Disclosure of Documents - sending copies of DCS documents to the other side

There can be serious consequences of not disclosing documents you should have disclosed. For example you may be barred from using, at trial, a document which is important to your case if you have not disclosed it by the deadline directed by the court/tribunal. If there is a dispute about exactly what you disclosed and when, you need to be able to check and prove what was disclosed. So every time you send the other side a list of documents (disclosure list) or PDF copies of documents themselves, you should create a sub-folder naming it based on the date - e.g. 2019-05-16 My Disclosure - and store in it what you have sent to the other side on that occasion.  

The rules of some courts and tribunals require a subset of key documents to be disclosed consecutively before the main Disclosure of Documents stage. For example, the person who starts the case (the Claimant or Applicant) may be required to disclose key documents when they start the case, and the rules may require the other party (Defendant or Respondent) to disclose a limited number of key documents when they make their initial response to the Claim/Application. But at the main Disclosure of Documents stage, later on, it is usual for both parties to be directed to disclose a full list of disclosable documents, and copies of the documents themselves, by a particular deadline which is the same deadline for both parties. Normally the court/tribunal does not actually order the parties to "exchange" but, nevertheless, usually each party, whilst being careful to comply with the court's/tribunal's directions, will not want to send its disclosure list to the other side significantly in advance of receiving the other side's disclosure list so often the parties will agree to "exchange" even though the court/tribunal has not specifically directed "exchange". If you cannot get the other side to agree to "exchange" on a date/time before the deadline (and the other side have not already unilaterally served their disclosure list on you) you will probably want to delay serving your list of documents to the other side until shortly before the deadline and not provide copies of the documents themselves until after the other side has served their disclosure list on you, which they will have to do before the deadline.

    

Create the Disclosure List

1. If you are disclosing a subset of key documents (some time before the main Disclosure of Documents stage) make sure that all the documents to be disclosed at this stage are included the My Documentary Evidence case and untick the "Included" box for all other documents in the case leaving only the subset of key documents ticked. If, on the other hand, you are at the main Disclosure of Documents stage make sure that all the documents to be disclosed are in the My Documentary Evidence DCS case, that that DCS case contains no other documents, and that the "Included" box for all documents is ticked as shown in the example below




2. As explained in the introduction (see above) you should create a sub-folder on your computer named with today's date - i.e. the date you are creating the disclosure list. Then go to the Sections page and tap the Change button and ensure that the Order by... Date option is selected. Then go to the Bundles page, tap the Download button and, on the Master Bundle page (as shown below) tick Document Indexes, untick the three boxes below that, then tap the Web button. 




The disclosure list, listing the name of each document, its date, and its Disclosure Identification/number (Index), will then be displayed in your browser.
You should save this as a PDF (by "printing" using a printer of "save as PDF") into the sub-folder you have created.




Sending the Disclosure List to the Other Side

3. You then need to formally serve the list of documents on the other side. If you are at the main Disclosure of Documents stage the rules of the court/tribunal will almost certainly require you to attached a disclosure statement/certificate to the list of documents. 

The disclosure statement/certificate contains details of documents you used to have but no longer have and certain other information. The exact form of the statement/certificate will depend on the rules of the particular court or tribunal.

Store a PDF copy of evidence of service (e.g. a certificate of posting) in the same sub-folder on your computer which contains the list of documents. If you completed a disclosure statement/certificate store a copy of that completed certificate in the sub-folder as well. 


Sending copies of the documents themselves to the Other Side

4. A little later on (see the introduction at the top of this page regarding the sequencing of serving of disclosure list and providing copies of documents themselves) you will be providing the other side with PDF copies of the documents themselves. To prepare for this you first need to download PDF copies of all the documents on the list. First of all, go to the Sections page and tap the Change button and make ensure the Order by... Number option is selected. Then go to the View Documents page and  tap the PDF button for each document which has the "Included" box ticked (the PDF button is next to the "Included" box). When downloading you may be prompted to specify the folder to contain the downloads in which case you specify the same sub-folder on your computer which already contains the list of documents. If you are not prompted and the PDFs are downloaded to a default folder on your computer, move them, once they have all downloaded, to the sub-folder you created. Check that you have downloaded all documents which appear on your disclosure list. The counsel of perfection is to tick them off one by one but you should at least (1) check that the total number of documents on the list and the total number of PDFs downloaded to the sub-folder are the same, and (2) check that no duplicates - indicated by (2) at the end of the filename - have been downloaded.  

5. The filename format of the PDFs in your subfolder will start with the document number, followed by the document name, followed by the document date like this

0005 Letter Smith to Jones 2017-05-17

and you need to add a letter to the document number - C if you are the Claimant, D if you are the Defendant, etc to each file name. For example if you are the Claimant you would change the above file name to

C0005 Letter Smith to Jones 2017-05-17

If there are not that many files you can simply rename each one manually. Alternatively you can use a renamer program to rename in bulk. 

6. The total size, in MB, of all the PDFs you have in the sub-folder on your computer will almost certainly be greater than you can send (or the other side can receive) as attachments to an email so instead of sending them to the other side by ordinary email it is best to send them using FileMail. There are two options when sending files using FileMail: you can Send as email or Send as link. If you choose the Send as email option then as soon as the upload of the PDFs to FileMail is completed - it may take an hour or two if you have a slow internet link and the PDFs are large, but as soon as it is complete - FileMail will automatically send an email to the recipient giving them a clickable link to download the files. If, instead, you chose the Send as link option then when the upload of the PDFs to FileMail is complete, FileMail will just provide you with the download link and you can then decide when to send an email to the recipient providing them with the download link. You may want to use this option if the deadline by which you are to provide copies of your documents to the other side is not far away - so you want to get the FileMail uploading process underway, but you want to delay actually providing the download link to the other side until you have received the other side's list of documents.

Whichever option you choose, once the upload to FileMail is complete you will be provided with the same FileMail Download Page (this page is automatically displayed if you have chosen Send as Email; if you have chosen Send as link you click on "visit the download page" to display it). The Download Page lists all the PDF filenames with a large thumbnail for each (initially only a screen full of files are listed but you can, and should, click on "more files" to display all the files in a single scrollable page). You should then "print" the Download Page to a PDF and store that PDF into the same sub-folder on your computer where the PDF copy of the disclosure list was saved, as a record of what documents you have provided to the other side.    

To print the Download Page (which lists the files) to a PDF select a printer of "save as PDF" as shown in the example below. 



You should be prompted to specify the destination where the PDF copy of the webpage is to be created and you should select the same sub-folder where the PDF copy of your disclosure list was saved.
 

7. If doing the above steps involved you in unticking the "Included" boxes for some documents - because you are disclosing a limited subset of documents before the main Disclosure of Documents stage - go back to the DCS screen and tick all the "Included" boxes again ready for the main Disclosure of Documents Stage. If, however, you are now at the main Disclosure of Document stage and have now disclosed all the documents in the My Documentary Evidence case, you should load the documents into the main DCS case. Create a new section named Documentary Evidence in the main DCS case and upload all the documents in your sub-folder (just the documents themselves not the disclosure list, disclosure statement/certificate or evidence of service) to that section. The My Documentary Evidence DCS case can then be deleted.   

 
  

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 May 2019. Disclaimer