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LegalXML Throws in with OASIS

Looking to add more weight to its recommendations -- and get more mainstream support -- the LegalXML standards group threw its lot in with the OASIS interoperability consortium Thursday.

LegalXML said the move brings new resources and awareness to its work on specifications for electronic court filing, court documents, legal citations, transcripts, and criminal justice intelligence systems.

"This is an important move for LegalXML," said James I. Keane, co-chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the American Bar Association Law Practice Management Section. "Operating within OASIS, LegalXML gains close ties to the major global standards-setting bodies. Existing OASIS members, representing some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world, will now be able to actively contribute to the work of LegalXML."

Don Bergeron, chair of the LegalXML Steering Committee, added, "OASIS has the experience, the technology and the support environment that is essential for the successful development of XML standards. Being in the mainstream of OASIS, LegalXML participants take advantage of a tried-and-true technical process and track record of successful adoption. OASIS provides the infrastructure we need, so we can focus all our energies on developing standardized structures, vocabularies and data exchange tools for the legal community."

Under the new structure, members of LegalXML will join OASIS and will be able to contribute to all of OASIS' technical work. Existing OASIS members will also have the option to participate in LegalXML without having to pay additional membership dues. The members of the LegalXML Steering Committee within OASIS include Donald Bergeron of Lexis-Nexis, Toby Brown of the Utah State Bar, Rolly Chambers of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP, John Grecean, Esp. of Grecean Associates, Daniel Greenwood, Esq. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jim Keane, Esq. of JKeane.Pro, Eddie O'Brien of Ringtail Solutions, and Dave Roberts of the SEARCH National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics.

"In today's economy, it's not practical to expect companies to join a multitude of consortia in order to participate in all the relevant standards development being done," said Patrick Gannon, OASIS president and chief executive officer. "OASIS is one organization with many opportunities for involvement. LegalXML expands the breadth of our technical agenda in an exciting way. We welcome LegalXML participants to our community of developers and look forward to sharing new approaches, methods, and insights with one another."