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Subject: Re: [legalxml-econtracts] contracts and TC administrivia

By private email I notified Dan of a room reservation for the TC meeting in the Argent Hotel (Science & Tech Law) for Saturday afternoon's meeting. You might want to put the room arrangement on the TC leadership's agenda discussion for this evening. I also suggest one of the leadership confirm with Shawn Kaminski at the earliest opportunity.

Here is the information. Best regards to all.

---------- Original Message ---------------------------------- 
From: "Kaminski, Shawn" <SKaminski@staff.abanet.org> 
Date:  Wed, 23 Jul 2003 11:02:39 -0500 

John - the E-Contracts TC - Legal XML meeting has been scheduled from 1 - 4 
p.m. on Saturday, August 9th in the Cornell Room (3rd floor) of the Argent 
Hotel.  Please let the OASIS folks know that we will bill them back for the 
speaker phone and line charges - I should have a quote on that next week. 

I have not ordered any sodas, just water.  If they want to add anything else 
to the room, let me know a.s.a.p. 

Also, OASIS will need to provide a sign for outside the room, if they want 


---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Daniel Greenwood" <dang@mit.edu>
Reply-To: <dang@mit.edu>
Date:  Wed, 23 Jul 2003 12:53:51 -0400

>Jason, thanks for that.  My benchmark contracts are (belatedly) on the
>way.  I'm just trying to secure permissions from the companies behind
>the contracts.  I'm nearly ready to simply use publicly available
>materials, if needed.
>Also - if any member of the TC has a comment or idea related to the
>workings of our group, I encourage you to e-mail it along today
>because we're having a TC Leadership chat this evening (among the
>chair, co-vice chairs and secretary).  At this meeting we'll go TC
>over progress to date, resource needs for the future, administrative
>planning and any other matters that seem ripe for discussion toward
>the end of maintaining progress toward quality specifications and
>other work products.
>So - ideas and input are welcome.  Bring it on!
> - Dan
>|  Daniel J. Greenwood, Esq.
>|  Director, E-Commerce Architecture Program
>|  MIT School of Architecture and Planning
>|  77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 7-231
>|  Cambridge, MA 02139
>|     http://ecitizen.mit.edu
>|     or http://www.civics.com
>|     dang@mit.edu
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jason Harrop [mailto:jharrop@speedlegal.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 9:59 AM
>To: legalxml-econtracts@lists.oasis-open.org
>Subject: Re: [legalxml-econtracts] Benchmark Contracts . . . Of
>Hi everyone
>I'm attaching a copy of Dan's original benchmark contracts proposal of
>17 April.
>IIRC, the TC subsequently adopted the idea that we all submit these.
>I'm writing to remind anyone who would like to submit a benchmark
>contract to please do so.  There are some in the document library
>already, but I suspect the collection is not complete.
>The benchmark contracts are important, since the clause model
>requirements say:
>"3. The clause model must be able to represent the 'benchmark'
>which are submitted by members of the TC and accepted by the TC as in
>Over the next few days I'd like to put together an HTML list of the
>benchmark contracts and who submitted them.
>Contracts can be submitted to the list, or better, put straight into
>document library.  Since we will probably be marking them up, a format
>such as HTML, text, RTF/DOC, is preferable over PDF.
>Daniel Greenwood wrote:
>> Dear Fellow eContracts TC Members:
>> I think we can all be pleased with the level of progress made so far
>> that which we are poised to make.  As our velocity toward solutions
>> picked up, I have come to appreciate the need for even more simple
>> methods of communicating and demonstrating our work to facilitate
>> collaboration, visual progress metrics and mutual understanding.  In
>> that spirit, I informally propose the following for consideration.
>> Unless people hate the idea and say so on the list, then I will
>> that we formally consider it as a work method at our next meeting.
>> I propose that each member of this TC submit one "key benchmark
>> contract" and as many additional example contracts as they wish.
>> purpose would be to have a consistent and "real world" canvas to
>> visually articulate our ideas upon.  The TC would use the key
>> contracts when explaining proposed ideas.  This would assure that
>> whatever ideas we are entertaining work for at least the contractual
>> domains of practice represented by members of our TC.  Which this
>may or
>> may not be a statistically significant cross section, I believe that
>> at least demonstrates workability in important economic sectors and
>> across knowledge domains.  It also assures that whatever we are
>> about works, at a minimum, for those of us who are donating the
>> equity" into the standards making process.  Finally, it gives us an
>> "apples to apples" method of debating any given proposal and the
>> relative merits and draw backs between competing proposals.
>> I propose that we first use this as a way to demonstrate the
>> (or competing options) prior to a vote on the clause issue (aka, the
>> main contract content question).  If there are two or more proposed
>> approaches, then as part of the discussion leading to a vote, TC
>> should be able to see exactly how each would be applied to the
>> contracts to inform their decisions and explicitly debate the
>> merits and problems of each approach.  If there is only one
>> then I still think even that should be put through the test of being
>> applied to the benchmark contracts so as to determine that it
>> works in practice" without obvious difficulty - at least in the
>> contractual domains represented by our varied participants.  If it
>> desired to decide "front matter" and "back matter" (e.g. contractual
>> recitals before the clauses, etc) as a second stage, then those
>> proposals would be demonstrated alone upon each benchmark contract
>> in addition to the other structural markup already by then decided.
>> After we have concluded the question of structure (which is itself
>> always revisitable until our final specification vote, depending on
>> other monsters we uncover as we go), then I propose that we express
>> "legal" markup (aka "semantic" markup) applied to the benchmark
>> contracts, as it is conceived and developed and debated and
>> voted upon.  This should be done directly on the content of the
>> contracts, and also (prior to any final decisions) applied
>> in addition to the structural markup and any other markup we have
>> Of course, every mention of an idea need not be rigorously applied
>> all or even one benchmark contract.  That would be too onerous and
>> chill innovation, I believe.  However, to fully understand a new
>idea or
>> proposal once it has been seriously put forward for consideration,
>> will be helpful to apply it to our exemplars.  Similarly, at key
>> decision points (e.g. when contemplating the relative
>merits/problems of
>> amendments to a proposal, when voting on final or competing
>> etc) I think we should go through this process.
>> Finally, I believe that this process will serve as a critical source
>> knowledge management for our group in three senses.  First, as
>> mentioned, it will provide a clear, consistent and familiar method
>> communicating and evolving and reaching consensus upon ideas
>> our process - this is efficient.  Second, it will give us a way to
>> visually articulate what we have done and what still remains to be
>> (we can "see" that "the structure is done, but semantics remain", or
>> that "the semantics of sequence and revenue recognition are done,
>> dispute resolution and risk allocation remain", etc).  Being able to
>> visually situate us within our worksphere should reduce the
>> and risk of tangents.  Third, it will serve as an excellent
>> of the discussions we had, the decision points we reached, the
>> options we considered (and may wish to conveniently revisit later)
>> the ideas we generated.  This is the essence of the digital archive
>> the foundation of a knowledge system.  Those implementing the
>> later, as well as those doing future evolution of the standard, will
>> benefit tremendously from a clear, longitudinally consistent
>> of our work.  It makes the impenetrable morass of plain text e-mails
>> echo-only conference calls (i.e.: the "minutes") renderable in
>> that downstream thinkers (including ourselves) can actually access
>> use.
>> Finally, I note that Rolly and others (Jim, etc) have already
>> instinctively done this by submitting contracts as exemplars.  This
>> great.  To make the most of it, I think it is best for each TC
>member to
>> pick his or her "key" contract and consistently use that through the
>> process.  Additional benchmarking contracts can and will be useful
>> to demonstrate an especially complex structural challenge that does
>> commonly appear in contracts but which we may wish to address via
>> final specification).  But to assure longitudinal consistency for
>> decision making and stationary goal posts, I believe it necessary to
>> assure at least one span of "key" metric contracts - hence the word
>> "benchmark".
>> Thanks for consideration of this idea.  In the future, when I have
>> thought ideas out better, I'll be able to communicate them is far
>> words ;-)
>> Best,
>>  - Daniel Greenwood, eContracts TC Chair, OASIS/LegalXML
>> ==============================================
>> |  Daniel J. Greenwood, Esq.
>> |  Director, E-Commerce Architecture Program
>> |  Massachusetts Institute of Technologu
>> |  Media Lab / School of Architecture and Planning
>> |  77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 7-231
>> |  Cambridge, MA 02139
>> |     http://ecitizen.mit.edu
>> |     or http://www.civics.com
>> |     dang@mit.edu <mailto:dang@mit.edu>
>> ==============================================
>Jason Harrop
>Mob +61 (0)402 02 66 34
>Tel +61 (0)3 9670 0141
>Fax +61 (0)3 9670 0142
>SmartPrecedent(R) software
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>You may leave a Technical Committee at any time by visiting http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/legalxml-econtracts/members/leave_workgroup.php

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