complexities of legal reasoning, … his unequalled understanding of the institutional context within which legal experts must operate,” and “his intellectual curiosity and inventiveness.” Don was an enthusiastic supporter of the biennial International Conference on AI and Law (ICAIL) and Conference on Substantive Technologies in Legal Education and Practice. His wit, intellectual curiosity, kindness and good humor brightened every gathering in which he participated.

Adapted from “In Memory of Donald H. Berman, 1935–1997,” Artificial Intelligence and Law 5: 177–178, 1997.

The Peter E. Jackson Award for ICAIL Best Innovative Application Paper honors the memory of Peter Jackson, the Chief Research Scientist, Vice President of Technology, and Head of Corporate Research & Development at Thomson Reuters. During his distinguished career until his death at age 62, Peter authored three textbooks in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing and dozens of peer-reviewed papers for journals and conferences, and was awarded four patents for his innovative applications of technology. He was born in Barbados in 1949 to British parents who eventually returned to England. Peter earned his B.Sc. in Human Psychology from Aston University in Birmingham and worked in the field of Social Work for several years before returning to university. He continued his studies in Artificial Intelligence and received his Ph.D. in AI from the University of Leeds. He then joined the Department of Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University, earning tenure there in 1987 and publishing Introduction to Expert Systems, a textbook that has gone through three editions and has been translated into seven languages.

In 1988, he moved to the U.S. and became principal scientist at McDonnell Douglass Research Laboratories, and in 1989 published a book of papers with MIT Press entitled Logic-Based Knowledge Representation. During this period he also taught courses at Washington University of in Saint Louis, Clarkson University in New York and Singapore Polytechnic.

In 1995, he joined Thomson Corporation, rising to become Chief Scientist and Vice President of R&D at Thomson Reuters in the ensuing years. He led a group of 40 researchers who work with business units that included legal; tax and accounting; finance and risk; science and intellectual property; and news. His group performed essential research and delivered custom information solutions. At the same time, he continued to author publications related to his personal and group research. He was proud of his 2003 Artificial Intelligence journal paper entitled “Information Extraction from Case Law and Retrieval of Prior Cases.” His final book, Natural Language Processing for Online Applications, came out in its second edition in 2007.

Peter’s legacy at Thomson Reuters and in the AI and Law community at large is substantial and enduring. He oversaw advanced technologies, such as the CaRE classification engine, the Concord record matching engine and the Results Plus recommendation application, which enabled Thomson Reuters to launch radical and successful new product platforms such as WestlawNext and PeopleMap. He was also integral to the development of the innovative Reuters Insider network.

 As his career advanced, Peter increasingly came to articulate that the most effective solutions to address customer needs were achieved only through the harmonious integration of human expertise and artificial intelligence.

Peter represented Thomson Reuters with his distinct personality and great professionalism in the wider world of conferences, most notably ICAIL, and academic and professional associations. He was a great ambassador for Thomson Reuters, especially in his various university liaison roles, pursuing joint research projects with institutions the caliber of MIT, NYU and CMU. Of all the communities that Peter was a part of, he used to say that the AI and Law community best represented the marriage of his industrial and academic R&D pursuits, and it was a community in which he felt very much at home.

For his avocation, Peter pursued jazz. He was an accomplished musician who loved to perform with a number of his colleagues in a band know as the ‘Jazzkickers.’ They performed for audiences large and small, and Peter was the band’s distinguished jazz guitarist.

Adapted from James Powell, Thomson Reuters CTO, “A Tribute to Peter E. Jackson, 1949–2011,” The Knowledge Effect - Thomson Reuters Blog
(, 5 August 2011.

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