Automating the Entire Publishing Chain for Your Court or Agency Decisions

If your organization produces precedential judicial or administrative decisions, you are very aware that the work on a case doesn’t stop when the final decision is delivered to the parties.  Once the docket has been updated via your Court/Case Management System (CMS), the decision rendered must still be published.  This process often involves a webmaster, librarian, or clerk manually feeding your organization’s website Content Management System. Data likely needs to be “massaged” to meet the requirements of this distinct system, an operation requiring more of less efforts based on the sophistication of the technology in place. Sometimes the decision also needs to be redacted because of the presence of confidential information.  It is only once these operations are completed that it can be transmitted to third-party publishers.  It is safe to guess that this transmission is done via email, and that each publisher on the receiving end must undergo the same process of extracting metadata and massaging the content into its own publishing architecture. This classic scenario is not particularly efficient because it relies on a series of distinct workflows that are operated in silos: data from one are not transferred to the other automatically and efforts are duplicated.

At Lexum we spent the last 25 years focussing on improving and facilitating the online publishing of legal information. These efforts have now made it possible to fully automate the publishing chain, from your organization CMS to the websites of private publishers.  To achieve that goal, the first step consists in setting up decision’s templates making it easy to auto-extract metadata right from the text body.  By the way Lexum’s templates also contribute to generating online content that is accessible to the visually impaired (read WCAG compliant).  The data available within your CMS can then be fed to Decisia, our self-publishing solution for case law, via its API. Decisia provides your organization’s website with powerful full text search, field search, mobile-friendly access, mailing lists, and many more features designed to enable legal research within your corpus. If redaction is required, our team of paralegals can take care of it on-demand, before the decision is posted online.  Finally, Decisia syndication feature can make files (original and converted), as well as the corresponding metadata, available in a structured format to publishers interested to repurpose them. Under that scenario updating your CMS, your website and publisher websites only require one operation under the control of your office.

The same approach applies when a correction needs to be made, or when a decision needs to be removed from the website. And for urgent requests, it’s always possible for your organization’s staff to log in Decisia web-based management interface to manually apply the changes.

The Tax Court of Canada (TCC) is an example of an appellate court that fully automated its publishing chain using Decisia. The TCC renders approximately 300 judgments every year on matters related to income tax, goods and services tax, and employment insurance.  Translations into English or French are eventually provided for all judgments posted.  By integrating its CMS and its Decisia account via APIs, the TCC is primarily saving its staff the time required to update distinct systems with redundant data on a recurring basis. In addition, it is benefiting from uniformity across the various possible point of access to its cases (on CanLII for instance), as well as achieving efficient compliance with accessibility requirements.

If you believe the complexity of this approach makes it out of reach for your organization, we would appreciate the opportunity to prove you wrong.  In fact, the only piece of customized software required is a simple connector matching your CMS data mapping with Decisia schema.  Such connectors are already available for many CMS including myCaseLoad, the Cyberjustice CMS, and one currently being tested with PWC Dispute Resolution Suite.  For any other solution Lexum will provide on-demand connectivity assistance to your CMS support’s team.