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Legal XML Australia Face-to-Face I

Meeting Minutes

Document Number
Current Version
1.0 (
Previous Version(s)
Workgroup Information
Workgroup Name: Legal XML Australia
Workgroup Chair(s): Sue Scott (, Allison Stanfield (
Workgroup Mailing List:
Workgroup Mailing List Archive:
Workgroup Website:
Document Author(s)
Sandra Potter (
Bruce Grant (
Document Editor(s)
Allison Stanfield (
Sue Scott (
Short Statement of Status

Sunday 8 October 2000: SOFITEL Hotel Melbourne - Westgate Tower Suite

  1. Allison Stanfield welcomed participants, noted the informal nature of the meeting, explained Legal XML and that the objective of the meeting was to lead to an action plan and a way forward.

  2. Legal XML is interested in promoting standards that have been developed. To see if the main standards fit into our environment. To promote and discuss these issues across all groups. Make sure it is usable, in a practical sense.

  3. Legal XML Australia's site is

  4. Introduction of co-Chair, Sue Scott

  5. The proposed Agenda was summarised.

  6. Sue Scott - aim is to meet members , identify areas of needs, strategy forward. Sheet was passed around - seeking information about those in this session and participants introduced themselves and their interest in the area.

    • Sue Scott, Director, Online Legal Access Project, also provides secretariat support to the Legal Information Standards Council. Has found there to be a lack of standards and that data does not have structure.

    • Allison Stanfield - outlined herself and her involvement with eLaw. Interested in the day-to-day application of e-data.

    • SpeedLegal team present was made up of Jason Harrop, Jamie Wodetzki and Justin Lipton. SpeedLegal is very interested in the contract space and XML standards for contract precedents. Further information to be given in their presentation later in the program.

    • Peter Egri consults to B2G/Auscript and has an interest (both academic and practical) in the areas of e-filing, e-transcripts, e-judgments and fitting every thing together using legal XML as a knowledge management tool and data mining tool. He also voiced an interest in standards in communication.

    • Terrie Bousquin from New Mexico courts has a strong interest in most listed items but in particular developing court standards. This topic is covered by Terrie in her presentation later on.

    • Jo Sherman from LawNow introduced herself and staff present being Giles Nunis and Tony Sutherland, both of the Courts division. LawNow has an interest in Court automation space, e-filing, searching, case management practice solutions - XML is used in their development and LawNow is keen to be in any debate concerning its application.

    • Michelle Mahoney from Mallesons Stephens Jaques is the Director of the Legal Technology Group and is interested in how they get the most out of what their lawyers are doing re: contract, transcripts, e-filing etc. MSJ is currently using XML standards in their internal precedents and want to look at how these standards might integrate and the internal and external communication issues.

    • Justine Norton from Butterworths has limited knowledge of legal XML and thus her primary aim is finding out more about Legal XML and then communication of the information. Her particular focus is on the areas of publication, judgements, legislation and citations.

    • Richard Antill of Ringtail Solutions has an interest in integration, e-filing and data mining all which affect the software development components of the business. Richard said that XML was a nice place to start and finish.

    • Matthew Eaton is the IT Manager at Corrs and, together with Inez Russell, is interested in education, protocol exchange and data exchange, e-filing and transcripts.

    • Susan Thick of Minter Ellison is the precedent manager and feels that she needs to know and understand XML to assist her in the area of knowledge management and her precedents work particularly contracts.

    • LiveNote team consisting of Stephen Foley and Peta Masters is focused on XML use in transcripts and integration. Stephen has been involved in transcripts standards since developing transcript checker and is fully supportive of XML as the way forward.

    • Phil Farrelly from Ringtail Solutions advised that they are already using XML within their products and Ringtail is present to promote standards as a necessity. Phil is also presenting to this group later in this meeting.

    • Maureen Duffy of Clayton Utz, Melbourne advised that her main interests are in contracts, e-filing and transcript but advised she also had a personal interest in the development of the standards.

    • Carolyn Wyatt from Clayton Utz, Brisbane is wanting to be educated and to keep up with the changes.

    • Inez Russell is the National Litigation Support Manager with Corrs Chambers Westgarth. She requires education and has an interest in conversion of data, datamining and e-filing.

    • Imelda Payne is from the Federal Court and wants to know more about Legal XML and has an interest in judgements, e-filing and communication. Imelda presents later in the program about the Federal Court Legal XML project

    • Catherine Sullivan from the Federal Court has a strong interest in judgements, e-filing (which is in the process of implementation in the court), communication and education with an emphasis on integration of systems in the courtroom etc. using XML standards.

    • Barry Walsh is currently with ACIL Australia and is working in PNG on IT development and here to learn and is interested in anything that will assist third world nations.

    • Sandra Boyle is Registrar of the Supreme Court of WA and is interested in everything especially standards their development and the education surrounding it and e-filing.

    • Jennifer Lazberger works in the Chief Justices' office in the Supreme Court, WA and has the same focus as Sandra Boyle.

    • Giles Nunis of LawNow, already introduced by Jo Sherman.

    • Jeff Mansell is from Computer Practitioners.

    • Peter Meyer is working as a project manager of a SGML project involving Contracts, judgements, data conversion, legislation, knowledge management where standards are used and has a particular interest in communication.

    • Tim Arnold-Moore works at RMIT University in the commercial arm of UNI software development in data conversion, data mining, knowledge management and software development.

    • Anne Wallace from the AIJA has a strong focus on education of herself and her clients (being members of the AIJA) with her interest lying with standards affecting the courts and tribunals and e-filing.

    • Greg Curry is working with the NSW AGD and has an interest in how XML will affect strategic planning and internal and external communications.

    • Peter Molony from the Fair Trading Tribunal wants to learn more about XML.

    • Greg Wildisen from Diskcovery has an interest in transcripts and standards generally.

  7. SS summed up that there is a wide variety of interest in Legal XML - most people are interested in communication. The spectrum of knowledge about Legal XML ranges from software developers already using XML to those who have no knowledge of it at all. Those interested come from a range of areas, the main categories being Legal Support, Law Firms, Government Departments, Courts (and AIJA), Software Developers, Publishers and Academics.

  8. AS handed over to Todd Vincent who introduced himself - his first project was in e-signatures. Most people do not want to use digital signatures. Signatures, doc format and procedures are what he worked on. Described XML in 4 or 5 slides.

    • Slide One. Well Formed XML - gave address example. Automatic extraction.

    • Slide Two. Problem of XML - people do not do things the same way.

    • Slide Three. Potential Solution - standards are a potential solution. In November 1998 he brought together 17 people; there are 659 members as at today - 17 Substantial Workgroups and 5 Jurisdictional Workgroups. Spoke how Legal XML Australia was formed. Mission is to provide non-proprietary open ended software.

    • Slide Four. Membership Composition. 12.5% Academic, 25% Gov, 12.5% Non-profit, 50% Private

    • Final point - that Australia can make an impact and that Australians have great talent.

  9. AS - hands over to the practical users. Jo Sherman of Law Now (court applications e-filing case managements), Jamie Wodetzki of Speed Legal (precedents), Imelda Payne of the Federal Court (judgments and e-filing), Phil Farrelly of Ringtail Solutions (transcripts) and Tim Arnold-Moore (Tasmanian legislation).

  10. Imelda Payne (Federal Court) - Court is interested in a suitable archiving system for judgments which would allow easy transfer between one software system and another. There have been problems in the past with different fonts and different pages. Moving from Word Perfect to Word proved to be time consuming and costly. Paragraph numbering has solved the page numbering problem. The Court was established in 1977 court. In 1994 TIFF images could be used. Since 1995 Word has been used. The Court wants judgments marked up as per the recommendation by the AIJA. They have looked at SGML and XML. The Court asked a couple of companies to make submissions and one said to use SGML and the other XML. Either way, a DTD is required as well as an XML editor. The Court has decided they need to investigate XML further. They are now looking at Legal XML and are assessing their own requirements based on what all courts require. The Court is keen to use a common standard. Unfortunately, the Court has been awarded only a modest budget this year. The Court sees the benefits of using XML and developing a common standard. Publishers as well as the courts will benefit if judgments were marked up.

  11. Jamie Wodetzki (Speed Legal) - SpeedLegal is a software developer that is looking to provide precedent solutions to the market, particularly for contracts, using XML applications. They see Legal XML as an important international initiative. The power is to develop open standards. In order to develop standards successfully it is important for organisations to share their ideas and for vendors not to claim ownership of the underlying standards. Talked about the practical uses of XML. They see there are two audiences: (1) The Converted and (2) The Cautious. Looked at the "Pyramids of Pain" . Demonstrated that the document should be in the centre with the applications around it. Applications revolve around the document not the other way around. Showed Smart Precedents' (as an example). Brought the topic back to Standards. Shared standards give power to the document. It is the "smart stuff", or "value add" that is added to the Standards that will differentiate the software vendors. See the process as being about 1)understanding the issue, 2) painting a vision of the future and 3) make the vision real with examples

  12. Tim Arnold-Moore (Tasmanian Government Legislation Project) - the project was aimed at solving problems in the legislation area. They had to have automatic consolidation of the legislation, which also lent support the drafters, to make drafting easier. The legislation had to be marked up in SGML (1995), the rationale being that the legislation has to be available forever. XML means you can get at different parts of the document. Described how changes can be made 'programmatically' to legislation and contracts.

  13. Jo Sherman (LawNow) - LawNow is involved in application development for court systems including and e-filing systems. One of the challenges is a lack of standards. It would be great to hear discussion on the RDF framework as there seems to be two schools of thought on whether RDF or XML Schemas are better. Another problem is it is difficult to get lawyers to agree on anything. Commented that users need to be careful on the database side of things - XML is a different structure to using relational databases.

  14. Phil Farrelly (Ringtail Solutions) - Ringtail is one of the "Converted". They have been using XML in their transcript product. One of the features is that XML allows global searching via XML structures. They use a combination of technologies so that the user is unaware of where the data is stored. Gave a demonstrated of how a CaseBook report could be generated into XML or Word.

  15. AS - Thanked speakers and invited Terrie Bosquin to speak.

  16. Terry Bosquin (District Court of New Mexico) - 1 year ago the US courts were "Cautious". Spoke how the courts collaborated to develop the court filing standard. Spoke of the importance of the courts having a central role in the process. Worked with during this process. Had tight deadlines and 3 meetings. Also had a staff member working on the project full time. Important to have a champion - in their case it was John Greasham who had good links nationally and could sell the concept. Developing relationships was an essential part of the process. Said that Legal XML is the only way forward re sharing data. Looking at this as a global solution.


    • Another meeting on 1, 2 or 3 November in Sydney to co-incide with the XML Asia Pacific Conference.

    • Encourage courts to consider the proposed CourtFiling standard and make comment - approach AIJA Protocols committee, Federal Court, Supreme Courts (WA and NSW represented today), Tribunals (FTT represented today), other justice organisations (eg police, Judicial Commission, DPP, Legal Aid Offices).

    • Get more Australians on board.

    • Investigate the applicability of the court filing standard for Australia. Peter Egri said that he would be willing to work on an issues paper around this with others who are interested.

    • Another face-to-face meeting in Sydney in March 2001 with a strong education component in the form of a half day seminar, followed by a half day planning meeting. Sue suggested that some of the speakers might be willing to present to such a meeting.



Jason Harrop

SpeedLegal Pty Ltd

Jamie Wodetzki

SpeedLegal Pty Ltd

Justin Lipton

SpeedLegal Pty Ltd

Winchel "Todd" Vincent, III


Michelle Mahoney

Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Sarah Cordner

Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Tony Sutherland

LawNow Ltd

Jo Sherman

LawNow Ltd

Terrie Bousquin

New Mexico Judiciary

Peter Egri

LIC & Consulting

Phil Farrelly

Ringtail Solutions Pty Ltd

Susan Thick

Minter Ellison

Peta Masters

LiveNote Inc

Stephen Foley

LiveNote Inc

Matthew Eaton

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Richard Antill

Ringtail Solutions Pty Ltd

Justine Norton


Barry Walsh

ACIL Australia

Catherine Sullivan

Federal Court of Australia

Imelda Payne

Federal Court of Australia

Sandra Boyle

Supreme Court of Western Australia

Jennifer Lazberger

Supreme Court of Western Australia

Giles Nunis

LawNow Inc

Jeff Mansell

Computer Practitioners

Peter Meyer

Elkera Pty Ltd

Tim Arnold-Moore


Bruce Grant

eLaw Australia Pty Ltd

Sandra Potter

eLaw Australia Pty Ltd

Peter Malony

Fair Trading Tribunal

Greg Wildisen


Greg Curry

NSW Attorney-General's Department

Anne Wallace


Inez Russell

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Maureen Duffy

Clayton Utz

Carolyn Wyatt

Clayton Utz

Allison Stanfield

eLaw Australia Pty Ltd

Sue Scott

Law Foundation of NSW

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