Breaking a legal action like an eviction up into its individual parts, its elements, is fundamental to law - from the bar exam to element charts used for trial preparation to court rules requiring numbered paragraphs to appeals courts reviewing specified elements. Thinking in elements is thinking like a lawyer. Breaking complicated processes into individual parts is also the foundation of coding and creating chatbots through docassemble, qna markup or other tools.
When we focus on the elements of an eviction action, we find that the individual elements are often similar across state jurisdictions, although they are based on different statutes or case law, and some elements/defenses may be available in one jurisdiction but not another. If we had a standard way to write about the elements of eviction, while creating customized versions for each state, we could make multi-jurisdiction eviction defense apps, study the effects of different rules, and much more. But standardization is better accomplished through doing than thinking, so I propose that we develop a rough draft of a multi-jurisdiction eviction elements library before the hackathon, and use the tool for another project, like replicating the Eviction Fighter app for another state jurisdiction, or finding what eviction elements can be determined with access to a live court docket.
Subscribe below to get notified of new project ideas and blog posts