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Subject: Breaking Court Document out of Court Filing

I understand and appreciate the concern about retaining control within the CourtFiling TC over the standards that relate strictly to court documents.

However, there may be two levels here. 

First, presenting a legal document in a format and manner that retains the "look and feel" of paper. 

As I understand the discussions at Atlanta, most participants felt that PDF did a better job than XML at this stage of performing this first task and that continued efforts towards a CourtDocument schema within the CourtFiling TC were going to be deprecated in favor of using PDF. The consensus as explained to me was that the participants in a CourtDocument standard could proceed as a subcommittee on their own, but without support from the CourtFiling TC itself. As I was not present, please correct me if I have mispoken.

But I digress.

At a second level, there is a need to support the "hooks" for applications to make use of the data in the XML documents. These are fairly rudimentary and poorly understood at this stage in the evolution of CourtDocument, IMO.

We are learning from the eContracts TC some of the latter techniques, as like CourtDocument, eContracts require a familiar "look and feel" as well as application "hooks." They are different than those for CourtDocument, but related.

This leads me to the conclusion that what is needed is a LegalDocument TC, where the similarities and differences between the various "flavors" of documents can be normalized, using techniques of a "core" schema, inheritance of the "core" elements and attributes, extensions to the various domains: CourtDocument, eContracts, etc. as well as the types of hooks that are needed for specific applications in the various domains. I would add to this a universal citation standard, which the ABA has requested and authorized, and which does not strictly speaking fall within CourtFiling.

I would therefore like to see CourtDocument itself remain where it is, within the CourtFiling TC, and a new LegalDocument TC created, where the development of these techniques across the board (our original "horizontal" concept from the early days of LegalXML) can be developed. Then with a liasion from CourtFiling, the learning of this new TC, as appropriate, can be ported to CourtDocument, under the control of CourtFiling.

I would be interested in hearing from others about this idea.


If a proposal is made to revise the Court Filing TC charter to separate Court Document out and make it a separate TC, I suggest that rather than Court Filing TC members justifying the current charter where Court Document is part of it, the opposite needs to occur -- those proposing to separate Court Document from Court Filing need to make the case for doing so.

I do agree with Diane's statement that "close identification" between the groups has not been observed.  However, I view this as an issue to be addressed within the TC, not a reason to separate Court Document from Court Filing.  From my point of view as to what is needed for our electronic filing project (which I believe will also be needed for others), we need both a Court Filing standard and a Court Document standard, or possibly one standard that covers both.  The Court Document standard needs to include all the data tags that we need in order to process e-filed documents; in other words, it needs to include tags for all of the data that our staff currently keys into various CMS/DMS systems -- this is at a more detailed level than those included in the ECF 1.1 standard, which might be enough to get a document into the case file, but does not include tags for all of the additional data that we enter in various systems for various document types.  Until that level of detailed data tags are included, we will not be able to reach the ultimate goal of fully automating the processing of electronically filed documents, at least not in a large court of general jurisdiction like ours where we have multiple systems where data is entered today, and new ones being developed all the time.  It will take time to identify all of the needed tags, but I think we can get there.  The current Court Document standard is a good starting point that can be built upon for specific document types.

My view of the purpose of the Court Document standard is that it is to tag the data used by the clerk and/or court, the data that is of use to practitioners for their own purposes, as well as for other purposes such as electronic service, etc.  I do not feel that those members of the TC interested in Court Document should need to participate in a separate TC to ensure that the Court Document standard meets our needs; the additional time to attend meetings of multiple TCs is something that would be very difficult for many of us to do.  At this point, I strongly oppose separating Court Document out of the Court Filing TC.  My primary concern is that there would be even less identification with the Court Filing TC as a whole than there has been in the past.  Unless someone makes a strong case for doing so, I would be voting that I cannot live with a proposal to separate Court Document from Court Filing.


Catherine Krause 
E-Filing Project Manager 
King County Department of Judicial Administration 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Diane.Lewis@usdoj.gov [mailto:Diane.Lewis@usdoj.gov] 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 8:53 AM 
To: 'courtfiling-doc@lists.oasis-open.org'; 'Roger.Winters@METROKC.GOV' 
Subject: RE: [courtfiling-doc] Breaking Court Document out of Court Filing 

thanks Roger for quick response, 

i would suggest that the Court Filing stakeholders who have an interest in XML court document standard consider joining a separate Court Document TC .... 

i have not seen demonstrated at the Court Filing meetings the "close identification" between the two at the meetings i have attended.....  the last set of meeting notes to my mind indicate the opposite... that the court filing envelope /transmission capability takes any BLOB... not exclusively a document that authored/created based on XML technologies/standards.

i would welcome a list of reasons from you and/or other ECF stakeholders as to why the document/filing components should remain in tandum.... 


-----Original Message----- 
From: Roger.Winters@METROKC.GOV [mailto:Roger.Winters@METROKC.GOV] 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 11:40 AM 
To: courtfiling-doc@lists.oasis-open.org 
Subject: RE: [courtfiling-doc] Breaking Court Document out of Court Filing 
Importance: Low 


I will, of course, represent the ECF TC to the Steering Committee by conveying its requests, recommendations, etc., there. There are, by the way, specific OASIS procedures relating to the formation of Technical Committees, etc. Whatever decisions are reached would be implemented within those procedures. 

Now, writing as an individual member of the ECF TC, I think this is the first time I've heard a proposal to move the Court Document committee toward being its own TC. I would think that Court Document needs to become more closely identified with Court Filing, where many of its stakeholders are involved.

Roger Winters 
Electronic Court Records Manager 
King County 
Department of Judicial Administration 
516 Third Avenue, E-609 MS: KCC-JA-0609 
Seattle, Washington 98104 
V: (206) 296-7838 F: (206) 296-0906 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Diane.Lewis@usdoj.gov [mailto:Diane.Lewis@usdoj.gov] 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 8:08 AM 
To: courtfiling-doc@lists.oasis-open.org 
Subject: [courtfiling-doc] Breaking Court Document out of Court Filing 

 i am addressing this message through the court document filing SC...instead of directly to you.... so others can provide their thoughts.

I would like to request that you along with elected members to the LegalXML member Section board... consider a realignment of Court Document ... instead of being designated as a subcommittee under Court Filing.  I propose that

the community consider it a separate TC....   the charter for the 
subcommittee can be rewritten to justify the need to place a definite boundary between court filing and court document. 

i look forward to learning your detailed views on this proposal as well as learning the views of other court document SC members.

thanks for considering this idea.... diane 

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