Did you know law and genetics are more similar than you think? A biological genome is a complete set of genes in an organism, with start codons indicating key points in the DNA sequence. Similarly, common law is a genome made up of it own genes: clearly defined legal principles. When drafting written opinions, judges frequently preface these common law genes with specific phrases—most frequently, “It is well settled that…” and “It is well established that…” Using computers to search and isolate these legal start codons makes researching the vast body of common law faster and easier. Try it yourself: a searchable database in several areas of law, such as patents, criminal law, and torts, is available at www.wellsettled.com.

Project leaders: Pablo Arredondo and Mark Bowman

The descriptions of current and past projects of CodeX non-residential fellows are provided to illustrate the kind of work our non-residential fellows are carrying out. These projects are listed here for informational purposes only and are not endorsed by CodeX, Stanford Law School, or Stanford University.