Sponsoring Organization's Proposal


Proposal by dotLaw, Inc. for gTLD - .law




C1. Please submit a comprehensive description of the structure and nature of the sponsoring organization and the manner in which that organization will conduct its operations, including policy‑formulation activities. We strongly recommend retaining professional legal assistance to aid in the formulation of your Sponsoring Organization's Proposal and accompanying documents.


Executive Summary


Currently the Internet functions across several restricted and unrestricted generic top-level domains (gTLD’s). The legal community along with other professional communities has slowly become fractionated across the spectrum of unrestricted gTLD’s. Inherent in this approach is the fact that these domains are unregulated and sites vary widely in their quality of content. Adherence to ICANN policies and ethics is voluntary and not well observed. In addition the retrieval of information from the myriad of locations by conventional search engines is incomplete and relatively non-specific.


Our proposal for dotLaw is focused on the creation of a new gTLD that is sponsored and restrictive in nature to serve the international legal community.  Our proposed TLD string is .law.  The term “Law “ is internationally recognized as to purpose and will not be subject to confusion.  Other character strings have attachment to the legal community such as “JD”, “lawyer”, “laws”, and “legal” but the terms may not be recognized internationally such as JD which maybe LLB in another country or are more limiting in scope or subject to confusion.  The .law gTLD would serve the legal community as a whole including private practice attorneys, corporate counsel, community legal services, law students and the legal vendor community (i.e., legal research) and other ancillary support services (court reporters, trial graphic, copy centers, etc.).  Today, the Internet community can locate an attorney by knowing of an attorney search site or by knowing the name of a firm and searching for that web site. However, for the everyday consumer the size and organization of the .com, .net, and .org domains for legal services is not conducive to searches that are efficient or comprehensive.  A simple search of “law.com” produces over four thousands sites which range from an individual’s comments to law firm sites to legal publications to individual lawyer sites. Additionally, many of the attorneys and law firms are not making effective use of the Internet nor is the .com space structured to assist them or the community in doing so. 


A specific .law gTLD domain offers the unique opportunity to evaluate the role of a new domain in a controlled and measured way given that the legal community is already somewhat defined by the legal profession as a whole.  The concept of a managed domain will offer the ability to control all aspects of both the launch and subsequent management of this new space. With careful planning and input from the internet community we feel our proposed dotLaw structure will enhance the legal community and not jeopardize the existence of the current legal .com, .net, and .org domains. Migration to .law will proceed, as the users perceive the advantages to .law we outline below.


Another key element for the successful management of this new domain is input from the professionals who are the backbone of the international legal community.  .law will be dedicated to meeting the needs and objectives of the international community through unique alliances as a mechanism for input with the various bar associations around the world including but not limited to the following:


·        American Bar Association (“ABA”);

·        State and local bar associations (Virginia Bar Association) in the U.S.;

·        Law Society of England and Wales;

·        The General Council of the Bar;

·        Bar Council of India;

·        Bar Association of India;

·        Colegio Publico de Abogados;

·        Asociacion de Abogados de Buenos Aires;

·        Law Society of South Africa;

·        Iniurcolleguia (International Law College);

·        Moskovskaya Oblastnaya Kollegiya Advokatov (Moscow Region College of Advocates)


Note: This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all associations or countries but rather examples of alliance partners. Additionally, we have had an initial discussion with the ABA and they have requested information on our proposal to learn more about what a sponsorship role would involve.  We have not entered into discussions with other bar associations at this time. Therefore, we do not have a firm commitment from any bar associations in the U.S. or internationally.  However, as our discussions proceed, we will update this application.



The .law domain affords ICANN the opportunity to evaluate how a sponsored and restricted domain can involve as alliance partners the bar association’s from around the world in the policy-formulation process.  DotLaw will structure and manage the domain for the benefit of the legal profession, the legal vendor community, and the Internet community at large. We will accomplish these goals through the establishment of policies, which are consistent with the charter of international bar associations, policies and goals of ICANN, along with the vision and business values of .law. 


As our concept for the .law domain is a restricted legal community focus, we will develop and implement policies that are both consistent with ICANN’s current policies and our registry operator dotMD to enhance the functionality and content of the domain.  Our broad operating policies will consist of the following:


·        Adoption of existing policies being followed by ICANN in administering delegations of TLD names of the Internet Domain Names Systems (DNS);

·        .law domain names can initially be registered by dotLaw as well as a number of licensed competitive third party domain name registrar;.

·        .law domain names cannot be re-registered except through the above channels;

·        .law will provide professionals five e-mail addresses and a 10meg web page for life (1);

·        .law will withhold certain domain names for indexing legal terms and structuring the domain;

·        .law domain structure will allow efficient key word access to legal topics, resources and links;

·        .law will create the domain encyclopedia to enhance search capabilities;

·        .law will provide direct links to individual subscriber domains by specialty, geography, etc.;

·        .law will provide direct and targeted search capabilities of legal content;

·        .law will have appropriate Privacy and Security policies;

·        .law will provide first right of refusal to all law firms to secure their firm names that had been previously taken on .com;

·        .law content policies will provide certainty as to structure and reliability of content;

·        .law content will be consistent with bar associations’ ethical guidelines and “Association Mission and Goals”;

·        .law will establish a licensing verification process;

·        .law will have a Chief Verification Officer;

·        .law will provide free domain names to community legal services organizations;

·        .law will support other community based legal programs (i.e., Pro Bono) within the domain;

·        .law will reserve the right to terminate any domains that operate inconsistent with our policies.


Note: (1) We understand that the ICANN contractual arrangements may have a defined period, but domain names will, we assume, be transferred to other operators.  Therefore, for the consumer, it is an e-mail for life.


The values of the dotLaw managers and of the .law domain will be to promote honesty and ethical conduct throughout the entire domain. Our goal will be to create a unique electronic legal space, which is both comprehensive in scope and unparalleled in quality when compared to what is found on unrestricted gTLD today. The approach of building a restricted sponsored domain affords us the opportunity and the advantage of starting from the ground up with a consistency throughout the entire effort.


We see the benefits and enhancement to the “.law  Domain Values” actively involving the bar associations in the policy formulation process. When you consider, for example the ABA’s Mission Statement and Association Goals, the consistency with the development and focus of a sponsored domain for legal professionals is clear:

ABA Mission Statement:

The Mission of the American Bar Association is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.

ABA - Association Goals

·        Goal I.            To promote improvements in the American system of justice.

·        Goal II.             To promote meaningful access to legal representation and the American system of justice for all persons regardless of their economic or social condition.

·        Goal III. To provide ongoing leadership in improving the law to serve the changing needs of society.

·        Goal IV. To increase public understanding of and respect for the law, the legal process, and the role of the legal profession.

·        Goal V. To achieve the highest standards of professionalism, competence and ethical conduct.

·        Goal VI. To serve as the national representative of the legal profession.

·        Goal VII. To provide benefits, programs and services which promote professional growth and enhance the quality of life of the members.

·        Goal VIII. To advance the rule of law in the world.

·        Goal IX. To promote full and equal participation in the legal profession by minorities, women and persons with disabilities.

·        Goal X. To preserve and enhance the ideals of the legal profession as a common calling and its dedication to public service.

·        Goal XI. To preserve the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary as fundamental to a free society.


The final element to the .law domain is our corporate structure and registry operator.  .law is currently forming a for-profit corporation called “dotLaw, Inc.”.  While the formal corporate structure of dotLaw, Inc. is still being established, we have identified the individuals that will fulfill key management positions, the consultants that will serve as advisors, and entered into an business arrangement where our registry operator has a minority ownership interest.  DotLaw has also obtained the commitment of outside investors to consider fully capitalizing the corporation pending selection of dotLaw by ICANN and clarification of the gTLD contract (see attached James Richardson & Sons letter).  We are firmly convinced our team and structure provide a fundamentally sound business platform for the successful and reliable continued management of the .law domain.

Our registry operator will be dotMD.   We believe there is no better partner for us than dotMD.  dotMd is the only registry operator that is currently operating a domain dedicated to another professional community.  dotMD’s business culture, values and policies are consistent with ours and that of operating a domain for professionals.  For example, dotMD operates the domain consistent with Continuing Medical Education requirements of the medical profession and has a goal to manage the domain with an appropriate stewardship expected by the community they serve.  dotMD is a functioning professional registry that has the industry and technical expertise within their organization to ensure the highest level of uninterrupted service to our users.


In summary, dotLaw is both a company and an initiative to improve the quality and functionality of the international legal community on the Internet. Since funding for such an endeavor is not available from any particular worldwide source at present, the users of this centralized and specific new legal domain will need to support the initiative with their own subscription and participation. dotLaw is our proposal for a corporate entity that will serve as the vehicle and catalyst to allow this to happen. We feel that the .law gTLD which emerges from this effort will be the professional embodiment of the needs and wishes of the entire international legal community and will continue to evolve itself through the efforts and involvement of the domain Board as those requirements inevitably change. In the course of doing this we feel that the dotLaw model will optimize the conditions necessary to ensure the orderly introduction and stable and reliable operation of this new international .law gTLD. The overall experience of both dotLaw and dotMD over the upcoming years will also allow ICANN to assess the potential of a new restricted and dedicated gTLD to serve as a centralized and unified international space for the conduct of all the activities associated with a major professional group.



The following documents should be attached to the description:


                     Articles of incorporation, association, etc.;

                     Bylaws or any similar organizational document;

                     List of persons presently on the supervising Board of the organization (or to be initially on the Board); and their resumes;

                     To the extent applicable and not clear from the attached documents, the description should address the following topics in detail.



C2. Organization Information. Principal location, legal status of the organization, laws under which it is organized, type of organization (for profit, non‑profit, corporation, association, etc.).


dotLaw is being registered as a Delaware “for profit” corporation. The corporation’s principal location is McLean, VA.  dotMD’s domain server will be located at Exodus, a well-known “tier one” provider of secure Internet hosting located in Sterling, VA.  The current shareholders of dotLaw are W. McKay Henderson, James D. Fonger, MD, and dotMD.


We anticipate the articles of incorporation will be completed by the end of October 2000.  The articles of incorporation and bylaws for dotLaw will be forwarded to ICANN at that time.


C3. Organization Structure. Size of organization, number of officers, directors and advisors, roles/duties of directors and officers and other staff, supporting and/or contributing organizations, affiliates, membership.


The dotLaw corporate officers, who make up the management structure, include the following positions. The roles of each position are self explanatory as below:

·        Chief Executive Officer;

·        Chief Operating Officer;

·        Chief Financial Officer;

·        Chief Verification Officer (for credentialing domain applicants);

·        Chief Technical Officer;

·        Vice President of Sales and Marketing.


The dotLaw domain Board of Directors will consist of the following:

·        Chief Executive Officer

·        James D. Fonger, MD (founder)

·        W. McKay Henderson (founder)

·        Representative of  dotMD

·        Representative of investors

·        Representative of large law firm

·        Representative of independent practitioners

·        Representative of a bar association



Chief Executive Officer


Interviews are currently underway for the Chief Executive Officer. Candidates being considered are both lawyers as well as being well versed in the information technology realm. A final decision will be made during the negotiation period with ICANN once the outcome of the application is more assured.


W. McKay Henderson CPA (founder)


Mr. Henderson is a Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Financial Advisory Services Practice in the Washington, D.C. office and is the National Director of the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Investigations Practice.  Mr. Henderson has been involved in numerous investigations and analytical reviews of financial information, special/forensic evaluations and enhancements to internal controls, and the analysis and calculation of economic damages.  Many of his engagements typically require the assessment of business practices, financial performance and market conditions. He has provided expert testimony in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Court of Common Pleas in Montgomery, Philadelphia and Bucks County, Superior Court of New Jersey and Delaware and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District.


His clients are primarily the top 100 law firms and General Counsel of the Fortune 500.

Mr. Henderson has been providing litigation consulting services to the legal community for over 16 years.   

Mr. Henderson graduated with a BSBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is a Certified Public Accountant in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts, the Pennsylvania and North Carolina Institutes of Certified Public Accounts and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.


James D. Fonger, MD (founder)


Dr. Fonger has been a practicing cardio thoracic surgeon in the Washington, D.C. area and has also been actively involved in a number of Internet projects as they relate to medicine. This included the development of a real time Internet based registry for cardiac surgery that collected data worldwide as it was created on a single server. That exposure introduced him early on to the concept of a managed professional domain through some of his colleagues already in the dotMD company. He has advised a number of medical device companies regarding the business development of markets for their products and currently is a reviewer for an entirely Internet based journal called Heart Surgery Forum. He maintains a close relationship with dotMD to continue learning the issues surrounding the management of a professional restricted sponsored domain and hopes to apply these lessons along with additional innovations specific to the legal profession to the dotLaw gTLD.


Kevin Scott (Chief Technology Officer)


Kevin Scott is a Computer Scientist with expertise in Internet based distributed computing and communication.  He currently serves as Director of Engineering at a privately held Internet software company developing Enterprise Decision Portal Software. Prior to that, Mr. Scott spent two years conducting telemedicine research at the U.S. Government's National Library of Medicine where he built prototype systems aimed at providing efficient, accurate and precise access to medical information via the Internet.


Mr. Scott is also co-inventor of software that allows IP networked computers to cooperatively monitor complex real-time systems.  In 1995 this software was adopted by NASA as a mechanism to distribute real-time information in the Space Shuttle Mission Control Center where it currently acquires 28,000 Space Shuttle sensor values per second and distributes them across the Internet to research facilities worldwide.  This software is also in use in the Hubble

Space Telescope Control Center, in Russia's space program, in a commercial Satellite Control Center and is a component of the on-board software for the International Space Station. Mr. Scott has a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois.



Scott Charney (Security and Privacy Advisor)


Scott Charney is a principal at PriceWaterhouseCoopers where he provides clients with comprehensive computer  security services.  More specifically, he and his staff help clients design and build security systems from scratch, test existing systems, respond to specific security related incidents, and assist law firms in technology related litigation. Prior to joining PWC, Scott served as Chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice. In this role, Mr. Charney supervised twenty-two federal prosecutors who investigated and prosecuted national and international hacker cases, economic espionage cases, and violations of the federal criminal and copyright and trademark laws. He co-authored the current federal computer crime statute, the current federal sentencing guidelines for computer crimes, the federal guidelines for searching and seizing computers, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems. He also served on the Clinton Administration’s Privacy Working Group, led the United States Delegation to the Organization for Economic Cooperation on national cryptography policy, chaired the G8 subgroup on high tech crime, and the served on the Advisory Board of the Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Charney will advise the dotLaw gTLD on security for the transfer of critical legal documents across the domain.



Susan Manch (law practice management consultant)


Susan Manch is a principal in the legal management consulting firm of Shannon and Manch, LLP. She has over twenty years of consulting and marketing experience and currently serves a client base that encompasses over 50 of the top 200 law firms in the world. Within her firm, she heads up the law firm consulting practice, specializing in assisting large law firms with attorney management matters. She has been a Dean at both Georgetown University and Trinity College, a top sales and marketing executive with SYSCO Corporation, and management consultant to law firms and legal employees. She holds a masters degree from the University of Virginia and has completed postgraduate work in marketing and organizational development. A frequent presenter for the ABA, local bar associations, and the National Association for Law Placement, she and her business partner co-authored a book for the American bar Association last year entitled, “Hiring Lawyers”. She has written articles for Legal Management Magazine (a publication of the ALA), the Legal Times, The Practical Lawyer, and the NALP Bulletin.




C4. Organization Purpose. Functions and mission of the organization, definition of community to be served (if any), method of ensuring operation in the interest of the stakeholders of the community to be served and the

at large.


Mission Statement


.law will be the domain for the legal professional and the supporting community. 


Our Mission is to develop and manage a gTLD domain for the legal profession and its support community that demonstrates the domain’s commitment to the legal community at large. This will be accomplished through an understanding of the professional guidelines and policies that are required to achieve a high level of ethical conduct throughout the domain.  We will also ensure the provision of an exemplary level of technical service and support as would be expected by the Internet community at large and would be consistent with the goals and policies of ICANN.


Definition of Community


The community to be served by this new .law gTLD is the entire universe of people who access legal services of any kind over the Internet. Currently this information is distributed throughout multiple locations across several gTLD’s. No possibility exists for the formation of a true legal community in this format. The migration of practitioners and services to a single cross referenced domain such as dotLaw would go a long way to addressing this very real need. The unique indexing function, which can be developed and utilized within a single managed gTLD, obviates the need to use a conventional search engine within the domain and assures that all the references within the domain will be found and they will be relevant to the question. The community also means having a charitable dimension to the domain’s legal offerings, which will support services such as Legal Aid and help with a more equitable distribution of legal services.



The legal community consists of the following:


·        Attorneys in private practice

·        Law firms

·        Corporate attorneys

·        Government attorneys

·        Public defenders

·        Community legal services

·        Law students

·        Legal research vendors

·        Court Reporters

·        Trial graphics

·        Copy services

·        Continuing education services

·        Bar associations

·        Individuals needing legal representation

·        Individuals seeking legal research


.law will be managed as a “professional” domain.  The stakeholders will play an active role in policy decisions that are made relating to the domain dotLaw. A broad cross section of individuals representing all facets of the legal domain will be included on the corporate board and participate in its governance.




We intend to ensure operations are in the interest of the community through the establishment and enforcement of policies and procedures that the community and the various bar associations have input to. Some examples of these P&P would be the following:


·        We intend to follow and comply with all ICANN policies;

·        We will require verification that an individual is in fact a licensed attorney through our verification process with enforcement by our Chief Verification Officer;

·        We will not allow resale of domains except through dotLaw to avoid cyber squatting;

·        We will hold back certain domain names to allow for creation of the domain’s legal index;

·        As discussed more in the policy section, we will have input from our users and the local and national Bar Associations.


Further, our corporate governance will include a Board of Directors with community representations and the appropriate fiduciary responsibility of the corporation.


C5. Appropriateness of Community. If the organization is intended to serve or represent a particular community, define the community and explain why that definition fits the TLD proposal.


As outlined previously in our response to question C4., we define the community served by dotLaw as follows:


Definition of the International Community for dotLaw


We define the .law community to represent all the legal professionals involved in the practice of law around the world.  One of the reasons we selected .law was that it is an internationally recognizable and definable term that defines the world legal community by just one word.  Professionals within this domain will be required (the exact requirements vary by country) to complete a law degree course, pass a Bar exam or have some defined years of training, before being admitted to the Bar or being allowed to practice.  Legal professionals are also then governed by various ethical guidelines/rules of conduct such as the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  The extent and content of this guidance will vary by country.  Attorneys will also typically join a Bar Association, even though there may not be a statutory requirement for their respective geographic area.  Some examples of associations include:


·        American Bar Association (‘ABA”);

·        Law Society of England and Wales;

·        Bar Association of India;

·        Colegio Publico de Abogados;

·        Moskovskaya Oblastnaya Kollegiya Advokatov (Moscow Region College of Advocates)


The legal profession can then be further subdivided into various areas of practice.  For example, using the United States as an example, lawyers may be:


·        In private practice

·        Corporate attorneys

·        Government attorneys

·        Public defenders

·        Community service attorneys

·        In other professional service organizations (i.e., consulting firms)


The international legal internet community we envision has the unique characteristics of a community of professionals governed by legal ethics and guidelines but supported by vendors that are unique in services provided such as legal research, court reporters, continuing legal education, document management, trial exhibits, etc.  The Internet at large usually searches in this community for the selection of an attorney or research/background on certain legal issues (i.e., trust/estates, divorce, corporate issues, etc.). This results in a typical search of roughly 20% to 30% of all available URL’s and produces many irrelevant subjects, which have a loose relationship to one of the keywords.  The dotLaw community is indexed and searched only within itself for all relevant legal services and referrals. The relationships between topics within the domain are “spidered” in a matrix of direct referencing which will be created at the time of customer registration and managed by dotLaw.


The legal community consists of the following:


·        Law students

·        Legal research vendors

·        Court Reporters

·        Trial graphics

·        Copy services

·        Continuing education services

·        Bar associations

·        Individuals needing legal representation

·        Individuals seeking legal research


.law will be managed as an international comprehensive “professional” domain. We intend to manage this site with the highest degree of professionalism, which embodies the overall community we will serve. We cannot imagine a constituency with more potential for feedback from its stakeholders than a legal domain by nature of who the customers are and what they do for their livelihood. If dotLaw does not operate the .law domain in a manner that is consistent with the interests of the international legal community then the stakeholders will automatically exert the necessary control to correct this through the board positions outlined in section C3.


While the international legal community is readily identifiable, we are reminded that it also has the characteristic of being relatively unstructured and with no central mechanism of organization.  If you where to search “law.com”, the search would identify over 4,000 sites that have a broad spectrum of subjects.  If an individual wanted to search for a lawyer, after entering lawyers, the search would identify over 11,000 sites. One very important attribute that can be managed in a dedicated gTLD is indexing by both subject and geography. Geographic requests can be defined broadly by limiting an index search to a country or highly specified by requesting one state or even a particular zip code. Our vision for .law is to establish a domain that is truly managed as to both subject and geography, which will allow the domain indexing to be highly specific and searching to be very targeted. Additionally, through the sponsorship of allied associations, the needs and requirements of this new virtual legal community will be automatically embedded in the domain management structure. Violations or distortions of the domain regulations or policies by a user can ultimately be enforced if required by canceling that IP address on the domain name server.  The uniqueness of this proposal for ICANN will be the ability to see and monitor the overall impact of a new gTLD on a defined professional community by implementing a restricted, sponsored, and managed domain. 



C6. Representation. Manner in which the organization will represent and take input from community to be served, the categories of stakeholder to be included in the organization.


The community of stakeholders will have direct input to the management and direction of the domain by their seats on the Board of Directors outlined in C3. The legal community at large will have input to the organization both through these representatives as well as directly to dotLaw by emailing “comments@thedomain.law”.


C7. Openness and Transparency. Measures taken to promote openness and transparency, access to information, web site use, public posting of information, meeting minutes, notice and comment provisions.


The legal community will be able to follow issues related to the domain function and management through board meeting minutes posted on the domain site. This will include notice and comment provisions as appropriate to policy and function of the domain. Input from this feedback loop will be considered at the board meetings along with input from the attendees. More immediate issues developing between board meetings will be managed by dotLaw and posted for comment in a similar fashion.


C8. Initial Directors and Staff. The identity and qualifications of the initial directors and staff.


The directors from dotLaw will be selected by the company and will be qualified by virtue of their positions outlined in C3. The directors from the affiliated organizations will be selected through their own internal processes and recommended to dotLaw for board membership. The dotLaw staff will be managed by the company.



C9. Selection of Directors, Officers, Members, Staff, etc. Eligibility, method of selection, term of service, compensation, liability, conflicts of interest, resignation, removal, vacancies.


Selection is outlined in C8. Terms of service initially will be 2 years on the board. Compensation for outside affiliates initially will be travel expenses only and this will be re-evaluated further based on the workload that these positions ultimately entail. Liability will be covered by the dotLaw corporate policy for the domain. Conflicts of interest will initially be vetted by the sponsoring organizations and then disclosed by the affiliate members when they are appointed to the board. Resignations and vacancies will be managed by the affiliates as needed. Decisions on removal will be made by private consultation between dotLaw and the affiliate organization and handled on an individual basis. Participation by affiliates on the board should be viewed as a form of virtual legal community service and done in the spirit of public service for the good of the international legal domain. For law firms this will likely be a position of prestige for the member and the firm.


C10. Policy‑Making Procedure. Provide a detailed description of the process for formulating policies for the TLD, including a detailed description of the requirements for adoption of different types of policy.


Outlined in detail in C16.2 and C16.3 below.


C11. Meetings and Communication. Frequency of meetings, location of meetings, provisions for telephone meetings, other methods of communication, and generation of minutes for meetings.


Overall dotLaw domain Board of Directors meetings will be held quarterly in Washington, D.C. Corporate business meetings will be held monthly and separately as is standard for the business management of issues specific to the functioning of the dotLaw corporation alone. Conference calling and email will serve as the tools used for dealing with more urgent domain Board of Directors issues between quarterly meetings. Minutes related to the management of the domain discussed in the domain Board of Directors meetings will be posted for comment on the dotLaw site. 



C12. Fiscal Information. Initial budget, expenses, existing capital, and sources of revenue, accounting, audit, annual report and annual statement.


We have developed an initial pro forma income statement (See Exhibit A ) based on our knowledge of the potential market, actual experiences of dotMD during their start-up period, current registry fees, planned staffing structure and initial commitment levels by our investor.


Our projections show that proposed investor funding is adequate to fund all operating requirements in the first two years and given conservative growth percentages, we expect to be profitable by our third year and have positive cash flow from operations.


Our assumptions used in the projection were as follows:


·      Six month start-up period to establish business, hire employees, develop interfaces with dotMD and develop marketing program.  We anticipate the site will be open within the six months, but do not plan to fully launch our marketing program until the site is up and tested.

·      Estimated market share percentages based on experiences of dotMD and anticipated focus of .law based on our research of the current .com market and discussions with law firms (See Exhibit B).  The size of the market was based on the following estimates:

o     Lawyers in the United States – 1,000,000

o     Lawyers Internationally – 2,500,000

o     US Law Firms –44,000

o     International Law Firms – research is on-going

o     Law Firm Vendors-United States– 1,000

o     Annual Number of Law Students – 5,000


Our estimated market share percentages, which are conservative, show profitability with less than a 5% market share.  We believe once the .law brand has been established and the community actually experiences the benefits, our market share will increase significantly above 5%.


·      We have assumed registry fees of $100 just for the domain name and $450 for domain name and enhanced legal specific web page development services.  These assumptions are based on review of current registry fees and dotMD’s experiences.

·      Our operating expenses are based on detailed discussions and the experiences of dotMD in their start-up period.  All expense categories are estimates based on our anticipated staffing structure with the exception of domain server fees, which are actual (e.g., $80,000 per month for the registry at Exodus).

·      Attached in Exhibit C is a letter of commitment from our investor.  While a specific funding level could not be discussed in the letter until our opportunity with ICANN is better defined, we have had the discussions about the amount of funding required in our first two years of operation.  Our investor, pending award of the domain for an appropriate period of time, is willing to move ahead at the required funding levels.



dotLaw will engage the services of a Big Five accounting firm to assist with the structuring of the accounting systems, control environment, perform computer security assessments and an annual audit.  We believe, given the fiduciary duty of a sponsoring organization, that annual financial audits should be performed.  Depending on the final agreement with ICANN, dotLaw will provide appropriate financial information to ICANN. If required, we may expand our auditor’s scope of service to include a quarterly review statement.  Our investor will also be actively involved in the financial operations of dotLaw and require similar financial reporting.  Our Board, which will have representatives of the community, will review financial information as part of our regularly scheduled quarterly meetings.


We recognize that the long-term reliable functioning of the dotLaw domain is inextricably bound to the financial and technical capabilities of both the sponsoring organization as well as the supporting registrar organization. We feel the projections outlined above are purposely conservative given the worldwide domain name registration experience to date. In addition we feel the dotMD real market experience that they have shared with us in confidence has allowed us to be much more focused and accurate in our financial assumptions than might normally be the case if we were only estimating these projections. It is important to note that although currently the dotMD financials are proprietary, that if we progress with dotLaw to the next level of discussions with ICANN, dotMD has agreed to meet with ICANN to supply this information in confidence at that time. In addition, their site can be accessed today for initial information at www.thedomain.md



C13. Liability. Liability of the organization, directors, officers, and staff.


The liability of the organization and its members will be restricted to that of the dotLaw corporation as the legal entity that manages all aspects of the .law gTLD.  DotLaw will obtain the appropriate types and amount of liability insurance based on recommendations by dotLaw legal and insurance advisors.  We anticipate our insurance will include officers and directors liability, cyber insurance and life insurance on the principals.


C14. Amendment of Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws. Procedures for making amendments to the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other organizational documents.


Articles of incorporation, bylaws and organizational documents relating to this and amendment procedures will all be supplied when the incorporation of dotLaw has been completed.


C15. Reconsideration and Review. Any policy for allowing reconsideration and review of organization policy or implementation decisions.


Reconsideration and review of any and all aspects of the domain management policy and procedures will be under  the direct jurisdiction of the domain Board of Directors.




C16. List and describe in detail the areas over which a delegation of policy‑formulation authority is sought. For each area in which policy authority is sought, please address:


C16.1. Scope of authority sought;


The .law domain will implement and follow the current policies being followed by ICANN in administering delegations of the gTLD’s and the Internet Domain Names System (DNS).  We also understand the ICANN Board may consider modifying or enhancing existing policies in the future.  dotLaw will be active in the public comment period during discussion of those changes and responsive to the needs and desires of the stakeholders.  We will therefore also implement a policy to adopt any changes to existing ICANN policies as they occur.


dotLaw will seek authority for various policies required to properly “manage” the domain in a way to ensure organized delegation of domain activities. This will be done for the express benefit of the .law domain community and to maintain the appropriate professionalism required by all the various stakeholders.  As an integral part of our sponsorship philosophy, we will also seek the active participation of the various Bar Associations and professional organizations around the world in the establishment and modifications of our domain policies.


.law will seek specific authorization for the following policies:


·        .law domain names cannot be re-registered except by dotLaw;

·        .law initial domain name registrations can be done by any duely licensed competitive third party registrar;

·        .law will withhold certain domain names for management and structuring of the domain;

·        .law will have appropriate Privacy, Professional Ethics and Security policies;

·        .law will provide first right of refusal to law firms to secure their full firm names;

·        .law content will be consistent with bar associations’ ethical guidelines;

·        .law will establish a licensing verification process;

·        .law will have a Chief Verification Officer;

·        .law will provide free domain names to community legal services organizations;

·        .law will support other community based legal programs (i.e.,  Pro Bono) within the domain;

·        .law will reserve the right to terminate any domains that operate in a manner that is inconsistent with our overall domain policies determined by the domain Board of Directors;

·        .law will be the only registry but will allow and work with multiple licensed registrars around the world.


Although we have requested authorization for these policies, our general operating principles will be consistent with ICANN’s philosophies and policies.


C16.2. Reasons/justifications for seeking authority;


The critical element to the successful implementation of a new TLD will be the appropriate management and structure of the domain from the inception.  This will enhance the use of the domain for the users and ensure the delegation to this domain in an organized fashion as not to jeopardize the stability of the Internet.  Our concept of management of the domain is consistent with the responsibilities for service to the community, a core policy of ICANN.


An example of our approach is not to allow the re-registration of .law domains.  This philosophy helps to limit cyber squatting and is part of our methodology to “ promote orderly registrations of names during the initial phases” of implementation.  This policy coupled with specific licensing verification procedures under the direction of our chief verification officer will also provide us a mechanism to monitor domain names. These policies along with UDRP are also integral to our efforts to limit risks to intellectual property rights.  The final element we believe that must be considered, in distinction from stability concerns associated with the initial phases of registration within the TLD, is the technical capabilities of the registry.  We will ensure stability through our registry partner dotMD whose domain name server resides in a Tier 1 Exodus hosting facility in Sterling, VA where it is connected to the Internet backbone.


While there has also been much discussion on the protection of intellectual property as a part of this process, there has been little consensus on what approach should be taken.  However, one point seems clear.  The type of gTLD will be a key factor in determining the types of protections required.  While there will always be some disputes, given that the targeted focus of .law will be legal professionals and law firms, the risk is somewhat less than in a traditional commercial site.  As the sponsoring organization, we will work with our legal counsel and appropriate representatives of our extended legal community to address these issues consistent with direction supported by ICANN, the Names Council, and various bar associations.



C16.3. Method of guaranteeing that your organization will administer the policy in the interest of the Internet at large; and


The policy formulation process is critical to our successfully managing the .law domain.  To this end, we would propose the creation of a policy formulation committee within dotLaw.  The policy committee will consist of key members of dotLaw management team, a representative from our registry dotMD, representatives of the international bar associations (i.e., ABA, State and Local) and outside individuals selected from the legal profession that represents various users’ interest. (See C3)  Examples of the outside representatives may include but are not limited to attorneys from large and small firms, legal administrators, law students, community legal services, etc.  The domain Board of Directors for dotLaw will approve the promulgation of any policies.  While the domain Board of dotLaw has not been formalized at this time, we anticipate the structure to be as outlined in the executive summary C3 above.


The policy-formulation process will consist of the following:


1.                  Any user as part of the domain contract will be provided the opportunity to submit request for policy development or modification through e-mail to our domain site (info@thelawdomain.net). We will eventually set up a specific email address for policy requests.

2.                  Proposed policies will be drafted by the chair of the Policy Committee based on input from our stakeholders and ICANN in response to issues related to management of the domain.

3.                  Proposed policies will be reviewed by dotLaw legal advisors and modified as appropriate;

4.                  A proposed policy will then be submitted to the committee for review, the committee will discuss the draft, finalize a draft policy and then post it on the dotLaw web site for public comment.

5.                  After 30 days, comments will be reviewed and appropriate modifications made.  If the policy has not substantially changed, then a final policy will be drafted and approved by the committee. If significant changes are required the draft may then be re-submitted to legal counsel and the full committee.

6.                  The proposed policy will then be submitted to the domain Board of Directors of dotLaw for approval.

7.                  The final approved policy will then be posted permanently on the web page.


This policy process will be international.  Stakeholders will be provided the opportunity to participate by e-mail or by phone through our customer service department.  The process will be modified as appropriate based on feed back from the community.  Minutes of the meetings will


be maintained.  If requested, these minutes and the public comments will be provided to ICANN for review.



C16.4. Whether variation from existing ICANN policies is intended at the opening of the new TLD.


            There are no significant variations from ICANN policies intended at the opening of this new international .law gTLD.




C17. Identification of Registry Operator. Please list the full legal name, principal address, and telephone and fax numbers, and e‑mail address of the registry operator:


The initial registry operator for the proposed TLD will be dotMD, Inc.


dotMD, Inc.

500 Sugar Mill Road

Suite 240-A

Atlanta, GA  30350


Phone (770) 408-2243

Fax     (770) 649-4482



William R. Mayfield, MD

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer



C18. Contract with Registry Operator. Please attach one of the following:


C18.1. A copy of your contract with the selected registry operator for provision of registry services;


C18.2.proposed terms for a contract (i.e. at least a detailed term sheet) with a registry operator for provision of registry services, proof of commitment from the registry operator for provision of services under those proposed terms, and a notation of the estimated date of entry into the contract; or


A “letter of intent” (exhibit D) outlining the details of the term sheet for a registry operator between dotMD and dotLaw is attached and dated September 27th 2000. The important terms and conditions of the relationship are specified for both parties and this will serve as the framework for the contract, which will follow ICANN approval of the .law TLD


C18.3. a statement that the sponsoring organization will also serve as the registry operator for the proposed TLD. (In this case, the sponsoring organization must prepare and submit the Registry Operator's Proposal in addition to the Sponsoring Organization's Proposal.)


The sponsoring organization, dotLaw has entered into a letter of  intent to work with dotMD as our registry.


By signing this proposal, the undersigned attests, on behalf of the applicant(s), that the information contained in this application, and all supporting documents included with this application, are true and accurate to the best of applicant's knowledge.


                                                                                                             _______________________________                       __________________________

Signature                                                                      Signature


W. McKay Henderson______________             James D. Fonger, MD

Name (please print)                                                    Name (please print)







Name of Applicant Entity


September 30, 2000_____________










(c) 2000 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

All rights reserved.


Updated August 15, 2000