The words "decision", "order", "opinion", and "judgment", and even "case" tend to be used both loosely and interchangeably to mean either the act that delivers a court's ruling in a particular case, or the text of the ruling itself. To make things even more confusing, a decision (in either sense) may affect (either dispositively or nondispositively) more than one case, and a decision (in the sense of the text that records the court's ruling) may consist of more than one document.
This page is an index of overview documents that describe, non-technically, different classes of element found in Layer 2 of the oai4courts caselaw metadata standard. They provide descriptions of the different logical entities described by the oai4courts Layer 2 elements, as well as pointers to each.
Note that these are intended for use in caselaw metadata (as opposed to caselaw markup), but some of the thinking involved applies to both.
Overview descriptions exist for:
As metadata standards for case law evolve, it will be necessary to identify certain entities, such as courts, in an unambiguous way. The simplest way to achive this is by adopting a standardized vocabulary.
URIs on the Semantic Web
The RDF / Semantic Web community has developed the concept of the URI as an identifier for non-document entities such as people and organizations. See, for example, Cool URIs for the Semantic Web.
DC element usage
These approach reflects decisions and definitions documented here.
Name of the case. It is expected that party names will be embedded in this title in a way that will allow user-space applications to parse them easily, eg. Atlantic Dental Products v. Bruce.
Here's what you'll need to run oai4courts:
- A database package that works with Rails (mySQL, Postgres, and Oracle should all work, but see here), and that you're comfortable pushing data around with it
- ruby, of course.
- You'll need some additional gems
- appropriate gems for connecting with your database from the utility scripts you'll use to populate it
- login_generator for authentication (don't think this packages itself with the app, but it might).
- possibly additional gems to use with whichever relational database you're running -- see the database-specific information below
- Ruby on Rails.
- Capistrano -- a configuration and deployment manager -- is recommended but not required.
- the oai4courts package itself
The long version:
Sets and tags
OAI-PMH supports a system for the creation of sub-collections that it calls "sets". oai4courts adds database support for a less-formal system of tags. Sets are named according to a hierarchical system that implies an equally hierarchical partitioning of the database. Tags may be applied in any way you like.