AI & Law: Dissenting Court Opinions Required For Robust Legal-Focused Generative AI

Lance Eliot
6 min readOct 9, 2023
Big oversight is failing to feed dissenting court opinions into legal-focused generative AI

by Dr. Lance B. Eliot

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Key briefing points about this article:

  • U.S. Supreme Court decisions catch our attention, both by lawyers and the public at large
  • For split decisions, the focus usually goes toward the majority opinion of the case
  • Nonetheless, the dissenting opinions are vitally worthwhile too
  • AI legal reasoning systems using generative AI are at times only being tuned to the majority opinions
  • A best practice ensures that AI machine learning training encompasses the dissenting arguments too

Introduction

Watchers of the U.S. Supreme Court are apt to devour any newly released legal ruling by the renowned body.

The ramifications of any such majestic proclamations by SCOTUS are bound to have resounding impacts on the legal world and the public at large. Media reports about Supreme Court decisions are usually preoccupied with the majority opinion (assuming that a split decision took place), and frequently overlook the dissenting viewpoint expressed by any opposing justices.

Unless you go out of your way to uncover the dissenting opinion, it becomes sadly neglected. Of course, if you have a particularly hefty reason to keenly delve into the ruling then you might also dissect the dissenting viewpoint.

Maybe.

It all depends on whether the contrarian rationale has something that might foretell future decisions or that could proffer a handy-dandy loophole in related but not identical cases. Otherwise, the majority opinion gets the vaunted spotlight as the presumed winner of the legal contest.

You might be somewhat surprised to know that the matter of majority versus dissenting opinions has been closely studied by legal scholars for many decades.

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Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.