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LegalXML eContracts TC

Date:      Mon, 29 Jul 2002 08:20:42 -0400
From:      Karl F. Best <>
Subject:   OASIS TC Call For Participation: LegalXML eContracts TC

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS LegalXML eContracts Technical Committee has been proposed by the following members of OASIS: Eddie O'Brien, Ringtail Solutions; Donald L. Bergeron, Lexis-Nexis; Charles Gilliam, ContentGuard; and John McClure, Data Consortium; and the following Individual members: Daniel J. Greenwood, Jason Harrop, James Bryce Clark, John Messing, Rolly L. Chambers, Peter Meyer, and James I. Keane.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process (see, and is appended to this message. The proposal, which includes a statement of purpose, list of deliverables, and proposed schedule, will constitute the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be clarified (revised) by the TC members; such clarifications (revisions), as well as submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

To become a member of this new TC you must 1) be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an Individual member of OASIS; 2) notify the TC chair, Daniel J. Greenwood ( of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting; and 3) attend the first meeting on 26 September. You should also subscribe to the TC's mail list. Note that membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by organization. You must be eligible for participation at the time you time you notify the chair.

The private mail list is for committee discussions. TC members as well as any other interested OASIS members should subscribe to the list by going to the mail list web page at, or by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message. (Note that subscribing to the mail list does not make you a member of the TC; to become a member you must contact the TC chair and attend the first meeting as described in the preceeding paragraph.)

A public comment list will be available for the public to make comments on the work of this TC; the public may subscribe to this list by going to the mail list web page at, or by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message.

The archives of both of these mail lists are visible to the public at

Karl F. Best
OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
+1 978.667.5115 x206

Charter for eContracts Technical Committee in the LegalXML Member Section of OASIS

Name of Technical Committee

The name of the committee shall be the OASIS LegalXML eContracts Technical Committee (eContracts TC) within the LegalXML Member Section of OASIS.

The Technical Committee may constitute the subcommittees or other groupings as shall appear necessary and appropriate to carrying out the Technical Committee's purpose.

Purpose of the Technical Committee

A. Mission

The eContracts Technical Committee exists to develop open XML standards for the markup of contract documents to enable the efficient creation, maintenance, management, exchange and publication of contract documents and contract terms.

B. Language and Applicable Legal Domain

The scope of the eContracts TC will be focused upon contracts in the Anglo-American legal domain, including other common-law based systems. It is expected that the TC will assume English language usage in the XML and, to the extent it is relevant to the work of the TC, in the language of the underlying contracts as well. However, given the International overlay of this topic, the TC may, at its discretion and convenience, deal with other legal systems and language domains.

C. Scope

(i). The core scope of this activity will be to the creation of DTD(s) / schema(s) that can be used by parties:

a. Negotiating and finalizing contracts in an application neutral format;

b. Exchanging contract contents as valid XML;

c. Automating processing of contract content, for example for use in contract management applications;

d. To support the production of human readable output documents; and

e. To facilitate the use of reusable or boilerplate information within a contract.

(ii). The TC shall also define a data model or models that describe documents forming legal contracts.

(iii). To support this scope, the TC shall seek to capture the business requirements of end users of the proposed standards.

(iv). To help achieve this scope, the Contracts TC will facilitate, monitor, assess and publicize tests and demonstrations of TC data models & and DTD(s)/Schema(s).

(v). To propose adoption of particular developed model(s) & and DTD(s)/Schema(s) as LegalXML/OASIS-Contracts standards.

(vi). Define the charter for subsequent work once (1 - 4) have been achieved.

(vii). Given the dynamic and fast evolving nature of eContracts at this time, it may become necessary to amend this scope during the life of the TC. Any such amendment will not be entertained for light or transient causes.

Requirements Definition

A. The eContracts TC will conduct a formal and comprehensive process to verify the initial requirements definition in this section. That process will include identification of relevant end-users and their needs, including determining the extent to which downstream users such as courts and other dispute resolution providers may impact requirements for the work of this TC.

B. The eContracts TC will use sample contracts that any proposed DTD(s)/Schema(s) and data model(s) must be able to represent, along with the information in those contracts to be marked up.

C. It is initially believed that the eContracts TC has the following requirements:

(i). XML compliant syntax shall be used for representing the contract documents.

(ii). W3C and OASIS specifications, as well as, ISO or other appropriate standards shall be used.

(iii). A set of XML Core Components shall be specified that can be used universally by all eContracts DTD(s)/Schema(s). These component specifications may include elements and attributes (e.g. unique identifiers, creation dates, etc.), as appropriate.


A. The eContracts TC shall define business requirements of end-users and reflect them in the TC's scope of work. The initial requirements definition above shall be the starting point and shall be verified and amended as needed.

B. The eContracts TC shall complete one or more data models meeting the requirements specified in this Charter.

C. The eContracts TC shall complete one or more DTD(s) and/or Schema(s) meeting the requirements specified in this Charter and deriving from the specified data model(s).

D. The TC shall create a 'data dictionary' which provides the intended meaning of each element, attribute or other component of the final specification.

E. The TC shall create documents using sample contracts, marked up according to the DTD(s)/Schema(s) developed by this TC.

F. Beyond creating the e-contract data model(s) and DTD(s)/Schema(s), the TC may provide users various 'template stylesheets', CSS, XSLT, XSL-FO to provide them with a 'starting point' to modify and create their own.

Language in which the Technical Committee will conduct business

All business will be conducted in English.

Date and time of the first meeting

The first formal meeting of the eContracts Technical Committee is proposed to be via a telephone conference on Thursday, September 26, 2002 at 2pm Eastern Time.

Meeting schedule for the year following formation of the Technical Committee

It is proposed that the eContracts Technical Committee will hold face to face meetings annually and also to hold quarterly telephone or web meetings to be arranged. Meeting times, when delivered to TC members via the list, should be expressed in terms of GMT. The dates and times for the face to face meeting is proposed to be in the spring of 2003, and the telephone or web meetings are:

  September, 2002    9/26/02, 2pm (subject to time change)
  December 2002      To be determined
  April, 2003        To be determined
  July, 2003         To be determined


Names, electronic addresses and membership affiliations of persons eligible for OASIS Technical Committee Participation committed to the stated meeting schedule

The following OASIS members support the creation of the eContracts Technical Committee and are committed to the stated meeting schedule:

Daniel J. Greenwood,, individual member
Jason Harrop,, individual member
Eddie O'Brien,, Ringtail Solutions
James Bryce Clark,, individual member
John Messing,, individual member
Donald L. Bergeron, Donald.Bergeron@LEXIS-NEXIS.COM, Lexis-Nexis
Rolly L. Chambers,, individual member
James I. Keane,, individual member
John McClure,, Data Consortium
Peter Meyer,, individual member
Charles Gilliam,, ContentGuard

Names of the Technical Committee Co-chairs and Vice-chairs

Chair: Daniel J. Greenwood
Co-Vice Chairs: Jason Harrop, Eddie O'Brien

Names of phone meeting sponsors

Daniel J. Greenwood

Names of face-to-face meeting sponsors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, eCommerce Architecture Program:

Policies and procedures of the eContracts Technical Committee

The eContracts Technical Committee will follow the operating rules of OASIS and any operating rules adopted by the LegalXML Member Section Steering Committee with the approval of OASIS management and the OASIS Board of Directors.

In addition, the Technical Committee will abide by the following practices:

1. All decisions on a Committee specification of a standard will be made by vote of 2/3 or higher.

2. All decisions made subject to ratification or rejection by the full membership of the Technical Committee on the list serve.

3. All email discussions concerning the technical work of the Technical Committee and its subcommittees will take place on OASIS supported list serves.

4. One member of the Technical Committee and of each subcommittee will serve as ombudsman to monitor the public list for that entity and provide input from the public list to the committee and subcommittee discussions.

5. In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See "Legal XML Working Group."

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