[Gnso-epdp-team] Request for independent legal counsel to assist the EPDP

Terri Agnew terri.agnew at icann.org
Mon Oct 8 15:14:30 UTC 2018

Dear all,

A call will be scheduled on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 invite to be sent shortly to the NTFY list.

Leadership requests that if additional details can be provided in the request for legal expertise in order to flesh out a statement of work, that input would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Kind regards,


From: Gnso-epdp-team <gnso-epdp-team-bounces at icann.org> On Behalf Of Kurt Pritz
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 2:55 PM
To: gnso-epdp-team at icann.org
Cc: Heather Forrest <haforrestesq at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Gnso-epdp-team] Request for independent legal counsel to assist the EPDP

Thanks, Stephanie (and to those who collaborated on this).

We have anticipated this request since the meeting in Los Angeles but our thinking on how to best execute on it has not fully evolved. Nor does the request provide the information necessary to write the Statement of Work necessary to procure the requisite skill set.

In order to rapidly create that document in a form to everyone’s satisfaction, I am asking the Support team to set up an Adobe Connect room for early in the week for anyone interested so that we can jointly form a statement of work. I’d like to schedule it at a time convenient for Rafik, who has been attending calls at midnight and 6AM everyday. I would ask interested members of the EPDP team to provide bullets that describe the legal expertise required.

Without opining on the legal expertise and knowledge requirement, here is what I am for and not for as far as the operational aspects of this procurement.

I think that appropriate legal expertise will increase our effectiveness / efficiency. The charter (rightly or wrongly) asks us to make a number of legal determinations,

I am for a reserved resource that can provide detailed, on-point, written responses to written questions within 24 hours of receipt. If necessary, we can request an in-person briefing on a specific issue.

I am not for having an attorney attend all our meetings, whether they be telephonic or face-to-face. Here is my rationale for this:

1) Orally-posed questions are often poorly formed and not sufficiently well-considered to elicit the desired information. The legal response is often “it depends.” Written questions require appropriate reflection on the desired information and will serve to promote an understanding of an issue across the entire group.

2) A corollary to the point above, vaguely worded questions, combined with on-hand counsel are likely to result in time-consuming back-and forth discussion. We attend meetings to discuss policy, not legal issues. (It goes without saying - but I cannot help myself - that outside counsel will have the incentive to extend such discussions.)

3) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The mere act of observing any event will affect that event. I believe, especially after witnessing some of the IANA transition / accountability discussions that this principle applies to ICANN discussions. I.e., having on-hand counsel would change the nature and content of our discussions - and retard progress.

4) Cost - benefit. Most all of us have employed outside counsel and with good reason - to provide specialized expertise when needed. It is likely we will have periods where there are more legal questions and then periods where there are not. I do think we have a duty to act in a fiscally responsible way and employ outside counsel in the same way that we would do in our own organizations.

I believe that using outside counsel as outlined here is the most effective and efficient path for our group.

I hope you find this constructive.

Best regards,


On Oct 5, 2018, at 4:14 PM, Stephanie Perrin <stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca<mailto:stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca>> wrote:

Hello everyone, please find attached a request to hire outside counsel with expertise in data protection law, to assist us with the analysis on the EPDP.  The RySG, RrSG, and NCSG representatives on the EPDP are all in support of this proposal, which as you know was foreseen in the Charter and in our earlier GNSO discussions.
Thank you.
Stephanie Perrin

<EPDP note re EPDP Counsel.docx>

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