O MEGA - Providing copies of documents for a possible appeal


If you are asking me to advise you about a possible appeal to a higher court or tribunal if a judge has found against you, I will need to see:

  • What the judge decided (the judge's order or decision) and the judge's stated reasons for deciding that (the judge's "judgment" or "full reasons") 
  • The material which was before the judge which they had an opportunity to consider before making their decision.

Sometimes not all of the above is immediately available. For example in some courts the judge simply gives their judgment (reasons) in open court and they are not provided in writing. You might be able, in due course, to get a transcript of the recording but that is not something you have immediately and - strange though it may seem - not having a transcript is not usually a valid reason for delaying the filing of an appeal.

The written material which was before the judge should be available. Normally there will be a "trial bundle" consisting of all the documents to be referred to at the trial in logical order, page numbered throughout, and with an index at the front. Everyone - the judge and both sides - should have an identical copy of the trial bundle - so that should be available. There may have been some documents in addition to the trial bundle such as skeleton arguments, a chronology, and authorities (decided cases setting legal precedents, and statutes) and again, everyone should have had identical copies so they should be available also. 

But as well as the written material before the judge, there will be the oral testimony of witnesses (there may be witness statements in the trial bundle but normally witnesses will have been questioned and will have added to, or perhaps even retreated from, what they said in their witness statements) and oral arguments by the parties. Again it may be possible to obtain transcripts in due course but there is a cost and you may not have them yet. 

There are short time limits for filing an appeal. The time limit varies for different courts and tribunals and for different kinds of case. If you miss the time limit sometimes the law allows the court/tribunal a discretion to accept an appeal out of time, but sometimes there is no discretion. Even if the court/tribunal does have a discretion to accept an appeal out of time, you cannot be sure that that the court/tribunal will exercise any discretion it has in your favour and, all other things being equal, the longer you delay the less likely it is that a court/tribunal which has a discretion will exercise it in your favour. So if you want to pursue the possibility of an appeal, and you want me to quote for advising you, you should load up the documents you do have to MEGA, organised in the subfolders set out below, without delay and ask me for a quote.

Under Bar Council rules I am not allowed to provide any advice - and that includes advice on time limits - until after I have sent you a Client Care Letter and you have agreed the terms, and I can't send you the Client Care Letter until you have loaded up sufficient material for me to be able to quote a fee for advice. All I can say is that in view of the fact that time limits - whatever they are - are invariably short, and given that any lawyer you engage to advise you (whether me or another barrister) will have other commitments and is unlikely to be able to advise instantly, and given that if the advice, when given, is that there are grounds for appeal, the grounds will then need to be drafted (in most courts and tribunals it is not simply a matter of filing a document saying "I appeal" but the notice of appeal usually has to specify the particular grounds you are relying on which you can't normally change later on) before the deadline, whenever that is, you should either load up the documents without delay and ask me to quote for advice or else seek legal advice from another barrister without delay.


Folders in MEGA

You should create four folders in MEGA named as shown below and put those folders inside a high level folder called [Your Name] - Appeal Documents:

A - The Judge's decision and reasons

load here the judge's order (decision) and judgment (reasons) in PDF form


B - The Trial Bundle   

load here the paginated and indexed "bundle" of documents used at the trial or other hearing. You can load it either as a single PDF or as a number of PDFs but if as a number of PDFs (a) there should be no more than 10 PDFs and (b) the PDFs must be given names which cause them to appear in the correct order - e.g. "Trial Bundle - section A", "Trial Bundle - section B" etc.

C - Other documents considered by the judge   load here any skeleton argument, chronology, authority, or other document considered by the judge at the hearing but not actually in the "bundle".

D - Appeal Documents   load here any document subsequent to the judge's decision which relates to the appeal -  for example if a judge refused permission for an appeal or gave permission for appeal and, in either case, gave written details of their decision. 

How to load documents to MEGA is explained here.



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This page was lasted updated in July 2019.   Disclaimer