University of LaVerne Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 1 (2016), pp. 101-121
22 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2016 Last revised: 28 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 27, 2016
How should judges decide close cases? Specifically, what should a judge do when there is a gap or blind spot in our textual legal sources or when such sources contain conflicting rules or principles of interpretation? Building on our previous work and on the work of others, the author of this paper presents a simple probabilistic model of legal interpretation. Specifically, in place of a semantic or philosophical theory of interpretation, the author models the problem of interpretation probabilistically as a “best-choice secretary problem” in which a problem-solving judge strives to select the best interpretation of a given rule from a finite set of n possible interpretations of such rule.
Keywords: Legal Interpretation, Best-Choice Secretary Problem
JEL Classification: K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation