Charter for Legal Transcripts Technical Committee in the LegalXML
Member Section of OASIS
Legal transcripts are documents that are created in courthouses,
hearing rooms and private depositions. Their primary purpose is to be
a verbatim record of the dialogue that took place. They are used to
review testimony and decisions, and as an historical archive of the
events that occurred. A transcript is usually recorded by a single
reporter, but may be also be the work of two or more reporters. There
are two separate transcript standards that will be created:
Static or completed transcript standard
Realtime or streamed transcript standard
Current best practice includes the addition of non-dialogue
information by the reporter, to make the transcript easier to read.
The non-dialogue information includes indexes of witnesses and
exhibits, as well as headings and asides within the transcript itself
to reflect major sections, examinations by different attorneys, and
non-spoken courtroom or deposition activity. Typically, each
transcript reflects the content of a single session on a single day,
although some transcripts may extend across days.
(i) Name of Technical Committee
OASIS LegalXML Legal Transcripts Technical Committee within the
LegalXML Member Section.
The Technical Committee plans to constitute the following
subcommittees, and such additional subcommittees as shall appear
necessary and appropriate to carrying out the Technical Committee's
Static or completed transcript standard Subcommittee
Realtime or streamed transcript standard Subcommittee
(ii) Purpose of Technical Committee
The purpose of is to develop:
an XML compliant syntax for representing legal transcript documents
either as stand-alone structured content, or as part of other legal
an XML compliant syntax for representing realtime streamed legal
Such transcripts will be able to provide access to the verbatim
record, and any meta-information that is important within the context
of that transcript. The core scope of this activity will be in
specifying the necessary data model of legal transcripts and realtime
streamed transcripts and the syntax of their representation in XML.
The core activities are:
Defining a data model that describes current transcript formats for
both static and realtime.
Using the transcript data model to design the Proposed
Recommendation of the LegalXML-Transcript standard.
Documenting the working group's position on citation to transcripts
with a LegalXML note.
Define the charter for subsequent work once (1-3) have been
The Working Group must meet the following requirements:
1. Coordinate with other LegalXML recommendations, in particular in
the area of Horizontal tags, Citation and Signatures. (See
2. After being advanced to Proposed Recommendation, implement the
mandatory portions of the specification in at least two independent
The following requirements must be met by the LegalXML-Transcript
standard the Working Group develops:
Specify a minimum set of tags that all LegalXML -Static and
realtime Transcript documents must contain.
Permit the accurate and unambiguous capture of the spoken dialogue
Ensure that the chronological order of the content within the
transcript is explicitly preserved.
Contain a useful and extensible base set of tags for representation
of non-dialogue transcript information.
Handle all legal transcripts, regardless of transcription method.
Ensure that transcripts both with and without non-dialogue
information can be easily represented.
Support unambiguous paper or electronic citation to both locations
and ranges within transcripts.
Where electronic citation is not possible, ensure that excerpts of
transcripts can be easily represented within other documents.
Support time stamping of the content.
Support simultaneous page/line and structure-based organization of
Support the use of the signature standard adopted by LegalXML to
represent certification of the transcript.
Use Horizontal working group tags where appropriate.
Permit external entities such as exhibits to be referred to within
Make use of W3C standards where appropriate.
Support non-English languages.
Define a sufficient representation of the certified transcript,
through a stylesheet or some other appropriate mechanism.
The working group will not directly address the following issues:
Untranslated transcripts (stenographic notes)
Versioning of transcripts, including judicial interference in the
A mandate for electronic or digital signing of the transcript.
Requirements for on-screen or printed transcript presentation,
except insofar as existing page/line and header/footer representation
will be permitted.
Workflow before, during or after a transcribed session
(iii) List of deliverables
The Legal Transcripts Technical Committee plans to complete the following tasks during its first year of operation:
This working group will deliver the following:
LegalXML Working Draft identifying the requirements and data-model
of legal transcripts being considered by the working group.
LegalXML Proposed Standard for the representation of transcript in
LegalXML Unofficial Note documenting a set of test cases for
Once accepted by the appropriate LegalXML/OASIS committee, the
Recommended Standard for LegalXML Transcript.
Duration and Milestones
The following key milestones were achieved by the former LegalXML work
group. This work will be the basis of the list milestones for both
Static and Realtime work. The aid clarity the Static and Realtime
milestones are listed separately:
Jan 00 First Requirements Draft
Feb 00 Last Call for Data Model; becomes a Note
Feb 00 First Static Syntax Working Draft
May 00 Second Static Syntax Working Draft
Static Transcript milestones:
Static Sample Transcripts available on WG Web site
Working Draft of Static Transcript standard
Interoperability Test Cases and Results document Finalized
Last Call for Static Syntax Working Draft
Interoperability Test Cases and Results for Static Standard
Last Call for Proposed Static Standard; submitted to Legal XML
Realtime Transcript milestones:
Realtime Data Model Finalized; becomes a Note
First Realtime Syntax Working Draft
First Realtime Syntax Working Draft
Meeting to discuss Realtime Syntax Working Draft (TBD)
Last Call for Proposed Realtime Standard; submitted to Legal XML
Realtime Data Model (Requirements) First Draft
Post the Legal Transcripts 1.0 on the Technical Committee site for
general information and comment.
(iv) Language in which the Technical Committee will conduct business