Bundles - How to create a Bundle for a Mediation


A Mediation is a meeting, usually lasting half a day or a day, attended by the parties and by their barristers, and conducted by a professional mediator whose fees are shared between the parties.

A mediator, unlike a judge or arbitrator, does not have the power to impose a settlement - there can be no binding settlement unless both parties agree terms - but the role of the mediator is to see if it is possible, by discussions with the parties - mostly separately initially - to bring the parties to agreement on a settlement.

Although a mediator is not a judge it is, nevertheless, usual to prepare a "bundle" in much the same way as a trial bundle would be prepared for a trial before a judge. In a Bundle every page has a page number and there is an index at the front - really a table of contents - listing every document and its page number. Sufficient identical copies are produced for everyone at the mediation. 


Typical arrangement of sections in a Mediation Bundle


Typically a mediation bundle will be arranged in the following sections:

The Index at the front will list every document in the Trial Bundle, giving the date of the document, a brief description, and the page number. The purpose of the Index is, of course, to enable everyone to quickly find a document they are looking for, but, because the index is large, it is also important that the documents are arranged in the bundle in logical order so that the index (which, of course, lists them in the the same order) is easy to use - i.e. it should be possible to guess roughly where a document is likely to appear in the index so that, in most instances, it is not necessary to search all the way though a long index.

Case Summary The first section contains documents which summarise and explain what the case is about and the main contentions of the parties. It may be that proceedings have commenced and there has already been one hearing before a court/tribunal and that a Case Summary used for that hearing can be added here for the purpose of the mediation. Other documents which may be useful in summarising what the case is about can be included such as a List of Issues or Chronology. If proceedings have not yet been issued then a  a pre-action Letter of Claim and response could be added here.     

Pleadings - otherwise known as "statements of case".  These are the documents which were drafted by each party's barrister at the start of proceedings which set out, in summary and often in a technical legal manner, what each party alleges.

Costs Documents The legal costs incurred so far, and the likely future legal costs, are important considerations when any settlement is being considered. Detailed costs documents such as invoices are not needed in a mediation bundle, but documents from the other side which summarise their costs (such as costs budgets and statements of costs incurred and estimated for the future) should be included if they have been sent to you. Likewise if you have already sent documents summarising your own costs to the other side, these should be included. However if your costs, incurred and estimated, are low compared to the other side's costs (e.g. because the other side is using expensive solicitors whereas you are a litigant in person) and you have not already sent a summary of them to the other side, you might decide to tell the mediator in confidence what your costs are but not reveal them to the other side, at least not initially. In this case you would not include your costs documents in the mediation bundle.  

Offers Often there will have been unsuccessful attempts to settle in the past and offer letters and responses can be included. Unlike in the case of a trial bundle - which must not include without prejudice offers as the judge must not see these before judgment -  at a mediation, past without prejudice communications can be included, as everything which happens in a mediation is on a without prejudice basis.  

Evidence Although it is not the role of the mediator to act as a judge, some indication of the key evidence which each party relies on can be useful in the mediation process, so the documentary evidence which would ordinarily be included if you were producing a Trial Bundle - or at least the most important documents - would be included here. Any witness statements or expert reports which have not yet been seen by both parties (because the date for exchange is in the future) would not be included.

If the documentary evidence is voluminous there is generally no need to include it all but equally there is no point in having a dispute between the parties as to what to include. Anything which a party wants included should be included. The mediator will not read everything as a matter of course but anything which either party might want to refer to, and point out, during the mediation, should be included.

Inadmissible evidence  Some documents (e.g. without prejudice communications) are not admissible as evidence before a court or tribunal but there is no reason why they cannot be included in a mediation bundle if either party regards them as important.

 

Creating the Bundle as a PDF

Use CaseLines DCS  to create the bundle in PDF form. You should create a new DCS case for the bundle (call it e.g. Smith v Jones - Mediation Bundle). Probably most of the PDFs you want to include in it will already be in other DCS cases so you can simply download them from there and load them to the mediation bundle. Once you have loaded the PDFs into the mediation bundle case, production of the indexed and paginated bundle in PDF Form is automatic.


Agreeing the content of the Mediation Bundle with the other side

If possible the Mediation Bundle should be agreed with the other side so that there is only a single bundle (multiple copies of course - one for everyone - but all copies of an identical single bundle) but this is not absolutely essential and each side could provide its own bundle (but, of course, with sufficient copies for everyone else who will be at the mediation). 

You should send a PDF copy of the draft bundle to the other side in good time before the mediation and ask whether there are any further documents they would like to see included.

Once agreement on bundle contents is reached, the final bundle can be produced. It is vitally important that everyone - the mediator, the parties, and their barristers - have identical copies of the bundle with identically numbered pages, and that it is this final trial bundle's page numbers which are used by everyone so, to avoid any confusion, it is good practice, when initially sending the draft bundle in PDF form, to the other side, to emphasise that it is a draft and that the page numbers of documents in the final bundle will be, or may be, different. 


Printing out and assembling the Bundle

It is probably easier if everyone prints out their own hardcopy of the bundle from the PDF copy which you send to them. When sending the final PDF copy you should say:

"If you intend to print double sided, you should print the PDF in two stages - the index pages first, and then the rest of the pages. This is to ensure that the last page of one section, and the first page of the next section, are printed on different sheets so that you can insert tabs."   

You may find, however, that the mediator asks you to send them a hardcopy and, in any event, you will need to print your own hardcopy. How to print and assemble a hardcopy is explained below.


1. Click the Download Complete Bundle button as shown below to download the Bundle as a PDF.



2. If you have a suitable fast colour printer which can print double-sided you might choose to print out the bundle PDFs on your own printer or, alternatively, you might use a high street print shop to do this for you. Print the PDF in two or three steps. First of all print the index pages at the beginning of the PDF single-sided. Then print the remaining A4 pages of the PDF double-sided. Then print any A3 (or larger) pages on the correct size paper and either fold them or use a larger binder for them. The bundle must be printed in colour: this is not only because some pages may contain photographs or colour-coded plans but because the page number on every page is in red and red printed in greyscale can be difficult to see.

3. When you have printed out the bundle pages, hole punch them and file them in one or more lever arch file/ring binders, depending on how many pages there are. 

4. The very first page of the Index PDF might be a title page giving the name and number of the case and the title of the bundle (e.g. Mediation Bundle) in tramlines. If so this initial page containing only the title it is intended to be stuck on the outside of the front cover of the volume, though you can write your own sticky label to put on the front of the volume, containing the same information, if that is easier, rather than use any title page.  

5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 above to produce as many identical copies of the bundle as are required.


Disclaimer

This information page is mainly designed to be used by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services, with the intention that it be used in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. If you are not a client please bear in mind that in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation, so please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.


This page was lasted updated in March 2018. Disclaimer