Caselines DCS - Common Mistakes



Once you have loaded documents into DCS, check the list of common errors below to ensure that everything is loaded and named correctly.

A colour document has been scanned in as black and white

You need to select the appropriate option - colour rather than black and white - when scanning in the document before loading it to DCS. Since virtually all scanners can scan in colour there is generally no reason not to scan all documents in in colour. If you have already scanned in a document in black and white then this is, of course, fine if the original is black and white, or if the only colours on the original are of no significance (e.g. a letter where the letterhead happens to have a colour logo) but photographs must always be scanned in in colour and any map, plan or other document which uses colour coding must be scanned in in colour. 


A document is partially illegible

Have a look at the original paper document and compare with the copy on DCS. If the original document is easier to read than the copy on DCS, try changing the options on your scanner (e.g. light/dark and contrast) to see if you can make a better copy to load to DCS. If, however, the original document is partially illegible and the copy on DCS is the best that can be done, then you should make this clear like this:-

Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (partially illegible)    


A document is completely illegible

Have a look at the original paper document and compare with the copy on DCS. If the original document is easier to read than the copy on DCS, try changing the options on your scanner (e.g. light/dark and contrast) to see if you can make a better copy to load to DCS. If, however, the original document is completely or almost completely illegible and the copy on DCS is the best that can be done, then you should make this clear like this:-

Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (mostly illegible)    

 

The top/bottom/side of a page in a document has been cropped

This can happen as a result of a scanner document feeder missfead or if you place a page on the glass of a flatbed scanner in the wrong position. If can also sometimes happen if you set your scanner software to automatically detect the page size and it auto-detects wrongly. If this is the cause, delete the document from DCS and try re-scanning it and loading it again.

However, if the problem is caused by the original paper copy already being cropped then indicate this like this:

Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (best possible copy - original is cropped)
    

Document pages loaded separately

The pages of a document are split between multiple documents on DCS. For example a document on DCS contains only the first page of a letter and the second page of the letter has been loaded to DCS as a separate document. 

The most usual cause of this error is that you have scanned in one page of a letter, or other document, as one PDF, and then scanned in the second page as a new PDF. Another common cause is that you have scanned in the documents to JPG format, rather than PDF format (JPG is an image format used mainly for photos and every JPG file is a single page so if you select JPG format when scanning in a multi-page document your scanner software has no choice but to produce one jPG file per page). To correct this problem now you need to merge the PDFs to create a single PDF containing all pages of the document. One of the easiest ways to merge PDFs is to use www.sejda.com - chose the Merge PDF option (of the JPG to PDF option if your files are JPG). 

To prevent this problem happening in future, you need to load all pages of the document into your scanner document feeder and scan them in in one go as a single PDF.


A Caselines "document" contains more than one document

The most common cause of this error is that you have loaded more than one document into the automatic document feeder (ADF) of your scanner and have created a large PDF containing multiple documents which you have then loaded into DCS as a single document. To resolve this problem, you can split it into individual documents by clicking on the Split button in DCS. Alternatively if there are a large number of individual documents within the DCS "document", you might find it quicker to download the PDF and use Sejda to split it into individual PDFs which can then be uploaded to DCS. 

Apart from emails (where the DCS document should contain the email body and all attachments) and covering letters (where the DCS document should contain the covering letter and the enclosures) all DCS documents should contain just one document. 

A Document appears to contain what may be a very recent annotation

There are several ways in which a document may come to have an annotation. If someone prints out a letter to send and then notices a small mistake, they might correct it on their computer and reprint, or, to save time, ink and paper, they might just correct it with a pen. The recipient of such a letter only has the annotated version. If, however, the annotation was made by the recipient, they may or may not have kept a "clean" copy. Apart from correcting typos there are various other reasons why people annotate documents: they may have made notes or comments as they read, or they may have telephoned the author with queries and written down the answers as annotations. 

If possible you should indicate briefly in the title of an annotated document when (approximately) it was annotated -e.g. 

Letter Smith to Jones (annotated shortly after receipt)

or, if you do not know when it was annotated

Letter Smith to Jones (annotated)

And if you have a clean copy you should load that to Caselines as well

Letter Smith to Jones

An annotation, as described above, made in the ordinary course of events when a document is received (or, at least, made at some point in the past before the current litigation was contemplated) is very different from you recently making a copy of a photo or other document and annotating it in order to point something out to me (and/or, in due course, to a court/tribunal). You can, of course, email that recently annotated copy to me, together with anything  else you want to tell me, but obviously it is the original document, not the copy with your recent annotation, which needs to be loaded to Caselines.


A Document appears to be a duplicate 

Generally speaking the same document should not appear in a DCS "case" more than once. This is for two reasons. First, it increases the time anyone looking at the documents has to spend reading and searching because there are more pages to look through. Secondly, it usually means that the reader spends some time puzzling over why there are apparently two identical copies of the same document. If the documents, though at first glance the same, do, in fact, contain a significant difference then it is helpful if this can be indicated in brackets in the title - e.g. if one copy has been annotated and one has not they can be titled like this  

Letter Smith to Jones

Letter Smith to Jones (annotated)

If, on the other hand, the copies really are identical and there is no reason for them both to be on the DCS "case", one should be removed.   

 

A Document date is wrong

If the PDFs which you loaded commenced with the date in yyyy-mm-dd format then the date for each document should automatically be set in DCS. If this does not happen it might be that the date is in a format which DCS does not recognise when loading PDFs - e.g. 10 Jan 1980  If you are sure that the date is in the correct format  yyyy-mm-dd but DCS is not recognising it, contact the DCS help desk and ask them to activate this option. Then delete and reload the PDFs. 

If the PDFs which you loaded did not have file names commencing with the date, the date set by DCS will default to today's date so you will need to change the date, for each document, to the date of the document itself as shown here

Every evidential document must have a date in DCS. If you do not know the exact date of the document you can type in e.g. Jan 2010 or just 2010 if even the month is uncertain. If you are not even sure about the year of the document, you should enter the approximate year and indicate in the title of the document that the year is only approximate, like this:-

Document Title                                                        Document Date    

Photo circa early 1990s                                1990      


A Document Date is in the Document Title

As you can see from the picture at the top of this page, for each document on DCS there is a document Title and a separate document Date. The date of the document has to be entered under Date; if the document date is simply entered as part of the document Title then DCS cannot use it to list the documents in date order. As explained above if a PDF commences with the date exactly in yyyy-mm-dd format then DCS should use that as the document Date and use the remainder of the PDF name as the document Title but if the date in the PDF name is not exactly in yyyy-mm-dd format then DCS does not recognise it as a date, sets the Date to today's date, and keeps the date it does not recognise as part of the document Title. You need to change the date, for each document, to the date of the document itself as shown here.  



The name (title) of a DCS document is meaningless

For example the name is 201510132015123456.

The most common cause of this error is that you have created a PDF with a system-generated name, loaded it up to DCS, but not yet entered the name of the document as shown here.



The name (title) of a DCS document does not identify the document type

A one of two word document type, such as Letter, Email, Photo, Contract,Transfer, Conveyance, Register of Title, Title Plan etc. must appear at the beginning of the document title as in the following examples. 


Letter John Smith to Phillip Jones

Email at 18.22 Phillip Jones to John Smith

Memo John Smith to Phillip Jones

Purchase Order Preston Haulage to Farnfield Motors

Invoice Farnfield Motors to Preston Haulage

Agreement John Smith and Peter Fisher

Cheque Preston Haulage to Farnfield Motors

Bank Statement John Low 01378256

Photo Brookwood garden 01



The name (title) of a DCS document is incomplete and/or subjective

You may have typed a document name which, while meaningful to you now at this stage, and quite possibly understandable to me, would not be sufficiently meaningful for later use.

Bear in mind that you may be providing copies of documents if you correspond with other parties (and if there is litigation the same description will eventually be used when documents are listed in a court/tribunal hearing bundle which contains both your documents and the other side’s documents) so use an objective description which will be meaningful to others and not just a description which is meaningful to you.

The stages of court/tribunal proceedings may feel like events in the distant future but if you use suitable document names from the beginning, you will find that it will save much time, and avoid much potential confusion, later on. One of the reasons why, historically, litigation has been so expensive is that, before the widespread availability of computers, solicitors were needed to process paper copies of documents as the litigation proceeded, collating different sets of documents, adding bundle page numbers, typing up different lists of documents at different stages, etc. Providing you use, from the start, document names which will be meaningful throughout the litigation process, you will be able to carry out many of document handling stages of litigation very quickly.

The guiding principle is to use a description which will be meaningful to everyone. For example do not use


Letter sent out

Letter from John to Me

Letter sent to John

Letter received from Paul Jones

Letter me to surveyor



but rather:


Letter Jane Jones to John Smith

Letter John Smith to Jane Jones

Letter Jane Jones to John Smith

Letter Paul Jones to Jane Jones

Letter Jane Jones to Hewitt and Co


See here for a more detailed description of the names to use for different types of document or use this question and answer dialogue to quickly check what file name to give to a document when in doubt.



The name (title) of a DCS document is unhelpful/contentious

The title of a document should identify the document concisely, referring to key and uncontentious things such as the general type of document and the author and addressee (or land name or title number if a land document). It should not be a precis of what the document says (because it should not be necessary for someone to read through a document just to check that it is the document you are referring to) and should not be contentious (i.e. it should be a neutral identification of the document which the other side could agree with) so  Letter John Smith to Jane Jones should be used rather than Letter about outrageous delay.
 

A spreadsheet is in portrait and has been reduced in size so that it is unreadable 

Providing a spreadsheet is at least loaded as "landscape" it is possible to print it on larger paper by selecting an enlarge option when printing, but if the spreadsheet is loaded as "portrait" the characters may be too small to read even when printed on the largest paper size available. To resolve this problem, create a landscape PDF copy as shown here.


Pages appear to be missing from a document

If the reason why you have not loaded all the pages of a document into Caselines is that some pages are missing then you should put (pages missing) in the document title like this:-

Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (pages missing) 

This is to alert me (and anyone else who may be concerned in any future litigation) that their omission is not due to, for example, any paper misfeed when you scanned in the documents: on the contrary you found the pages missing when you came to scan them in. On the other hand if you have deliberately not loaded all pages of a document into DCS (for example because you think only the first page of a document is relevant and there are many pages all of which are dog-eared and would have to be fed one by one into your scanner) it is important to make this clear like this:-

Report Dr Jones (only first few pages loaded)

so as to alert me (and anyone else who may be concerned in any future litigation) that there are other pages which could seen if necessary. Generally speaking is is much easier for everyone if you load all pages of a document into DCS from the start but the most important thing is to make clear, in the document title, that not all pages have been loaded where that is the case. 


Attachments are missing from Emails

The body (i.e. the message part) of an email has been loaded to DCS. It appears that the email had attachments but the attachments have not been loaded into DCS.

To ensure that attachments are included, create PDFs from the emails using the procedure explained here. 

Since it is easy to load attachments into DCS with the email message, there is generally no reason not to do so but if for some reason you do not intend to do so at this stage (for example because you think the attachments themselves are not relevant) it is important to make this clear like this

Email at 10.36 John Smith to Paula Jones (attachments not loaded) 


A Document is "instructions"

See here for an explanation of what "instructions" are. Instructions - i.e. your thoughts or "take" on the situation in word or visual form - should not be loaded into a DCS case designed for documentary evidence because they are not evidence but you can, of course, send them to me by email if they are relevant.


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.

Any explanation about naming conventions or other matters in the context of tribunal or court procedure is only an overview and 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.

This page was lasted updated in July 2017. Disclaimer