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Subject: RE: [courtfiling-doc] Breaking Court Document out of Court Filing

The discussion in Atlanta focused on several matters 


-         One, should Court Document be incorporated into Court Filing
Blue?  Those who expressed views thought not.  The two specifications
should remain separate, although they would both evolve in the same
general directions for the Blue generation of TC specifications.

-         Two, what changes need to be made to Court Document as the
subcommittee develops a schema-based specification?  Among the issues
discussed was a revisiting of a basic issue that the TC had grappled
with in the past - how can we guarantee to lawyers and to courts that
XML documents will retain their content and formatting when displayed on
different browsers and applications within law offices and courts?  Our
previous discussions all concluded that use of the same style sheet
would obtain this result.  All we needed to do was have the lawyer
include the style sheet with the XML instance, and "sign" both, and we
could guarantee the integrity of the content within the document and the
format in which it appeared.  The discussion in Atlanta reached the
opposite factual conclusion - at the current level of development of
XML, we cannot be assured of the integrity of the content or the format
when documents are displayed using different browsers and different
applications.  TC members in Atlanta stated, without contradiction, that
if a document created with Court Document 1.1 is displayed with a
different browser than the one used to create it, it may show different
content and different formatting.  The likelihood of those changes is
not predictable.  It is also impossible to require all participants to
use the same browser and application to avoid this result.  It was also
pointed out that the same is true to a far lesser extent for pdf -
specifically -- that special characters can display differently in a pdf
than in the document from which it was created, such as a special symbol
used as a bullet displaying as a character instead.  Pdf, however, has
proved to be sufficiently representative to have earned the confidence
of lawyers and courts.  This discussion suggested to some of those
present that Court Document 1.1, and any future Court Document
specifications, will - at the current state of XML technology - be
useful primarily for form-based documents (in which only the data is of
great consequence) and not for "free text" documents.  We all agreed
that we need to do more testing of Court Document in different
configurations to determine how reliable it will be in practice.

-         There was no intimation that the full Technical Committee was
uninterested in or unwilling to continue to work on these issues with
the Court Document subcommittee in the future.  In fact, this was one of
the very best and most thorough explorations of the issues associated
with Court Document that I have observed in the long history of the TC.
Dallas Powell, Shane Durham and Dr. Leff made extremely valuable
contributions to the discussion of the issues that Rolly raised on
behalf of the subcommittee.


The discussion of a separate TC for court document took place on the
conference call following the Atlanta meeting, not at the Atlanta
meeting.  It was initiated by Diane Lewis, arising from her analysis of
the charters of all of the Legal XML Member Section Technical Committees
for the Member Section Steering Committee.


I disagree with Jim Keane's suggestion that persons interested in a
separate Legal Documents Technical Committee should make a proposal to
OASIS to create one.  Given the importance of this issue to the Legal
XML Member Section, I believe that the matter should be studied by our
new Steering Committee and that all members of the Member Section should
abide that the Steering Committee's decision of the issue.  The
discussion has raised a number of valid points pro and con and we should
rely on the governance mechanism we have created to resolve them.



John M. Greacen

Greacen Associates, LLC

HCR 78, Box 23

Regina, New Mexico 87046


505-780-1450 (cell)


-----Original Message-----
From: Krause, Catherine [mailto:Catherine.Krause@METROKC.GOV] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 9:46 AM
To: courtfiling-doc@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [courtfiling-doc] Breaking Court Document out of Court



Your idea sounds reasonable. 

I also was not in Atlanta, and now re-reading the minutes (which I had
skimmed previously), I understand more about why this topic came up -- I
apologize for not doing so earlier.  The minutes seem to indicate that
there was a discussion about whether the Court Document standard should
be merged into the Court Filing standard, rather than have two separate
standards, and that the topic was to be discussed further at the next
face-to-face in July.  The minutes do not mention the discussion about
Court Document separating from Court Filing and going "on their own" as
you describe below.

It might be helpful for those of us who were not in Atlanta if someone
who was in Atlanta could clarify, or at least confirm that John's
summary below was also part of the conversation.


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


-----Original Message----- 
From: jmessing [mailto:jmessing@law-on-line.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 8:13 AM 
To: courtfiling-doc@lists.oasis-open.org 
Subject: [courtfiling-doc] 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

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

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


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

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
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

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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