Derek Coursen of Public Health Solutions and James E. McMillan of the National Center for State Courts, have published A Framework for Logical Data Models in Courts, Data Administration Newsletter, v. 14, no. 2 (December 1, 2010). Here is the abstract:
Success in implementing a court automation system depends on developing a high-quality logical data model. Certain patterns regarding representation of data on actors in the judicial process, cases, component matters (charges and civil claims), and events and tasks are generically applicable to any court situation. These patterns offer a framework for software development teams and non-technical stakeholders to communicate more effectively about the implications of key data modeling decisions in courts.
Here are excerpts from the introduction:
There has so far been little work on specific issues around logical data models for court automation systems… This article aims to fill that gap by proposing data model patterns that work well in judicial environments in general. The authors arrived at these patterns in the following way: In January 2005, after several years of discussing the idea of universal court data model patterns, Jim McMillan was leading the development of a new court automation system for Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) and invited Derek Coursen to develop a model that could serve both BiH and any other jurisdiction. Working with Bosnian court officials and data managers, the authors spent a week white-boarding a model. The sessions followed a set of rules that are heterodox by the standards of most software development projects: (1) refer when possible to published data model patterns; (2) focus on entities, relationships and attributes, discussing work processes only insofar as they directly affect those data model components; (3) focus on the BiH courts first but only as a springboard to broader generalizations; (4) focus on the current BiH reality first but only as a springboard to discussing potential needs for flexibility; (5) support eventual physical implementation by seeking a level of generalization that is a happy medium between inflexible specificity and unwieldy theory….
…This article presents the major patterns and decision points that informed the model. It is intended to offer a set of considerations that will help software development teams and non-technical stakeholders communicate more effectively about the implications of key data modeling decisions in courts. While the areas outlined herein do not constitute a complete data model, they address the most important concerns regarding the four most central regions of any court data model: actors in the judicial process; cases; component matters (charges and civil claims); and events and tasks….