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Subject: [legalxml-comment] RE: [legalxml-odr-discuss] odrXML - Starting Point?

Rolly Chambers (who is now co-chairing the eFiling committee of the ABA Science & Technology Section with fellow LegalXML stalwart, John Messing) asked if anyone was familiar enough the  OdrXML draft standard 1.0 to determine if that work was a good starting place for this proposed OdrXML Technical Committee.
I'm cross posting this response to the general list as we all need to become aware of this important effort in Europe. We also need to look at the methodology and work product of some XML devotees who have been working in parallel with us but without any apparent cross-overs. 
After studying their data model and scheme, let me offer some observations from my notes - which are a work in progress.   I'm am in no way making judgments about the extensive and thoughtful work already done by the Joint Research Centre Online Dispute Resolution Workgroup "in Association with the European Commission." Indeed, it's very impressive and state of the art.  It is very different, however, from the path that Legal XML and particularly the CourtFiling TC with its equally impressive work on its DTD's and policies to date as well as its plans to migrate to a schema in release 2.0. 
Our Integrated Justice Technical Committee has taken a more parallel tack to OdrXML, in that the folks at SEARCH and at Georgia Tech Research Institute are developing a data model, data dictionary and a schema in parallel with work on specific document types such as arrest reports, warrants, charging documents and sentence/disposition documents through the life cycle of a criminal matter.  
Please take my preliminary comments then as comparative observations and questions on how we can harmonize this very important work out of Europe with the efforts of Legal XML / OASIS and LEXML for global standards. 
JK Notes on OdrXML V.1.0 --  2002.08.27
1. OdrXML 1.0 uses a Schema rather than a Document Type Definition.  They have included very helpful relationship diagrams in their documentation, although the link to the demonstration did not work when I checked it last. This whole approach is a step ahead of some of the work in progress by the Court Filing TC which is planning to move to a schema. It parallels the Integrated Justice TC's current work on a Data Model.

2. We all need to look carefully at the OdrXML data model to consider using this approach aour development framework.  Several IT folks in the various Legal XML workgroups have strongly advocated this approach rather than just building stand-alone DTD's and Schema for individual documents and waiting for a horizontal workgroup to reconcile differences.  
3. The OdrXML data model is case-centric. It describes a case rather than a document (a related attribute of a document in the model) -- or a court-filing envelope.  This is a different approach than we have used, but we need some reactions from  from the data modeling experts at Georgia Tech Research Institute and others to assess the OdrXML model and how we can merge, converge, build on their work or unravel some of the choices each of us have made in taking divergent paths towards the similar goals.
4. The ODR XML data model and schema includes an interesting transmission element. A document can include: "xsd:element name='transmissionMedia" type="TransmissionMediaEnum" with a list of MIME types to distinguish between image formats, document formats, clear text etc".
The Legal XML Court Filing Group has had a robust debate on keeping a clear separation between the transmission envelope and the underlying document.  The ODR XML model needs clarification to determine if considers making transmission an underlying component in a Case or document [or a separate envelope which could transmit a bundle of documents and exhibits.]  The semantics on this point get even more interesting with their definition of a "case" as "the overall envelope for all information in a dispute."  Given the meaning of the "envelope" concept in Court Filing, we need to find a mutually agreeable alternative term such as a "container." More importantly we need to compare and reconcile our data models.

5. The primary players or actors in the OdrXML data model are Parties (Claimant, Respondent), Moderator (Case Officer, Mediator, Arbitrator) and Specialist (Witness, Translator, Expert).  Based on some recent work in developing a virtual dispute resolution platform with VirtualCourthouse, we used a more encompassing term "Neutral, which was strongly suggested by a number of US ADR providers.
Our development team also made further distinctions between types of Cases. We added "Neutral Case Evaluation" and "Settlement Conference," for example.  The concept of a facilitated settlement conference with the neutral being more proactive than a mediator becomes quite pointed when we realized that a judges in Chambers acts as neutral too In addition, at least in the US, many courts have mandatory ADR with a judge or court clerk who refers cases, monitors them and may receive status reports.  Any overall model may need more players, actors or "Personas" the terms used in the OdrXML model. 
The OdrXML model is very understandably focused on European Community type eCommece disputes. As we delve deeper into this work,  we need to generalize the data model to be more inclusive of other types of disputes such as domestic relations, AAA, securities arbitration, etc.
 Looking at this whole data model afresh, makes me want to visit an even broader data model that follows commercial transactions through their full life cycle from bid, offer, contract, performance, dispute, litigation.  The Integrated Justice folks have addressed more document types in the life cycle of an incident, an arrest, a warrant, a charging document and sentence disposition.  The missing element that the OdrXML data model raises in a "case."  That gets us into law firm, agency and court Case Management Systems.
The great American Naturalist John Muir has observed:"Whenever I pick up a small piece of nature, I find it is connected to the rest of the universe."  The work on OdrXML reflects a part of the life cycle of legal matters. In part response to Rolly's question then, this is a good place to begin, particularly if we connect it "to the rest of the universe" and parallel work by other LegalXML TC's. 
My compliments to the Joint Research Center for their clarifying work.
And to all, please join the OdrXML TC or or other TC's so we can connect with the rest of the global XML community.
Jim Keane
LegalXML/Oasis Steering Committee 
<Litigation Systems>
North Potomac Maryland USA
301-948-4062 F: 301-947-9159

-----Original Message-----
From: Rolly Chambers [mailto:rlchambers@smithcurrie.com]
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 10:47 AM
To: legalxml-odr-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [legalxml-odr-discuss] odrXML - Starting Point?

From Karl Best's initial message creating this discussion list, I realize the scope is "to explore the formation of an Online Dispute Resolution Technical Committee" - something I'm in favor of and am willing to join in as a TC member.
I also understand from Karl's message that the idea is for an ODR TC (if formed) to "build from relevant work done previously by the Joint Research Centre Online Dispute Resolution Workgroup in association with the European Commission." An OdrXML draft standard ( Version 0.1 )  is available at http://econfidence.jrc.it/default/show.gx?Object.object_id=EC_FORUM000000000000118C. Additional and more general information about ODR is also available at  http://econfidence.jrc.it/default/show.gx?Object.object_id=EC_FORUM000000000000000D.
Is anyone familiar enough with the OdrXML draft standard 0.1 to have a view whether it would be an appropriate starting point for an ODR TC to build from? I've looked at the OdrXML 0.1 draft standard, but haven't studied it. I certainly don't have any opinion whether it would be a good starting point for an ODR TC. I'm interested to hear what views others may have.
Rolly Chambers

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