DCS - If the other side asks you to produce the bundle instead of them



IMPORTANT This information page is designed to be used by clients of John Antell who are to be represented by him at a civil trial in a court or tribunal. It is intended to be used only by clients who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services by John Antell and only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about their individual case. This information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else. If you are not currently a client of John Antell you may want to obtain a quotation for representation at a forthcoming trial


The court/tribunal will have given directions that one party - usually the party which started the litigation, the Claimant or Applicant - must produce the Trial Bundle in the required number of hardcopies and deliver the requisite number of copies to the court/tribunal office by a deadline date. The directions will require the other party to co-operate in the process. This may be simply a general direction to co-operate or there may be some specific steps which the directions mandate such as that the bundle-producing party is to produce an initial draft index (list of documents to be included in the Trial Bundle) by a certain date and the other party must comment on it (e.g state what additional documents they require to be included) by a certain date.

If it is the other party which has been directed to produce the Trial Bundle you may find that at some stage they ask you to do more than co-operate. They may ask if you can produce and deliver copies of the hardcopy bundle instead of them, or they may ask if you can carry out some particular task which would normally fall to them.

If this happens then it may sometimes be sensible to agree to do at least part of what the other side ask. Generally you should not agree to actually produce and deliver copies of the hardcopy bundle if the court/tribunal has ordered the other side to do that. But you might agree to do other things up to, and perhaps including, producing the Trial Bundle PDF (from which the hardcopies can be printed out by the other side). 

If you agree to do anything (beyond what the court's/tribunal's order requires you to do) it is important that you are clear about what you are and are not agreeing to do, and what the other side has to do (and by when) to enable you to do whatever it is you have agreed to do. Otherwise you may end up in the situation where you are unable to do what you have committed to and you may be criticised for that (e.g. by the judge when deciding who should pay whose costs). Bear the following in mind.  

1. It can be frustrating if someone less efficient than you is preparing the bundle and all you can do is tell them what documents you want included and trust that they are dong things correctly, so there are advantages in having the opportunity to do things yourself.

2. Typically the other side, seeing that you have a system (DCS) which can generate bundles will ask you to load up some documents they require to be included and provide the resulting PDF bundle to them. If the documents are documents they have previously disclosed it should simply be a matter of ticking the Included box but if they are documents not yet loaded (e.g.items of inter partes correspondence) then before you agree to do this:

a.) check that they will be providing the documents to you as PDFs - you don't want to commit to converting documents which are in another format into PDF before loading to DCS unless you are confident you can do this.

b.) check how many documents there will be - if there are not very many then typing into DCS the document title and document date may not take too long but if there are a lot of documents you may want to stipulate that the PDFs which the other side sends you must have names starting with the date in yyyy-mm-dd format followed by a concise document description like this:  2019-08-22 Letter Smith to Jones so that DCS sets the document title and document date automatically.

c.) check when the PDFs will be provided to you and make your agreement conditional on that - e.g. "providing you send me the PDFs by.... and there are no more than...   I should be able to..."

d.) make clear that you reserve the right to object to any document if, when you see it, it is clear that the other side is not entitled to have it included.

3.  Once you have agreed to do something like the above, and it thereby becomes understood that your DCS case is to be used to create the Trial Bundle (and is not merely a means by which you identify documents you would like to be included) it becomes more or less inevitable that you will, at some stage, need to mark all references to documents in witness statements as explained here. In theory you could provide the other side with update access to the DCS case and insist that this is something they must do but you probably don't want to give them update access, so, before you agree in the first place to load documents into DCS (2 above) you should bear in mind that in practice this will probably mean that you will have to do the work of marking up the witness statements (all document references in all witness statements).


Disclaimer

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 August 2019. Disclaimer