DCS - Loading documents to the My Documentary Evidence 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 provide 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 directed by the court). 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. A native copy of a PDF named 2019reviewreport.pdf will also be named 2019reviewreport.pdf 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, upload audio and video files to Mega, make a PST or MBOX copy of old relevant emails and load it to MEGA, and copy other electronic documents to a folder on your Windows computer named  e.g. Smith v Jones - My Native Electronic Documents, so that you can easily find and provide a copy of an electronic document in native form if requested.
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.


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

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.

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 digitised - i.e. 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 be missing or it might refer to the digitising 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 good quality JPG copy (with EXIF data) of an old photo digitised some time ago, download the JPG from Irista and create a temporary PDF copy from the JPG file using PDFEN Convert and load the PDF to DCS as described below under Loading PDFs. Before loading it to DCS give the temporary PDF a name which includes the digitisation date. For example if you believe the photo was taken in the summer of 1980 and it was (according to the EXIF data) digitised on 3rd November 2002, give it a name like this:

1980-07-01 Photo of Rose Cottage garden - circa summer 1980 (digitised on 3 Nov 2002)

The significance of the digitisation date is that it proves that whatever dispute or doubt there might be about exactly when the original photo was taken it must at least have been taken before the digitisation date. If the digitisation date in quite recent there is not usually any point in including it in the PDF name.

If you have a good quality JPG copy of an old photo which lacks EXIF data and has no indication when it was digitised, download the JPG from Irista and create a temporary PDF copy from the JPG file using PDFEN Convert and load the PDF to DCS as described below under under Loading PDFs. Don't include any digitisation date in the PDF name.  

If you have a poor quality JPG copy of an old photo which lacks EXIF data and has no indication when it was digitised and you still have the original photo prints in good condition, scan in those photos as described below under Loading Paper Photos rather than creating a poor quality PDF from the JPG file.

If you have created a relevant JPG snapshot 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 digital photos 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 (with their own account), 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).

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. Rename the temporary PDF like this: 2017-03-27 Email at 22.25 John Smith to Paul Jones

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

Note: for emails which contain no attachments you can either use the above procedure or you may find it a little quicker to print the email to PDF instead of doing steps 1 to 3 above - you still need to step 4.

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. Download from MEGA the PST or MBOX file containing your old relevant emails.   

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 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   

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 

Don't scan in two pages side-by-side

If you have a document in leaflet form - e.g. a single A3 sheet of paper folded in half to make a four page A4 sized leaflet - make sure you scan each page (rather than scanning two pages side by side) so that you produce a PDF containing four A4 pages (and not two A3 pages).

So don't scan it in like this

Scan it in like this

with any backsheet at the end.
Similarly, if you have a booklet consisting e.g. of 8 A4 pages made up of two folded A3 sheets stapled at the crease, make sure you scan each page so that you produce a PDF containing eight A4 pages (and not four A3 pages).

Loading Maps

If you need to obtain maps, such as historical Ordnance Survey maps, for your case, these can often be obtained in PDF form (for example from Emapsite) so that you don't have to try to scan in paper copies. If you are supplied with a series of maps, in chronological order, within a single PDF, it is generally fine to load that PDF and you don't need to extract the individual maps as individual PDFs because maps are generally presented (eventually in a trial bundle for example) in a dedicated section separate from the general chronological sections for photos and other documents. In fact, not only do you not have to extract individual maps, but it is generally best not to do so because having the PDF, exactly as received from the maps supplier shows exactly where the maps have come from, which is important. You should load the original PDF to the My Native Electronic Documents folder on your computer, then make a copy in a temporary folder, rename the PDF copy like this 1996-01-01 Historical Ordnance survey maps 1894 to 1996 and load the renamed PDF copy as explained under see under Loading PDFs

If you do have to obtain some historical maps in paper form, make sure that where they came from is apparent on the face of them. For example if you obtain a copy of a paper map, or a paper copy of a map on microfische from a County Record Office, it might not say what it is or where it came from but often the County Record Office will, on request, stamp it (usually on the reverse side) to confirm what it is and you can then scan in both the map, on the front of the paper, and the identifying stamp, on the reverse side, as a single PDF to load using the procedure explained above under Loading PDFs

If you have a map already in your possession which appears to be relevant but which does not have such identifying features, you should see if you can obtain the same map, with identifying information, from official sources and load that, in which case you don't generally need to load the map in your possession as well. However, before deciding that you do not need to load the map in your possession as well, check whether it contains additional relevant information - sometimes an Ordnance Survey map has been used as a convenient base on which some further drawing has been made. Also there are some cases where what you reasonably believed, in the past, about some matter, can be relevant and in that case what document you actually had in your possession in the past can be relevant.        

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.

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.

If you are uploading digital photos, make sure you load all the digital photos taken on a single day together in one Upload Documents operation and make sure that that, before taping Start Upload, the photos appear in the above screen in chronological order (you can click and drag to alter the order). This is important because DCS assigns an internal document number to each photo in the order in which it was loaded and then lists documents which have the same date in document number order. Similarly if you are loading emails, make sure that all emails sent on a single day are uploaded together in chronological order so that they appear within DCS in chronological order. 

Tap Start Upload

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 an email a concise description would indicate that the document is an email and give the time the email was sent and the names of the sender and recipient:

Document Title Document Date
 Email at 15.28 John Smith to Paula Jones
 20 September 2018

If there is only one person with the surname Smith and only one person with the surname Jones you can shorten the document title to Email at 15.28 Smith to Jones, but don't use just initials - Email at 15.28 JS to PJ - as the document title you enter is the title which will eventually be seen by the judge (in the trial bundle) and needs to be readily understandable. If the sender or recipient is a company with a long name such as The Blue Arrow Company (United Kingdom) Limited you can abbreviate this to e.g. Blue Arrow but don't use just initials unless the initials are very well known such as BBC or BT.  

Here are some other examples:

 Document Title  Document Date
 Letter Smith to Jones

 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 Rose Cottage garden

 Email at 18.22 Phillip Jones to John Smith

15 December 1998

 22 January 2015

 30 January 2015

 1 May 2015

 30 June 2015

 30 June 2015

 1 July 2015

 15 August 2015

20 January 2016

If the date of a paper document does not appear on its face

If the date of a document does not appear on its face, add the word circa and an approximate date at the end of the Document Title like this

 Document Title  Document Date
 Photo of Rose Cottage garden - circa 1990s 1 January 1990
 Photo of Rose Cottage - circa 1992  1 January 1992
 Photo of Rose Cottage garden - circa spring 1994   1 April 1994
 Photo of Rose Cottage garden - circa August 1995
 1 August 1995

Use an absolute approximate date such as circa 1999 not a relative approximate date such as about 20 years ago.

You still need to enter a full date (year, month, and day of month) in the Document Date in DCS - so that the document 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 Document Date entered is for sorting purposes only rather than being intended to be the exact date of the document.


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 eventually come to print that document as part of the trial bundle or other "bundle" of documents. DCS generates bundle PDFs using the same page size - A4 - throughout so, when you come to print the bundle of documents from the bundle PDF generated by DCS, it is only the presence of - A3 etc. in a document's title in the bundle index which will remind you to print that document on larger paper.

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. 


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 February 2019. Disclaimer