OASIS LegalXML Electronic Court Filing TC

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RE: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors

  • 1.  RE: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors

    Posted 10-18-2010 13:44


    My apologies to DocBook.  The desire was to see if there was another TC that had not published anything for a while and when I looked at the site the last thing I could see was obviously not correct.

    However, my point is I wonder if our spending is consistent with other TCs or not.  Do you have any comparison?


    From: Mary McRae [mailto:mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org]
    Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 12:16 PM
    To: Dallas Powell
    Cc: Chet Ensign; James E Cabral; Harris, Jim; ronb@email.utcourts.gov; Robin.Gibson@courts.mo.gov; robert.obrien@cas-satj.gc.ca; george@pcintellect.com; legalxml-courtfiling@lists.oasis-open.org
    Subject: Re: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors

    Pardon the interruption, I just don't want to see DocBook being misrepresented; the most recent release of DocBook is 5.0 which was approved as an OASIS Standard in November of 2009, and recently (August 2010) approved a DocBook for Publishers release.

    I have no insight into the Board's resolution; I just wanted to set the DocBook record straight.



    On Oct 15, 2010, at 1:45 PM, Dallas Powell wrote:

    I vaguely remember several years ago comments about how the OASIS Broad questioned the behavior of the LegalXML.  I don’t remember who said it, but part of the comment suggested that the LegalXML group does not act like other TCs.  This causes me to suspect there is more to this decision than simply an “on-going concern”.  


    For example, OASIS still shows DocBook TC as an active committee.  This standard was originally developed in the 1990’s which was prior to the name change from SGML-Open to OASIS and the last publication was 2005.  Did they get such a mandate?


    I would suggest that this mandate may have been partially motivated by how this committee spends money.  I doubt DocBook is spending money to promote that standard.


    If the LegalXML TC is the ugly duckling that behaves differently and we manage to accumulate money that is being spent without the actual development to the definition of the standard, I would suggest that this may be part of the problem.    I doubt the OASIS Board will cut LegalXML off as a TC because I see others that are idol but an “on-going concern”.   However if they are not spending money it may not matter and perhaps the Board is trying to figure out how spending should be allocated to the TCs and are not clearly stating the issue because they don’t have a good way to say it.


    I have been involved with the W3C, the European Commissioners OpenDoc committee, SGML-Open, and now with OASIS and I have never seen another standards body fund members to participate in or promote the standard as LegalXML does.  So I present to the TC a  suggestion to look at how LegalXML compares to other TCs in both behavior and spending as part of the TCs preparation to approach the Board.  Perhaps someone could simply ask the Board if they feel our behavior and spending is consistent with other committees and what has happened to those committees that need to be idol for a while so that the industry can react.




    From: Chet Ensign [mailto:chet.ensign@comcast.net] 
    Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 4:15 AM
    To: James E Cabral; Harris, Jim; ronb@email.utcourts.gov; Robin.Gibson@courts.mo.gov; robert.obrien@cas-satj.gc.ca;george@pcintellect.com
    Cc: legalxml-courtfiling@lists.oasis-open.org
    Subject: Re: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors


    I agree with the characterization as well. The way this was delivered also suggests a lack of communication within OASIS as well since no one on the staff came to the SC and told them that the board was unhappy with the level of activity in the member section. Your suggestions below shows that the TC is active. Is there any likelihood of new initiatives starting up? That would demonstrate that the MS has a larger mission that court filing alone. 


    On 10/14/10 11:32 PM, "James E Cabral" <jcabral@mtgmc.com> wrote:

    I agree with the disappointment in the lack of communication and the suggestions that have been given so far in how the ECF TC and LegalXML Steering Committee should respond.  I also have the following additions:
    1.       I think an explanation of why the ECF TC intentionally decided to focus on outreach over the last 2 years rather than development of new standards may be helpful to the Board.

    2.       I think we need face-to-face meetings of both the ECF TC and LegalXML Steering Committees before the end of the year if possible.  Meeting this year will allow both groups to plan and budget before the 2011 OASIS fiscal year begins.

    James E. Cabral Jr., Senior Manager
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    From: Harris, Jim [mailto:jharris@ncsc.org] 
    Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:46 PM
    To: ronb@email.utcourts.gov; Robin.Gibson@courts.mo.gov; robert.obrien@cas-satj.gc.ca; george@pcintellect.com; James E Cabral; chet.ensign@comcast.net
    Cc: legalxml-courtfiling@lists.oasis-open.org
    Subject: FW: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors

    I have no issue with the board’s desire to eliminate dormant TCs; and shaking the tree is fine.  But we had no idea the board was considering taking this action.  Whether the action was warranted or not, doing so without any previous communication that this action was being considered is not just an “unfortunate oversight” – it’s a serious and inexcusable lack of communication.
    That aside, I’d rather focus on what we need to do going forward (if anything).  Picking up on some of the discussion in Tuesday’s TC call (before anyone knew about the Board’s action), what if we convey to the Board some of the TC plans:
    ·         For the remainder of 2010, the ECF TC will continue TA and outreach activities to promote adoption of the ECF specifications for electronic court filing implementations,

    ·         In 2011, the ECF TC is planning a face-to-face meeting for work on updates to the specification (including minor corrections and updates based on feedback received from implementations; and maybe also mapping changes to utilize elements in the new family domain of NIEM 2.1).  TA and outreach activities will also continue throughout 2011.

    ·         Though precise timing is not yet determined, we are expecting NIEM 3.0 to be released in 18 to 24 months (probably sometime in 2012).  This new version of NIEM is expected to include significant changes that will require a major version release of ECF.

    Is this what we’d like to see coming out of TC efforts over the next couple of years?  And is this the kind of work that will provide the justification needed by the Board?

    From: O'Brien, Robert [mailto:Robert.OBrien@cas-satj.gc.ca] 
    Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 7:48 PM
    To: legalxml-courtfiling@lists.oasis-open.org
    Subject: RE: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors

    It doesn’t get any better: see attached

    From: chet.ensign@comcast.net [mailto:chet.ensign@comcast.net] 
    Sent: October 14, 2010 9:06 AM
    To: legalxml-courtfiling@lists.oasis-open.org
    Subject: [legalxml-courtfiling] Decision from the OASIS Board of Directors

    >> The fact that this was happening without the member section steering committee or the ECF TC not being aware is very disturbing.  There is obviously a serious lack of communication somewhere in the process. << 

    Jim, do you mean that this seems to have happened without any previous discussions with the SC? I agree that if this is the first anyone's heard of the board's unhappiness, that is an unfortunate oversight. 

    I can offer some perspective from my time on the Technical Architecture Board (TAB). The OASIS board has expressed two concerns consistently, through a variety of changes in membership and agendas: how can OASIS get more TC's going and how should OASIS handle TC's that exist on paper but are effectively moribund. 

    While I was on the TAB, the staff developed guidelines for the second issue that I believe have reduced the number of dormant TC's. I am sure the board is still vocal about the first issue (let's face - there will never be such a thing as too many TC's). 

    It's ironic that at the very moment when open government is becoming a much more public topic and where OASIS itself has at least one new TC starting up, the board is putting the LegalXML member section on the spot. (I realize of course that government and law are not the same thing - but you really can't have much of the former without the latter and if action around o-gov is heating up, it is reasonable to assume that there'll be some ripple effect in the e-law.) But perhaps that's the point. I can put myself in the board's shoes and see how they could be asking "Is anything really happening in LegalXML? With all this Law.gov stuff going on, why don't they have more activity in the works?" 

    George, you certainly make the case that we're no moribund. And, based again on my past experiences, I don't think the board is on the verge of doing anything draconian. My guess is that they just want to shake the tree a bit to get our attention and see if we can't get more TC's started up or reactivated, more PR about our activities, more organizations coming in as members, etc. 

    That's my take anyhow. I believe the board would be more than thrilled to have us spending money so long as OASIS has more activity to show for it. Perhaps it is time for some thoughts on recruiting new members and inviting in new initiatives. 

    Best regards, 


    Individual member