Loading documents to the My Documentary Evidence DCS case





During litigation the Caselines DCS system is used to store documents. There will be three or four DCS "cases". One DCS case will store key documents prepared during the litigation itself, such as the "pleadings" in which each side particularises what it will be arguing at trial. At the trial each side attempts to prove what it is arguing by using evidence. Witnesses at the trial are one form of evidence; another form of evidence is documents - photos, letters, emails, taken/written by you or by other people in the past which help to prove where the truth lies. The documentary evidence which you have you will be loading into a separate DCS case named My Documentary Evidence and this article explains how to load documents into the My Documentary Evidence case.

One reason why your documentary evidence is loaded to a separate DCS "case", called My Documentary Evidence, is that at the Disclosure of Documents stage of the litigation you will be providing copies of relevant documentary evidence (and a list) to the other side. By the time you get to the Disclosure of Documents stage, some documents created as part of the litigation process, such as pleadings and orders (and any witness statements supporting an early application for interim relief) will already have been sent to the other side and other documents produced for the litigation, such as the main witness statements, may be being held in reserve awaiting the future date set for exchange, and it makes the Disclosure of Documents stage simpler, and less liable to error, if those documents are in one DCS case and there is another, separate, DCS case just for your documentary evidence which you will be disclosing to the other side at the Disclosure of Documents stage. 

Once documents - in PDF form - are loaded into a DCS case they become easily manageable and it is the copy in DCS which is then used for most purposes in the litigation including producing a disclosure list (at the Disclosure of Documents stage) and producing a paginated and indexed trial bundle (at the trial stage). However it is possible that at some stage - particularly at the Disclosure of Documents stage - you might be asked to produce an original document: the paper document if that is what the original was, or an electronic document if the original was e.g. a JPG file created on your phone when you took a picture, an email, a spreadsheet, etc. If the other side wishes to see an original electronic document they do not usually seek access to the actual device where the original electronic document is (e.g. your phone) - if they did special arrangements would need to be made (e.g. for the phone to be examined by a neutral expert). But usually what the other side are seeking is simply a native copy of the original electronic document. native copy of an electronic document is a copy which is exactly the same - same name, same format, same data - as the original, so if, for example, the original is a JPG file named 20150822_125643.jpg the native copy will be a JPG named 20150822_125643.jpg too. You need to ensure that you are able to quickly locate and provide native copies of electronic documents when necessary. Whatever else you do to preserve original documents, you should upload digital photos (and videos) on your devices to Canon Irista, make sure your email system does not automatically delete old emails so that they all remain available in your email system, and copy other electronic documents to a folder on your computer named  e.g. Smith v Jones - My Native Electronic Documents, so that you can easily find and produce a copy of an electronic document in native form if requested. Note that text messages are not stored in separate ordinary files on your phone so if you have relevant text messages you should create JPG snapshots and copy those snapshot JPGs to the My Native Electronic Documents folder on your computer as the "next best thing" to a native copy. You can copy documents to the My Native Electronic Documents folder on your computer using a USB cable. Alternatively you can copy documents by first loading them from your device to a system "in the cloud" such as Google Drive, and then downloading them from Google Drive using your computer
     
Documents can only be loaded to DCS from the local storage of the computer you are logged on to DCS from, which needs to be a Windows computer because some of the apps used to produce PDF copies for loading to DCS, only work on a Windows computer. So you should place the My Native Electronic Documents folder on that Windows computer so that you can use copies of documents in that folder to load to DCS. 


Loading digital photos 

For digital photo JPG files (containing EXIF data showing the device which took the photo and the date and time it was taken) use NAMEXIF and FastStone Photo Resizer to make temporary PDF copies and load the PDF, as explained below.

1. Download the JPG files from Irista to a temporary folder.

NAMEXIF

2. You then need to use NAMEXIF to rename the JPG copies in the temporary folder to add the date and time taken information, and to add a one or two word description of the subject of the photos. 

For example, if the case is about a land dispute between you (at No 22 Grove Road) and your neighbour (at No 24 Grove Road) it may be that all the photos are either of No 22's garden or of No 24's garden and, if so, that is generally all you need to say. The different photos may show different details: how things were before some change, how they were after some change, and some photos may show sections of fence, and others walls or hedges, but it is only the general subject - "No 22 garden" or "No 24 garden" - which needs to be included in the photo name. Note that in this example you do need to say "No 22 garden" not "My garden" because for the eventual trial your documents and documents from the other side will both appear in a joint "trial bundle" so the names used must be meaningful for everyone - for you, for the other side, and for the judge.  

So, in this example, you would run NAMEEXIF twice. Once selecting photos which show No 22 garden, and a second time selecting the remaining photos which show No 24 garden. 

When you run NAMEXIF the first time, on the first panel (the Photos Selection panel shown below) you would select the photos for No 22 garden and press Next.



Then on the next panel (the Choose Format panel) enter the details shown below 


and press Next to complete the rename process



When you run NAMEXIF a second time selecting the photos for No 24 garden of course you type in No 24 garden on the Choose Format panel.


If you get a "not an EXIF picture" error message

Note: if you get an error message for a JPG file saying e.g. IMG_2865 is not an EXIF picture this is either be because the file is not actually an original digital photo at all or else because it is a digital photo which has somehow lost its original EXIF data. See Loading Images which are in JPG form but which lack meaningful EXIF data for how to process the file in this situation.

If the JPG file was created from the original non-digital photo some time ago, you should, after processing the file as described under Loading Images which are in JPG form but which lack meaningful EXIF data below, save the JPG in youMy Native Electronic Documents folder (before removing the copy from your temporary folder) even if you still have the original paper/card photo in good condition. This is because although the JPG is not the "original original" it is some kind or original in the sense that it was the "original scanned copy" made some time ago and might possibly have some evidential value (e.g. in shedding light on when the original photo may have been taken). However you don't need to store the JPG in the My Native Electronic Documents folder (before removing the copy from your temporary folder) if the JPG has recently been created (i.e. created after litigation started) from the non-digital photo because in that case it is simply a copy created in the course of the litigation process.       


FastStone Photo Resizer

3. Use FastStone Photo Resizer Batch Convert option to create temporary PDF copies from the renamed JPGs. 

When using the Batch Convert option to create the temporary PDF copies use the Advanced Options shown below to include the device make and model and date and time taken (from the EXIF data) in the PDF copy in red in the top right of the page within a white border.







Note: due to width restrictions in FastStone Photo Resizer's text box the illustration above does not show the full text entered. For the avoidance of doubt the full text to be entered is  ($E) ($F)   ($H2)-($H3)-($H4) at ($H5).($H6).($H7)   

  
4. When you have created the temporary PDF copies using NAMEXIF and FastStone Photo Resizer, load the PDFs to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs
  

Loading Images which are in JPG form but which lack meaningful EXIF data 

JPGs which are not digital photos

Many people have had their old photos made into JPG files (either by scanning prints or from the negatives) but these JPG files will lack meaningful EXIF data. The EXIF data may just missing or it might refer to the scanning process itself - i.e. it might give a camera make and model which is the make and model of the scanner, and a date and time taken which is actually the date and time the photo was scanned in - not the date and time the photo was originally taken. If you have a JPG like this which is not a true original digital photo and therefore lacks meaningful EXIF data you should either create an temporary PDF copy from the JPG file using PDFEN Convert and load the PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs or, if you still have the original photo prints in good condition, you could scan in those photos as described below under Loading Paper Photos. 

Similarly if you have created JPG snapshots from a video file, use PDFEN Convert to create a temporary PDF copy and load the PDF copy to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.

JPG copies of digital photos but with missing EXIF data 

If the JPG file is a copy of a digital photo but has somehow lost its EXIF data, it is worth seeing if an original copy, including EXIF data, can be obtained. If you have the original photo on the original device check whether it is intact with EXIF data and if it is, upload it to Irista. It is generally best to upload it to Irista direct from the device it is on (e.g. by installing the Irista app on the device) rather than by attempting to copy the JPG file to another device before uploading to Irista because it may be that it is such copying which resulted in the EXIF data being missed off the copy. Apple devices, in particular, are prone to lose EXIF data when copying. If it was someone else who provided you with the digital photo, you could ask them to sign up to Irista, upload the original JPG, put it in an album and grant you access so that you can download a copy - which you can then upload to your Irista account. Once the JPG (complete with EXIF data) is in your Irista account, proceed as described in Loading digital photos above.


Loading Paper Photos

You need to scan in photos which are in paper or card form as explained under Loading Paper Documents below. Before you start the scan operation for a photo check whether there is any information written on the reverse of the photo and, if there is, scan in both sides of the photo as a two page PDF for loading to DCS. Many photo prints will have the date when the were produced from the negatives on the back which will be some evidence of the date the photo was taken (i.e. it could not have been taken after that date).

Tip: you might have recently created PDF copies of the paper/card photos in a Google Drive folder (you might have done this as a convenient way of providing documents to me when you previously asked for a legal Opinion). If so and you still have this Google Drive folder you can save time by temporarily downloading the Google Drive PDFs and loading them to DCS, as described below under Loading PDFs, rather than scanning the photos in again.


Loading Emails

Method 1

You should be able to access all your emails from your Windows computer. Even if you normally use some other device for email, you should be able, using your Windows computer, to log on to your email provider's website (for example if your email address ends with gmail.com go to the GMail website, if it ends with btinternet.com go to the BT website) and access your emails on the website.

If you have only a small number of emails to be loaded to DCS, you can do the following for each email:-

1. Forward the email to mail@pdfen.com  

2. After a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and a temporary PDF (containing the original email message together with any attachments) will be downloaded.

3. Load the temporary PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs

Tip: you might have recently created PDF copies of emails in a Google Drive folder (you might have done this as a convenient way of providing documents to me when you previously asked for a legal Opinion). If so and you still have this Google Drive folder you can save time by temporarily downloading the Google Drive PDFs and using them to load to DCS, rather than creating PDF copies afresh from the original emails in your email system. 



Method 2

This method of loading emails can take a little while to set up  - perhaps 30 mins if you are unfamiliar with the software - but once it is set up you can use it to load large numbers of emails very quickly, with each PDF automatically being given the right Document Title and Document Date in DCS which will save you a lot of typing laterBecause Method 2 takes a little while to set up, Method 1 is probably a faster method for up to 30 emails, but for more than 30 emails Method 2 is probably faster.  

1. If the emails are in Gmail create a copy of them in an MBOX file or if they are in Microsoft Outlook on your Windows computer create copies in a PST file.  

2. Start PSTViewer. Choose Settings from the drop down list and select the English date format dd/MM/yyyy and a time format of 24hr.

3. Tap the Export tab and select PDF - attachments converted/included from the drop-down list. Tap Edit profile. Select Root folder and navigate to and select the out folder which is to contain the temporary PDF copies.

4. Select File name schema and set up the PDF filename pattern like this:



tip: you have to drag the Sent button up to the line above three times, once to select date, once to select hh and once to select mm.   

Click OK OK to return to the main PSTViewer panel.

5. Navigate to the PST or MBOX file and select the emails you want to create the temporary PDF copies of. Then tap the Export button. PDF copies will then be created in the output folder with filenames in the format 2017-03-27   Email at 22.25 John Smith to Paul Jones

6. Load the temporary PDFs to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.


Loading Text Messages


Create temporary PDF copies of the text messages (from the JPG snapshots of the text messages) as explained here. Then load the temporary PDFs to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.


Loading Video and Audio files

I would recommend that you do not actually load video and audio files to to DCS but rather make a PDF placeholder document containing a link to the video/audio file itself, and load just the PDF placeholder file to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs. 


Loading other electronic files which are not PDFs

Use PDFEN Convert to create temporary PDF copies of the files - a couple of minutes after you tap the Convert button the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link to download the PDFs (one for each document).

PDFEN uses default values when creating PDF copies and you may find that some copies are not in the most appropriate format - e.g. a PDF copy of a spreadsheet may lack gridlines. Check each PDF created by PDFEN carefully and if the PDF created is not satisfactory use the print facility to "print to a PDF" instead.

Once you have created the temporary PDF copy, load it to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.   

Tip: you might have recently created PDF copies of files in a Google Drive folder with each file being named starting with its date in yyyy-mm-dd format so that they appear in chronological order (you might have done this as a convenient way of providing documents to me when you previously asked for a legal Opinion). If so and you still have this Google Drive folder you can save time by temporarily downloading the Google Drive PDFs and using them (rather than creating PDF copies afresh from the files in the My Native Electronic Documents folder) to load to DCS. If you do this the fact that the PDF names commence with the date in yyyy-mm-dd format will mean that when you load the PDFs to DCS, DCS will automatically populate the date, saving you having to type in dates later on.


Loading copies of web pages

If the contents of a web page is relevant to your case, make a PDF copy using the Save as PDF option of the Print function of Chrome as shown in the example here. Then load the PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.    

Loading Street View images

If you find a Street View image which is relevant to your case, make a PDF copy using the Save as PDF option of the Print function of Chrome as shown in the example and here. Then load the PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.    


Loading Google Earth images

If you find a satellite or aerial photograph on Google Earth which are relevant to your case, take a screen print (i.e. press ALT-Print Screen) of the image, paste the screen print into an app (e.g. Word) and save as a PDF as explained hereThen load the PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.    

 

Loading paper documents 


Method 1: Use your scanner to scan to a USB stick

Many scanners have a slot for a USB stick and allow you to scan direct to the USB stick as a PDF. You then insert the memory USB stick in to your Windows computer and load the PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.

Method 2: Use your scanner connected to your computer

Alternatively you can plug the scanner into your computer and scan documents to temporary PDFs. Then load the PDFs to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs.

Whichever method of scanning you use it is important that all pages of a single document should should be scanned into a single PDF

Whichever method you use, if a document consists of more than one page, make sure that all pages are scanned into a single PDF. Don't produce a separate PDF for each page as it makes it very difficult if you have to keep closing one PDF and opening another to read through the document. 

If you put all the pages of a document in the document feeder on your scanner they should, by default, be scanned into a single multi-page PDF. If you are not using the document feeder but are instead putting each page of a document, in turn, on the glass (e.g. because the pages are fragile) the scanning dialogue you use should prompt you after scanning each page to say whether there are more pages of the document to be scanned (or whether the page you have just scanned is the last page of the document) so that it knows to include the next page in the same PDF as the preceding pages.  

If you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass, consider buying a new scanner. The cost of good quality scanners is coming down all the time and you can buy a combined scanner and printer, which can scan and print double-sided, A4 and A3, for less than £150. When buying a scanner make sure that the scanner has a double-sided automatic document feed (ADF) as you may find that many of the documents you need to scan in are printed on both sides.

Scanner/printer shown above is a Brother MFCJ6530DW 

Tip: you might have recently created PDF copies of paper documents in a Google Drive folder with each file being named starting with its date in yyyy-mm-dd format so that they appear in chronological order (you might have done this as a convenient way of providing documents to me when you previously asked for a legal Opinion). If so and you still have this Google Drive folder you can save time by temporarily downloading the Google Drive PDFs and loading them - as described below under Loading PDFs - rather than scanning in the documents again.


Loading PDFs     

Note: If you have a PDF which contains more than one document you will need to extract the individual documents as individual PDFs before you can load them to DCS.

Tip: you might have recently loaded PDFs in a Google Drive folder with each file being named starting with its date in yyyy-mm-dd format so that they appear in chronological order (you might have done this as a convenient way of providing documents to me when you previously asked for a legal Opinion). If so and you still have this Google Drive folder you can save time by temporarily downloading the Google Drive PDFs and using them rather than loading the original PDF copies afresh to DCS. If you do this the fact that the PDF names commence with the date in yyyy-mm-dd format will mean that when you load those PDFs to DCS, DCS will automatically populate the dates, saving you having to type in dates later on.


2. Go to the My Documentary Evidence "case", and press the Sections button.

3. Tap the Upload Documents(s) button next to the section the documents are to be loaded into and the panel below will appear. Tap Add files, navigate to where the folder on you computer the PDFs are, and select the PDFs to be loaded as shown in the pictures below.









Go through each document now on DCS and type in a Document Title and Document Date


Select Update All Documents and the panel below will appear. 



Type in the Document Title and Document Date for each document. You may find it easier if you display the first page of each document as you type the details in.        

Note: if the PDFs you loaded commenced with, or ended with, the date in yyyy-mm-dd format or yyyy.mm.dd format then the Document Date for each document should automatically be set by DCS when the document is loaded. Otherwise dates will default to today's date so you will need to change the Document Date, for each document, to the date of the document itself. 

When typing in the Document Title, the objective is that the description should be concise but should be sufficient (when combined with the document date) to enable anyone to identify the document.

So in the case of a letter a concise description would indicate that the document is a letter and give the name of the sender and addressee:

Letter John Smith to Paula Jones   


When typing in Document Title bear in mind that the name you enter 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 the judge and others and not just a description which is relative to you and to today's date. For example do not type  

Letter sent to John Smith last year

but rather enter the actual date of the letter - e.g. 20 September 2018 - and name both sender and addressee like this:


 Document Title  Document Date
  
 Letter Jane Jones to John Smith
 
 20 September 2018


Here are some other examples:

 Document Title  Document Date
 
 Photo of Brookwood garden

 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 at 10.23.41 Brookwood garden

 Email at 18.22 Phillip Jones to John Smith

 
15 December 1998

 8 October 2014

 22 January 2015

 30 January 2015

 1 May 2015

 30 June 2015

 30 June 2015

 1 July 2015

 15 August 2015


If you do not know the exact date of a document

If you do not know the exact date of a document, say what you know about the date at the end of the Document Title like this

 Document Title  Document Date
 Photo of Brookwood garden - circa 1992 exact year unknown    1 January 1992
 Photo of Brookwood garden - spring 1994 exact date unknown   1 April 1994
 Photo of Brookwood garden - early August 1995 exact date unknown

 1 August 1995

You still need to enter a full date (year, month and day of month) in the Document Date in DCS - so that the photo appears in the (approximately) correct order after older documents and before newer documents - but the words at the end of the Document Title make clear that that full date at the start is for sorting purposes only and the exact date is in fact unknown.

  

Date of receipt of documents

The date entered into DCS as the Document Date is always the date the document was created/signed. For most documents there is no need to indicate, in addition, when a document was received by you but very occasionally this might be important and, if it is, the date received can be entered in brackets at the the end of the Document Title.


A3 and larger documents

For A3 and larger documents, you should add - A3 etc. at the end of the Document Title to remind you to use the right paper (and the fit to paper print option) when you come to print the document. DCS stores all documents, whatever page size they were when loaded, as A4, so nothing in DCS itself will tell you what size paper to use.


Land Registry Official Copies

When the Land Registry provides an Official Copy of a document, it will either have a title page saying that the official copy follows this page or the document will be stamped on the first page with an Official Copy or Office Copy stamp, and on the first page should be a Title Number which will usually be in the form AB123456. Land Registry official copies like this should be named with the Title Number at the beginning of the Document Title:


 Document Title  Document Date
 
 AB123456 Transfer

 AB123456 Transfer

 AB123456 Transfer

 AB123456 Register of Title

 AB123456 Title Plan

 

 
 11 November 2010

 3 August 2017

 27 October 2017

 11 October 2018

 11 October 2018

 


If the Disclosure of Documents stage has already taken place

In most legal proceedings there is a disclosure of documents stage at which each party is obliged to send to the other party a list - usually a numbered list - of the documents it proposes to rely on at trial and often also (depending on the court's/tribunal's order) other relevant documents the party has as well. It is useful to be able to identify which party has disclosed each document and if, when you are loading documents to DCS, the Disclosure of Documents stage has already taken place, then when naming the documents you should include the disclosure list number at the start of the Document Title like this:


 Document Title  Document Date
  
 C12 Letter Jane Jones to John Smith
 
 20 September 2018

The letter C indicates that the document was disclosed by the Claimant and C12 indicates that it is document number 12 on the Claimant's Disclosure List. D is used for Defendant, A for Applicant, R for Respondent etc.

The rules of most courts and tribunals require documents to be listed individually on a disclosure list so if it is a numbered disclosure list each document will have its own number. If, exceptionally, a party is allowed to list documents on its disclosure list as groups - e.g. "12.   Ten photos of Brookwood garden" then an alphabetic suffix should be used for each document in that group entry - e.g. C12a, C12b, C12c, etc. See here for a longer explanation. 

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. Any sample screen layouts are based on the version of software current when the screen shot was taken and may be different now. 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 November 2018. Disclaimer