Saurabh Chakravarty, Maanav Mehrotra, Edward Fox


Attorneys have interest in having a digital library with suitable services (e.g., summarizing, searching, and browsing) to help them work with large legal deposition corpora. Their needs often involve understanding the semantics of such documents. In the case of tort litigation associated with property and casualty insurance claims, such as relating to an injury, it is important to know not only about liability, but also about events, accidents, physical conditions, and treatments. We hypothesize that a legal deposition consists of various aspects that are discussed as part of the deponent testimony. Accordingly, we developed an ontology of aspects in a legal deposition for accident and injury cases. Using that, we have developed a classifier that can identify portions of text for each of the aspects of interest. Doing so was complicated by the peculiarities of this genre, e.g., that deposition transcripts generally consist of data in the form of question-answer (QA) pairs. Accordingly, our automated system starts with pre-processing, and then transforms the QA pairs into a canonical form made up of declarative sentences. Classifying the declarative sentences that are generated, according to the aspect, can then help with downstream tasks such as summarization, segmentation, question-answering, and information retrieval. Our methods have achieved a classification F1 score of 0.83. Having the aspects classified with good accuracy will help in choosing QA pairs that can be used as candidate summary sentences, and to generate an informative summary for legal professionals or insurance claim agents. Our methodology could be extended to legal depositions of other kinds, and to aid services like searching.

Saurabh Chakravarty, Satvik Chekuri, Maanav Mehrotra, Edward A. Fox: Aspect Classification for Legal Depositions. JSAI-isAI Workshops 2020: 179-195


Edward Fox

Publication Details

Date of publication:
June 29, 2021
JSAI International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence
Page number(s):