Call for Participation: #LegalXML Litigant Portal (LP) Technical Committee

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Litigant Portal (LP) Technical Committee (TC) has been proposed by the members of OASIS listed in the charter below. The TC name, statement of purpose, scope, list of deliverables, audience, IPR mode and language specified in this proposal will constitute the TC's official charter. Submissions of technology for consideration by the TC, and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

The eligibility requirements for becoming a participant in the TC at the first meeting are:

(a) you must be an employee or designee of an OASIS member organization or an individual member of OASIS, and

(b) you must join the Technical Committee, which members may do by using the Roster "join group: link on the TC's web page at [a].

To be considered a voting member at the first meeting:

(a) you must join the Technical Committee at least 7 days prior to the first meeting (on or before 25 April 2017); and

(b) you must attend the first meeting of the TC, at the time and date fixed below (02 May 2017).

Participants also may join the TC at a later time. OASIS and the TC welcomes all interested parties.

Non-OASIS members who wish to participate may contact us about joining OASIS [b]. In addition, the public may access the information resources maintained for each TC: a mail list archive, document repository and public comments facility, which will be linked from the TC's public home page at [c].

Please feel free to forward this announcement to any other appropriate lists. OASIS is an open standards organization; we encourage your participation.

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[a] https://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/lp/

[b] See http://www.oasis-open.org/join/

[c] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/lp/

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CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee Charter

Section 1: TC Charter

(1)(a) TC Name

OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC)

(1)(b) Statement of Purpose

Many groups have devoted significant time and effort toward providing assistance of various kinds to litigants without representation. Numerous studies find a sizable unmet civil legal need. Organization-specific websites and portals publish a vast amount of information intended to help potential litigants overcome the barriers of cost and complexity. Yet, the need continues to outweigh the solutions by a significant margin.[1] Strategies to address this gap include, among many technology opportunities, development of statewide legal portals (often referred to as “litigant portals”).

The purpose of the LP TC is to develop technical standards for the interfaces of litigant portal modules. It is unlikely that most organizations will be able to build a complete portal, so it is very important that modules created by different sources be able to interoperate. That approach potentially solves both scaling, flexibility and cost issues associated with full-scale portals. Litigant portals themselves offer an integrated solution to several core “access to justice” problems.

[1] “Building a Litigant Portal: Business and Technical Requirements,“ Tom Clarke, National Center for State Courts, November 2015, http://ncsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/accessfair/id/375.

(1)(c) Scope

The LP TC will produce specifications for data interoperation between Litigant Portal Modules as defined in the aforementioned “Building A Litigant Portal Business and Technical Requirements” report.[1] Such standards would support development and operation of a litigant portal by:

- defining structured interactions between modules in the portal,
- facilitate navigation between modules in the portal, and
- define interfaces with external partners and resources.

These specifications will collectively be referred to as the Litigant Portal Exchange (LPX) Specifications.

The LP TC may also produce non-normative content such as tutorials, usage guides, quick start guides and other documents that will assist the broader community in adopting the specifications.

The LP TC may establish liaisons with relevant organizations and committees in order to pursue alignment, interoperation with, and adoption of standards produced by the LP TC. The LPX Specifications shall align, interoperate with, and reuse components from the NIEM [2], the Open Referral Initiative [3], OASIS and other standards, as the LP TC deems appropriate.

[2] National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), https://www.niem.gov.
[3] Open Referral Initiative, https://openreferral.org.

Out of Scope

Functional standards for the portal modules themselves are out of scope. Most of the supporting data standards are also out of scope, since the project will broadly reuse appropriate existing data standards.

Maintenance Mode

Once the LP TC has completed work on a specific deliverable (whether “complete” means it has become an OASIS Standard, or simply a Committee Specification is left to the TC’s discretion), the TC will provide maintenance for that deliverable. The purpose of maintenance is to provide minor revisions to previously adopted deliverables to clarify ambiguities, inconsistencies, and obvious errors. Maintenance is not intended to enhance a deliverable or to extend its functionality. In addition to maintenance, the TC may choose to create new versions of specifications that support additional capabilities.

(1)(d) Deliverables

The LP TC plans to produce specifications for LPX version 1.0 within 12 months of its first meeting. Other contributions to the LP TC will also be considered for incorporation into the specification based on their merits.

The LP TC will accept as additional input issues and recommended changes from TC Members and others. Contributions will be accepted for consideration without any prejudice or restrictions and evaluated based on technical merit in so far as they conform to this charter.

The work product will consist of specifications for information exchange using XML.

Follow-on versions of the specification may be developed to address additional in-scope capabilities identified by the TC on a schedule to be defined by the TC.

The TC may produce such other non-standards track deliverables within the scope outlined above, such as tutorials or white papers to support the specification.

(1)(e) IPR Mode

The TC will operate under the “Non-Assertion” IPR mode as defined in the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy (https://www.oasis-open.org/policies-guidelines/ipr).

(1)(f) Audience

All stakeholders involved in providing services to self-represented litigants (or potential litigants) are encouraged to participate in the LP TC:

- Courts
- State Bar associations
- Providers of legal services
- Providers of dispute resolution services
- Providers of self-help services
- Organizations responsible for creating and/or supporting portals that provide access to self-help services

(1)(g) Language

The LP TC will use United States (U.S.) English as the language for conducting its operations.

Section 2: Additional Information

(2)(a) Identification of Similar Work

While there have been one-off custom implementations of legal portals, proposers have not identified similar work with goals of establishing standards for such portals. There are, however, a couple of relatively new projects underway that could result in similar work, but would ideally leverage work of the LP TC for integration/interactions with legal resources.

- LSC “legal portals” pilot program (partnered with Microsoft and ProBono.net), http://www.lsc.gov/media-center/press-releases/2016/legal-services-corpo...

- IAALS Family Law Portal Project, http://iaals.du.edu/honoring-families/projects/ensuring-access-family-ju...

These projects will also contribute to effort of the LP TC – see Anticipated Contributions section below.

Further, conformance with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), https://reference.niem.gov/, is relevant and important to any justice related information sharing initiative. The LP TC anticipates its specifications will conform to the NIEM for data exchanges and use of data elements identified within the justice domain of NIEM.

(2)(b) First TC Meeting

The first LP TC Meeting will be an online meeting hosted by the NCSC on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 1:30pm EDT.

(2)(c) Ongoing Meeting Schedule

Online meetings will be held once every month. Face-to-Face meetings will be held approximately every six months. Sponsorship for meetings will rotate among the TC members.

(2)(d) TC Proposers

1) Thomas Clarke, National Center for State Courts (NCSC), tclarke@ncsc.org

2) James Harris, National Center for State Courts (NCSC), jharris@ncsc.org

3) John Greacen, Greacen Associates, LLC, greacenjmg@earthlink.net

4) Riyaz Samnani, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), riyaz.samnani@du.edu

5) Snorri Ogata, Los Angeles County Superior Court, sogata@lacourt.org

6) Romulo Reyes, Los Angeles County Superior Court, rreyes@lacourt.org

7) Ron Beach, Journal Technologies, rbeach@journaltech.com

8) Danny Hemnani, Journal Technologies, dhemnani@journaltech.com

9) Brian Schmidt, Journal Technologies, bschmidt@journaltech.com

10) John Chatz, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, john.chatz@hpe.com

(2)(e) Primary Representatives' Support

I, James Harris, jharris@ncsc.org, as the National Center for State Courts’ Primary Representative to OASIS, confirm our support for the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC) charter and the participation of our co-proposers named above.

I, Snorri Ogata, sogata@lacourt.org, as the Los Angeles County Superior Court Primary Representative to OASIS, confirm our support for the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC) charter and the participation of our co-proposers named above.

I, Ron Beach, rbeach@journaltech.com, as Journal Technologies’ Primary Representative to OASIS, confirm our support for the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC) charter and the participation of our co-proposers named above.

I, Steve Wierenga, steve.wierenga@hpe.com, as Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Primary Representative to OASIS, confirm our support for the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC) charter and the participation of our co-proposer named above.

I, Rebecca Kourlis, rebecca.kourlis@du.edu, as the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System’s Primary Representative to OASIS, confirm our support for the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC) charter and the participation of our co-proposer named above.

(2)(f) TC Convener

Thomas Clarke, National Center for State Courts, www.ncsc.org, tclarke@ncsc.org

(2)(g) OASIS Member Section

The Litigant Portal Technical Committee intends to request affiliation with the OASIS LegalXML Member Section (http://www.legalxml.org/).

(2)(h) Anticipated Contributions

- Building a Litigant Portal, Business and Technical Requirements, http://ncsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/accessfair/id/375, by Tom Clarke, National Center for State Courts

- Open Referral Initiative, https://openreferral.org/about/technology-overview/ (the Open Referral Model for data elements used for referrals and service provider descriptions)

- LSC “legal portals” pilot program (partnered with Microsoft and ProBono.net), http://www.lsc.gov/media-center/press-releases/2016/legal-services-corpo...

(2)(i) FAQ Document

None

(2)(j) Work Product Titles and Acronyms

The primary work product title is “OASIS Litigant Portal Exchange Specifications.”

The LP TC’s work product will be referred to as the LPX specifications.

Associated TC: 
Litigant Portal (LP)
Associated MS: 
LegalXML