Disclosing copies of DCS documents to the other side

When you send many documents to your opponent at the Disclosure of Documents Stage, you should send them as a bookmarked PDF so that you have a permanent record of what was sent. Although it is a single PDF, as it is bookmarked your opponent can easily extract individual documents, if required, using e.g. Sejda Split PDF by Bookmarks

Note: If you were providing your own lawyer with access to documents you could simply give them direct read access to the relevant DCS case, but since the person you are providing the documents to is your opponent it is best not to do this for the following reasons:

  • There are documents which, as part of the legal process, you will need to disclose to your opponent but there are also documents which you are not obliged to, and do not want to, disclose, at least not yet, such as privileged documents and documents the court/tribunal has directed to be exchanged rather than disclosed unilaterally (such as witness statements and expert reports). If you grant your opponent read access to a DCS case - any DCS case - as you update the case from time to time you may inadvertently be disclosing documents you did not intend to disclose. 
  • 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. If copies of documents have been provided to the other side only by giving them general read access to a DCS case, and inviting them to log on to DCS and download any documents they require copies of, it can sometimes be difficult to prove, later on, what was provided and when. At the time when the dispute about disclosure arises you can see what a DCS case then contains but what did it contain months earlier when you gave the other side read access and at what point did they actually download documents from it?

1. If you are disclosing documents at the main Disclosure of Documents point in litigation make sure that all the documents to be disclosed are in the My Documentary Evidence DCS case and that that DCS case contains no other documents. The rules of some courts and tribunals require a subset of key documents to be disclosed at an earlier stage in the litigation (some time before the main Disclosure of Documents stage) and in that case you would create a sub-bundle which includes only some of the documents in the My Documentary Evidence DCS case for this "Initial Disclosure". Also sometimes disclosure at, or after, the main Disclosure of Documents point in Litigation occurs in more than one stage and this also might be a reason to create a sub-bundle to avoid duplication.  

2. Go to the My Documentary Evidence DCS case and tap Bundles. On the Bundles page you need to tap the Settings button for the relevant bundle. If you are at the main Disclosure of Documents stage of litigation and all disclosable documents are to be disclosed in one go at this stage, tap the Settings button for the Master Bundle. If, on the other hand, you are disclosing documents in stages tap the Settings button for the relevant sub-Bundle.  

3. On the Bundle Settings page under Page Number Position in the Bundle select No Page Numbers. Also
untick Include Front Page and Index in Complete Bundle, untick Section Numbering Restarts in Bundle, and untick Display Document Numbers and tick Display Document Dates in the Index and tick Display Section Numbers in the Index, as shown below.    

Note: the reason for selecting the above options is to ensure that the bookmarked PDF contains all the documents in "clean" form without imposed page numbers, and that the list of documents ("Index") is separate from the bookmarked PDF.

Tap Save and Refresh Bundle and you will be returned to the Bundles page.

4. On the Bundles page tap the Download button for the Master Bundle or the relevant sub-Bundle as appropriate.

5. On the next page, as shown below, tap Secure Sharing to email a temporary download link. First of all you should enter your own email address as the address the download link should be sent to.

5. You will then receive two emails and when you click on the links the following panel will appear. 

The top download button named Complete Bundle downloads the complete bookmarked PDF. The download links at the bottom, in this example numbered 001 (pages 1 to 41), 002 (pages 42 to 60), and 003 (pages 61 to 68), are provided as an alternative in case someone wants to download the bundle in parts because, for example, they have a slow unreliable internet link which might fail part way through if tried to download the whole bundle in one go using the top button. The button named Bundle Index (second from the top) simply downloads a list of the documents in the bookmarked PDF. 

6. Assuming that you have a fast reliable internet link, tap on the top Complete Bundle button to download the bookmarked PDF, and then click on the Bundle Index button to to download a list of the documents, and save these two PDFs as a record of what you are sending to the other side.

7. It is usual for disclosure of documents to be by simultaneous exchange - i.e. each side formally serves a list of documents being disclosed at the same time (or within a few minutes of each other) and copies of the documents themselves are then sent by a convenient method (not formal "service") once the lists have been exchanged. So the first thing to do is to print out the list of documents and formally serve that.  

8. Once you have served your list of documents and have received the other side's list of documents tap Secure Sharing and enter you opponent opponent's email address to email a link to them so that they can download the bookmarked PDF



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 March 2019. Disclaimer