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Re: vocabulary for legal decision (e.g., Supreme Court cases)

From: Stuart Robinson <stuartro@google.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2015 10:11:17 -0700
Message-ID: <CAHE-x9GJ8SBu-zTMjVEHwnSR9JrjX7DJUi0OFdeNrBDSXo4NZQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Thad Guidry <thadguidry@gmail.com>
Cc: "schema.org Mailing List" <public-schemaorg@w3.org>
Just now getting back to this and replying to the helpful comments that
people provided. Bear with me... ;-)

Thanks for those links, Thad. I'm not able to look at the documents from
xmllegal.com because they seem to require a username and password. I'll
follow up and see whether I can gain access. I started looking at the XSD
files from mncourts.gov and my initial impression is that it's just too
complicated for schema.org.

I think the real challenge here is going to be coming up with something
simple and general enough to be useful and widely applicable. As you point
out, thinking about what people want to filter by is going to be key. And
that means identifying the audience, which for now isn't necessarily
attorneys or judges but rather lay people who want some basic information
about an important legal decision, such as a US Supreme Court case outcome.

On Fri, May 22, 2015 at 8:19 AM, Thad Guidry <thadguidry@gmail.com> wrote:

> ​My only suggestion and helpful guidance here would be...
> ​​
> perhaps looking at other high level schema
> ​and vocabulary ​
> for court systems that are
> ​already ​
> out there.
> ​
> ​Think about what consumers or different users will want to filter by
> primarily.  If its a student researcher, they are searching differently by
> Case Types typically, compared to someone just wanting to see the summary
> judgement of a specific case X v. Y​
> ​Each court system and state courts do their own Schema manipulation and
> have differing standards... there is no single standard for e-Filing or
> Reference systems unfortunately in the USA.  Even if Schema.org was
> involved, it would probably not change publicly facing resources very
> quickly because they are so ingrained in their current architectures and
> have little budget to enhance those typically.  But regardless, an effort
> should be made for Schema.org and extensions to provide some high level
> schema to help cross the gaps and digital divide on those documents
> especially for the public good.​
> ​
> ​
> Here's some I found :
> This one provides nice XSD files with some noteworthy enumerations inside
> of them.:​​
> http://mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=1379&printFriendly=true
> (I look
> ​ed over​
>  the Chameleon files
> ​quickly​
> )
> ​http://www.xmllegal.org/CourtXML/
> ​
> ​Best,​
> Thad
> +ThadGuidry <https://www.google.com/+ThadGuidry>
> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 11:43 AM, Stuart Robinson <stuartro@google.com>
> wrote:
>> I've noticed that schema.org doesn't provide vocabulary for legal
>> decisions--e.g., the Supreme Court case Citizens United vs Federal Election
>> Commission:
>> http://en.wikipedia..org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC>
>> http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=000&invol=08-205
>> One challenge for modeling this domain is coming up with a model that
>> accommodates different types of courts, both within and between countries.
>> It may be easier to develop a model for US legal decisions first and then
>> expand it later or create other types for non-US courts.
>> With that in mind, I would propose the type USLegalDecision with the
>> following properties:
>> name: the name of the decision (for Supreme Court cases, usually
>> something like "X v Y")
>> court: the court where the decision was made (e.g., Supreme Court)
>> country:the country where the decision applies
>> whenArgued: the date on which arguments
>> whenDecided: the date on which the decision was rendered
>> citation: the case citation for the decision
>> courtAppealedFrom: which court the case was appealed from (optional since
>> some cases low-level courts aren't appealed from another court) [note:
>> optional given that a decision in a lower court won't be appealed from
>> another court]
>> Using the Citizens United example, here's what the values might look like:
>> name: "Citizens United versus FEC"
>> court: "Supreme Court"
>> country: "USA"
>> whenArgued: [ "March 24, 2009", "September 9, 2009" ]
>> whenDecided: "January 21, 2010"
>> citation: "Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, (558 U.S. ___
>> (2010); Docket No. 08-205)"
>> courtAppealedFrom: "United States District Court for the District of
>> Columbia"
>> There are some additional properties to consider, such as the following:
>> Judge(s)
>> OpinionAuthor
>> ConcurrenceAuthor
>> DissentAuthor
>> LegalHolding(s)
>> Thoughts on the general modeling issues here (e.g., US-specificity) and
>> feedback on the specific proposal would be greatly appreciated.
>> Thanks,
>> Stuart Robinson
Received on Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:11:46 UTC

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