Aaron Greenspan of Think Computer Corporation has posted proposals for a new legal document markup format — called Global Objective Legal Data (GOLD) — and a new legal identifier format — called Legal Reference (LREF) — at the PlainSite blog.
Two LREF Tools are available: a citation converter and table of authorities generator.
Here are excerpts from the description of the GOLD format:
The GOLD Standard would encapsulate legal data free of formatting as just described so that it could be read, exchanged and analyzed by computers as well as humans. In a sense, GOLD is Microsoft Word in a strait jacket. As proposed, each block in a GOLD document is by default a paragraph in a conceptual sense—but it does not have to be a paragraph. GOLD blocks are fundamentally objects with properties [...]
GOLD Standard-compliant files could be encoded in XML or JSON (preferably the latter), and derived automatically by extracting plain text from Microsoft Word documents. We have already developed an internal beta of this technology not yet released, and PlainSite will natively support GOLD data in place of PDF links on its docket pages. The ultimate goal is to have every court use GOLD Standard systems so that one could examine a particular claim in a complaint starting in the lowest court, and follow its progress through subsequent appeals just by looking at an automatically-generated timeline.
Here are excerpts from the description of the LREF format:
[...] legal citations could and should work in the same way as the hyperlink [...]. We propose a legal citation format that works in a similar fashion, but instead of being contained in the venerable HREF parameter, we propose a second and optional parameter for the A tag, called LREF for Legal Reference. LREF links would look like this:
For the docket corresponding to California Northern District Court’s Case No. 5:13-cv-02054-EJD:
For document 5 in the above docket:
There are several reasons why using the LREF parameter would be advantageous.
- Simplicity [...]
- Neutrality [...]
- Flexibility [...]
- Specificity [...]
- International Appeal [...]
- Readability [...]
For more details, please see the complete posts.