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Username: dotLawInc
Date/Time: Thu, October 26, 2000 at 3:42 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows NT
Score: 5
Subject: Clarifications for a Concerned Reviewer


dotlaw,Inc. appreciates that a cursory review of a proposal to sponsor and manage a new restricted professional domain might initially foster concerns about the control and authority over a potentially valuable public Internet resource.  However the details in our application outline the thought behind the structure we are proposing to address these concerns for the legal profession, the public, and ICANN.  Allow us to illustrate some of these clarifications for you.       

The concept of developing a dedicated top level domain (TLD) for the legal profession came directly from the personal and professional experiences of the two founders.  Henderson is routinely engaged by lawyers in his consulting practice of forensic accounting and litigation and knows first hand the consequences of having the resources of legal profession scattered across several unregulated domains.  Fonger, from the vantage point of the medical profession, has come to appreciate how similar issues within the medical space are currently being successfully addressed using a sponsored and managed top level domain developed by dotMD,Inc. (www.thedomain.MD).  As noted in section C3 of the Sponsoring Organization Proposal, dotLaw,Inc. will be run by lawyers, advised by lawyers, and guided by lawyers on the Domain Advisory Board.   The CEO search currently underway has identified several senior lawyers of stature within the legal community who have a broad knowledge of the Internet.  The CEO decision will be made shortly.  Further hiring of lawyers with expertise for their respective roles within dotLaw, Inc. will be done by the CEO and will understandably await an approval of the dotLaw application.

The first priority of ICANN in their "Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals" is to "preserve the stability of the Internet" while offering creative solutions to the current TLD environment.  The reality is that a well-run registry with a responsible and effective sponsoring organization is a huge fiscal and organizational undertaking.  Although .law domain registrations will be competitively offered by many different licensed registrars, the single sponsoring registry must well organized, funded, and supported.  Therefore large businesses have been necessary to properly handle these domain registries in the past and will be required to reliably handle them in the future. .dotLaw, Inc. has been structured to meet the fudiciary and fiscal responsibilities of a sponsoring organization.

This fiscal reality does not mean that .law will cease to meet the needs of the overall legal profession.  In section C3 of the Sponsoring Organization Proposal we outline the structure for the .law Domain Advisory Board which is to be composed of broad representation from all aspects of the legal profession.  This includes representatives from the ABA and various bar associations who have actually been very receptive to our proposal and are currently reviewing our plan within their organizations.  dotLaw Inc. plans to take the lead of this Domain Advisory Board for policy formulation, domain functionality, and dispute resolution in addition to its negotiations on these issues with ICANN.  The Domain Advisory Board and dotLaw,Inc. will also be advised by the law firm of Latham and Watkins as noted in the fiscal Exhibit A of the Sponsoring Organization Proposal.  They have one of the largest legal
experiences in domain policy management and international Internet name dispute resolution issues.  A domain monopoly will not be possible under this structure, which we feel should also address your policy formulation concerns under section 7 of the "Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals".

The allocation of names and addresses is clearly central to the function of any domain.  Registrants will be able to register a simple .law address or subscribe to the unique functionality of the "individualized dynamic professional portal" to establish a full professional web presence.  Those who choose the portal will by definition have their content displayed within the structured portal template that facilitates this enhanced functionality.

Holding back certain legal subject names by dotLaw,Inc. is key to the concept of managing the quality and organization of the legal content on the .law domain.  These domain names will not be sold, rather they will be used by dotLaw, Inc. in administering the domain.  This generalized subject content will be written by lawyers for both lawyers and the public and these subject names are not for sale. Unauthorized resale or auctioning of any names will be prohibited to maintain fairness and consistency within the domain and to discourage abusive registration practices (i.e. cyber squatting) as called for in section 8 of the "Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals", another area of your concern.  This policy is directly counter to a profit motive but rather consistent with management of the domain.

DotLaw,Inc. plans to develop and manage .law in the best interests of the international legal community under the direction of a Domain Advisory Board drawn directly from the legal community.  Your interest in our initiative is exactly the type of feedback we will need to the Domain Advisory Board as we move forward with .law.  We hope this clarification more accurately outlines our vision and how we plan to ensure .law is a representative, reliable, and innovative improvement over the current fragmented and inconsistent multiple TLD legal space on the Internet.

Respectfully submitted,


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