DCS - Organising Documents for a Civil Court or Tribunal Case

Contents

  1. 1 Introduction
    1. 1.1 Document management - cloud storage and DCS
    2. 1.2 Don't give me access to your cloud storage folders
    3. 1.3 What you should load to DCS       
  2. 2 The main DCS case and other temporary DCS cases
    1. 2.1 Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements case
      1. 2.1.1 Pleadings
      2. 2.1.2 Orders
      3. 2.1.3 Claimant’s Witness Statements
      4. 2.1.4 Defendant’s Witness Statements
      5. 2.1.5  Exhibits needed for trial
      6. 2.1.6  Notices about Evidence
    2. 2.2 My Documentary Evidence case
    3. 2.3 Documentary Evidence Disclosed Early by the Other Side case
    4. 2.4 Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statements and Evidence case
      1. 2.4.1 Pleadings
      2. 2.4.2 Orders
      3. 2.4.3 Notices about Evidence
      4. 2.4.4 Claimant’s Expert Report
      5. 2.4.5 Defendant’s Expert Report
      6. 2.4.6 Claimant’s Witness Statements
      7. 2.4.7 Defendant’s Witness Statements
      8. 2.4.8 Photographs
      9. 2.4.9 Other Documentary Evidence
    5. 2.5 Witness Statements to be Exchanged case
      1. 2.5.1 Witness Statements to be Exchanged
      2. 2.5.2  Exhibits
    6. 2.6 Complete Set of Documents for Trial 
    7. 2.7 DCS cases (or sub-bundles) for Exhibits
    8. 2.8 Extra DCS Cases for Interim Hearing Bundles
  3. 3 Special DCS Case relating to costs issues 
    1. 3.1 For Costs Arguments case
      1. 3.1.1  Open Offers
      2. 3.1.2  Costs Orders 
      3. 3.1.3  Interim costs Schedules
      4. 3.1.4  Other documents relevant to costs
  4. 4 Folders on your main Windows computer
    1. 4.1 Smith v Jones - PDF copies of my disclosure lists and disclosed documents
    2. 4.2 Smith v Jones - backups of DCS cases
    3. 4.3 Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Hearing Bundles produced by others   
    4. 4.4 Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Exhibits and witness statements already served/filed
    5. 4.5 Smith v Jones - My native electronic documents       
    6. 4.6 Smith v Jones - Other side's electronic documents 
  5. 5 Organising Your Email Folders
    1. 5.1  Service 
    2. 5.2  ServiceEvidence
    3. 5.3  Settlement
    4. 5.4  CostsStatements 
    5. 5.5  CostsDisbursementsEvidence
    6. 5.6  CostsOther
  6. 6 Paper files you should keep
    1. 6.1 Original signed formal litigation documents
    2. 6.2 Disclosure Documentation in two ring binders
  7. 7 Disclaimer


Introduction

Document management - cloud storage and DCS

Once litigation has started, or is about to start, relevant documents are held in the Caselines Digital Case system (DCS), It is important only to store relevant documents in DCS partly because Caselines charge for every page stored but also, more significantly, because your barrister will be referring to DCS each time you ask them to do a piece of work and if the barrister has to look through many irrelevant documents on DCS that will be likely to increase the fee they quote for each piece of work.

At the outset when advice is first sought from a barrister it is important that steps are taken to preserve all documents which might be relevant evidence. At this early stage a fairly wide view is taken of what might be relevant. The next stage is to take advice from a barrister about the prospects of success in various kinds of potential legal action and as part of this process (a) some key relevant documents may be identified, and (b) some documents may be considered and deemed to be not obviously relevant to the particular legal case which is to be advanced. At this stage it is convenient to load documents which might be relevant, to cloud storage so that the barrister can easily access those documents initially identified as relevant them.

At the start of litigation the barrister would normally, as part of the process of drafting pleadings and/or applying for temporary relief (such as an interim injunction), identify and load documents to DCS, but thereafter it is your responsibility to identify further relevant documents to be loaded to DCS.       

As the litigation process proceeds it will at some stage be necessary for documents not so far considered in detail (i.e. those not in category (a) or (b)) to be considered by you. This might consist in reviewing every document not so far considered or, if there are thousands of such documents, some form of initial selection, such as keyword searching, may be used to "cull" some of the documents so that only a subset are then reviewed by you in detail for relevance. You might carry out searches in public records and/or potential witnesses may be asked whether they have relevant documents. This process will result in some further documents being identified as relevant and some other documents being deemed not obviously relevant.

However the question of which documents are relevant needs to be kept under review by you as the litigation process unfolds because an issue which was thought not to be in dispute between the parties might turn out to be disputed - potentially making some documents previously not deemed relevant now seem relevant - or an issue in dispute might be conceded by one side making it no longer in dispute meaning that some documents previously deemed relevant no longer are. 

Sometimes a document deemed not obviously relevant unexpectedly becomes relevant when another document is being considered. Take the example of a dispute about a right of way. Whether a certain route has been used, as of right, for at least 20 continuous years in the past may be relevant to whether a right of way exists, and whether a made up track existed over that route at particular times in the past may therefore be relevant. Correspondence indicating that a water tower (some distance east of the route and not accessed by it) was built in 1925 would be, on the face of it, irrelevant. Likewise correspondence indicating that a radio mast was erected in 1950, some distance further east, would also seem irrelevant. But suppose some old photographs come to light, taken looking east and showing the track. Any photo in which neither the water tower nor the radio mast can be seen must have been taken before 1925. Any photo showing the water tower but not the radio mast must have been taken between 1925 and 1950, and any photo showing both must have been taken after 1950. So it turns out that the correspondence, previously thought irrelevant, happens to be relevant, in combination with the old photos, because it helps to date the photos and thus shed light on the question of for what period of time the track was made up and, presumably, used.

You have to carry out this document management function, loading identified relevant documents to the DCS Documentary Evidence case for the use of the barrister, and keeping other documents - those not currently obviously relevant but to be kept under review - in e.g. MEGA to be copied to DCS if developments make them relevant after all. It is convenient to use MEGA for this purpose because whether a document is legally privileged affects whether it has to be disclosed to the other side if it becomes relevant, and if the advice of a barrister is sought on the question of whether a document is privileged and, if so, whether privilege should be "waived" so that it can be used, it is easy for a link to the document on MEGA to be provided to the barrister. 


Don't give me access to your cloud storage folders

The DCS system is where I will look, from now on, once you have set it up, for certain key documents as the litigation proceeds, when you ask me to carry out work at each stage. Now that litigation is continuing, it would not be cost-effective for me to search through your cloud storage, so don't give me access to it but instead you should put copies of the key documents and relevant documentary evidence, in DCS as explained below under Organising documents in DCS.  

You will be granting me access to the DCS Pleadings, Orders and Witness Statements case, Comments on Statements case and Documentary Evidence cases, as described below, so that I can use them for reference each time you ask me to do the next piece of work as the litigation proceeds. I do not need access to your cloud storage - indeed it it best if you do not grant me access as, because of the way the human mind works, if I have access to your cloud storage you may start to think - perhaps subconsciously - that when doing each piece of work you ask me to do, I will be considering everything contained in your cloud storage when, in fact, it will be the DCS Pleadings, Orders and Witness Statements and Comments on Statements and Offers cases and documentary evidence cases that I will be turning to when carrying out each piece of work.

Apart from saving costs, a further reason why I use the documents in the DCS Documentary Evidence cases (and not your cloud storage) is that if key documents have been accidentally missed out of the DCS Documentary Evidence cases I am more likely to spot that if that is what I am working from. It is always your responsibility to ensure that the DCS Documentary Evidence cases (together with the DCS Pleadings, Orders and Witness Statements case for certain key litigation documents such as pleadings and orders which are not actually documentary evidence) contain everything which will be needed at trial, and you should not rely on me happening to spot something missing, but if I work from the DCS documents that has the advantage that I might spot that something is missing if it happens be be something I am looking for as part of the particular piece of work I am doing at that point.       

When asking me to carry out each piece of work as the litigation proceeds, or in answering any questions I may have for you when I come to do each piece of work, there might be some additional document which you wish to show me and if, for example, the document is a recently received letter and it is not yet clear that that document is a relevant evidential document which needs to be used at trial - and so you have not yet loaded the document into the appropriate location in DCS - you might attach the document as a PDF to an email you send to me. Some people, particularly for large documents, find it more convenient to provide a temporary link rather than actually attaching the document to their email, and a temporary link to a specific document in your cloud storage in these circumstances is fine, but please do not grant me general access to your cloud storage. Ensuring that I do not have access to your cloud storage will remind you that it is your responsibility to ensure that the DCS Pleadings, Orders and Witness Statements and Comments on Statements cases are up to date with the key documents they are designed to hold (but no other documents) and that all relevant disclosed documents (but only relevant documents) are in the DCS documentary evidence cases.   


What you should load to DCS       

Most documents you send or receive during the course of the litigation, including both correspondence about the case and formal litigation documents, will be automatically stored in your email system, but you will find that, as litigation proceeds over many months, you will end up with a large number of emails in your email system, so, whenever you receive, or send out, a key formal litigation document, you should store a copy of it in the appropriate location in Caselines Digital Case System (DCS), as described below, so that you can easily locate these important documents when needed as the case proceeds, and not have to search for them in your email system.

A word about terminology: the whole of the litigation is referred to as a "case" and the court/tribunal will allocate a case number. But the DCS system also uses the word "case" to refer to a collection of documents divided into sections (from which, if necessary, a "bundle" can easily be produced). So at any time there can be several DCS cases for your single court/tribunal case.

The reason why there will be more than one DCS case during the lifetime of your court/tribunal case is that the litigation process involves the provision of documents by each side to the other in stages. There are good reasons for this and it is important to provide the correct documents at the correct time but not to provide certain documents prematurely. For example the court/tribunal will normally order witness statements to be exchanged and although such orders do not usually order disclosure of documents by exchange it is good practice to provide a list of documents at the main Disclosure of Documents stage and only provide copies of the documents themselves after the other side's list as been received.

Because the provision of documents is in stages it is convenient to have once main DCS case containing the key documents which have been provided to (and by) the other side, and to store key documents which are not yet due to be provided to the other side in a separate DCS case. Once the stage has been reached where the documents are provided to the other side, the documents are copied from the separate DCS case into the main DCS case and, after a full backup of the separate DCS case has been taken, the separate DCS case is deleted. It is not recommended that you ever provide direct access to the other side to any of your DCS cases but having one main DCS case containing documents which have already been provided, and separate temporary DCS cases for documents which are due to be provided at a later date, helps in keeping mental track of the status of documents at any one time.       

For example, you will be sent by the other party, at the Disclosure of Documents stage, copies of their documentary evidence – e.g. photographs or documents which came into existence in the ordinary course of events in the past such as letters, invoices, written agreements, emails, diaries, logs etc. which are probative of issues in dispute in the litigation. These items of documentary evidence should initially be stored in as separate DCS “case” as should your own documentary evidence which you will be disclosing. But once the Disclosure of Documents stage (or stages as sometimes disclosure in stages is directed) is complete,the documents are copied from the separate DCS cases into the main DCS case and, after a full backup of the two separate DCS cases has been taken, the separate DCS cases are deleted.  

Most documents which have been provided by one side to the other can, in principle, be provided to the court/tribunal. There are in fact practical reasons why the court/tribunal does not want to be provided with all the documents but in principle there is no problem with the court/tribunal seeing them. The exception is what is known as "without prejudice" correspondence. In order to encourage parties, if they choose to, to explore the possibility of an agreed settlement, there is a rule - in fact two rules - which mean that:-

a) "without prejudice except as to costs" correspondence cannot be shown to the court/tribunal until after the judge has decided who wins at the final trial. After the judge has decided who wins, "without prejudice except as to costs" correspondence can be shown to the judge and may influence what costs orders the judge then makes (e.g. if a party wins partly and does less well than a "without prejudice except as to costs" offer by the losing party the winning party may be ordered to pay some of the costs of the losing party incurred after the point when the winning party failed to accept the offer).

b) unqualified "without prejudice" correspondence can never be shown to the court/tribunal (unless, of course a binding settlement is reached in which case there will be no trial, or in certain other very exceptional circumstances)

Because of these special rules, (a) would be stored in a special For Costs Arguments DCS case to ensure that it is not accidentally provided to the court/tribunal prematurely. This special DCS case would also contain other key documents relating to costs which, though there is no prohibition of providing them to the court/tribunal before the end of the trial, will, in practice, not be relevant until after trial. (b) would not be stored in DCS at all.                  


The main DCS case and other temporary DCS cases

In the Caselines Digital Case System (DCS) groups of documents are organised into what are called cases and, within each case, documents are held within sections. As shown below, you will initially need to create two DCS cases for the duration of your court or tribunal case - the main DCS case shown immediately below and a separate For Costs Arguments case. Other more temporary DCS cases will need to be created from time to time.

The documents to be stored in each DCS case are shown in the tables below. As well as making sure you do store the key formal litigation documents in the correct sections in the Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements case as soon as you send or receive them, it is equally important that you do not store, in a DCS section, a document which does not belong there. If, for example, you were to store every piece of correspondence sent or received, into the sections of the Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements case intended for formal litigation documents, “just in case”, that would defeat the object because the important documents would be lost among the mass of more routine correspondence.

NOTE: If you are involved in both a court case and a tribunal case at the same time - for example if you are claiming an injunction in High Court proceedings and, having granted an interim injunction, the High Court has stayed the case so that you can apply to the Land Registry and the Land Registry has referred your case to the First-tier Tribunal, then you will have two sets of DCS cases, one for the Court proceedings and one for the Tribunal proceedings, and it is important to name them distinctly so, for example, you might name one DCS case Smith v Jones Court Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements and the other one Smith v Jones - Tribunal - Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements.     


Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements case


Section Title  Section
Letter
  
 Order Documents by What documents should be stored in the section

Pleadings

 
P
 
Date

 Pleading documents, otherwise known collectively as statements of case, are the documents in which each side seeks to define concisely the assertions it makes and to what extent it agrees with or disputes the assertions made by the other party. Pleading documents go by different names. In some tribunals they may be known as Applicant's Statement of Case or Respondent's Statement of Case. In most civil courts although they are known collectively as "pleadings" or "statements of case" the words "pleadings" and "statement of case" are not part of the titles given to individual pleading documents and they instead have titles such as Claim Form and Particulars of ClaimDefence or Defence and Counterclaim, Reply to Defence, or Reply to Defence and Defence to CounterclaimReply to Defence to Counterclaim, Answer to Request for Further Information, or Part 18 Answer.

Claim Form                                                              30 Jan 18 

Particulars of Claim                                                30 Jan 18

Defence                                                                    23 Feb 18

Orders


ORD

 
Date

 Orders made by a judge (e.g. about how the parties are to prepare for trial) and notices issued by the court/tribunal such as a Notice of Hearing - e.g.

Order                                                                        27 Feb 18

If Pre-Trial Checklists have been ordered to be filed, copies of both side's Pre-Trial Checklists should be stored here also.

Claimant’s Witness Statements

 
CW
 
Number

 Signed witness statements of the Claimant and each of the Claimant’s witnesses, which have been served.

Witness Statement of John Smith - 1st                 02 May 18

Witness Statement of Paul Davis - 2nd                  14 May 18


Any witness statements (and exhibits) - or equivalent: statutory declaration, Land Registry Statement of Truth, etc - for other, previous litigation are not stored here. If they are relevant to the current proceedings they will be stored in the appropriate Documentary Evidence case.

Defendant’s Witness Statements

 
DW
 
Number

 Signed witness statements of the Defendant and each of the Defendant’s witnesses, which have been served.

Witness Statement of Jeremy Jones 1st                03 May 18

Witness Statement of Pamela Jenkins 1st             10 May 18


Any witness statements (and exhibits) - or equivalent: statutory declaration, Land Registry Statement of Truth, etc - for other, previous litigation are not stored here. If they are relevant to the current proceedings they will be stored in the appropriate Documentary Evidence case.

 Exhibits needed for trial

EX Number Exhibits referred to in the witness statements stored in the above two sections. (Separate copies of all the individual documents referred to in all the above witness statements will also be stored in the appropriate Documentary Evidence case - see below.)

Exhibit JJS4 - Photos

 Notices about Evidence

 
NE
 
Date
 
 Notices about evidence sent by one party to another are stored here. This includes Notices under CPR 32.19 notices challenging the authenticity of documents. 

Notice under CPR 32.19                                         30 May 18

NB This section is for notices about evidence sent by one party to the other; it is not for notices (e.g. about hearings) sent out by the court/tribunal which should be stored not in this section but in the Orders section.      


Choose the No Page Numbers option and untick Include Front Page and Index in Complete Bundle in the Master Bundle options for this case

Note: in a Tribunal case the parties may not be called Claimant and Defendant but may have other names such as Applicant and Respondent and the section titles would then be named "Applicant's Witness Statements" rather than "Claimant's Witness Statements" etc.



My Documentary Evidence case

This case, which contains your documentary evidence, has one section, named Claimant's Documents if you are the Claimant, or named Defendant's Documents if you are the Defendant, etc. It does not really matter what the Section Letter is: you can use C if your are the Claimant, or D if you are the Defendant, or if you are temporarily creating an Exhibit sub-bundle you might want to use some other letter to ensure the correct sub-bundle pagination. 

Once the main Disclosure of Documents stage has been reached each document name is prefixed with a disclosure identification/number. The first document, for example, would have a prefix of C1 (if you are the Claimant) or A1 (if you are the Applicant), R1 (if you are Respondent) or D1 (if you are the Defendant) and these numbers are used in the disclosure list, which you send to the other side, and can be used for easy reference.


 Section Letter Section TitleSection Order Order Docs byExamples of documents which might be stored in section
 
C
Claimant's Documents  
1
 
Date

Conveyance Mardon to Hillfield     10 Apr 1982

AB123456 Transfer                           15 Jun 1998

Letter Mardon to Hillfield                17 Aug 2002

XY654321 Transfer                          25 Nov 2010

Letter John Smith to Lucy Jones   15 Aug 2012

Agreement Smith and Jones          20 Sep 2012

Email at 10.20 Smith to Jones        15 Aug 2013

Photo at 15.22.31 Orchard              23 May 2014

Photo at 09.15.41 Garden                05 Dec 2017

Video of Orchard                              24 Mar 2018

AB123456 Register of Title              31 Mar 2018

AB123456 Title Plan                         31 Mar 2018


XY654321 Register of Title              31 Mar 2018

XY654321 Title Plan                         31 Mar 2018

Photo at 12.12.53 Garden                27 Apr 2018

Choose the No Page Numbers option and tick Display Document Numbers in the Bundle in the Master Bundle options for this case.


Documentary Evidence Disclosed Early by the Other Side case

This case is for documents you have received from the other party (or their solicitors) as part of early disclosure (voluntary or compulsory) before the main Disclosure of Documents stage. Some courts and tribunals allow or require the parties to attach certain key items of documentary evidence as an appendix to their pleadings at the start of the case, or may require a subset of key documents to be disclosed early as "initial disclosure". Also a party might voluntarily disclose some documents early as part of pre-action correspondence.  



 Section Letter Section Title  Section Order Order Docs byExamples of documents which might be stored in section
 
D
Defendant's Documents 
1
 
Date

Conveyance Lloyd to Briggs       10 Apr 1999

Letter Williams to Jenkins           13 Jul 2007

Letter Smith to Jones                   15 Aug 2012

Agreement Smith and Jones        20 Sep 2012

Email at 10.20 Smith to Jones      15 Aug 2013

Photo at 16.51.34 Orchard            23 May 2014

Choose the No Page Numbers option and untick Include Front Page and Index in Complete Bundle in the Master Bundle options for this case


Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statements and Evidence case

Initially it is important to have the My Documentary Evidence case separate from other DCS cases so that it can be used at the Disclosure of Documents stage to generate a disclosure List but, thereafter, it is convenient to rename the Pleadings, Orders, and Served Witness Statements case to be named Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statements and Evidence and for extra sections to be created in it to contain the documentary evidence which is copied from the My Documentary Evidence case plus documents disclosed by the other side - documents disclosed by the other side at the main Disclosure of Documents stage itself and any documents disclosed early by the other side which have, up to now, been stored in the Documentary Evidence Disclosed Early by the Other Side case. During the copying process it must be ensured that every PDF being loaded to the Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statements and Evidence case has a name commencing with C (for Claimant's documents) or A (for Applicant's document) R (for Respondent's documents) or D (for Defendant's documents). After a full backup of the My Documentary Evidence case and the Documents Disclosed Early by the Other Side cases they are deleted.
      

Section Title Section
Letter
  
 Order Documents byWhat documents should be stored in the section

Pleadings

 
A
 
Date

Claim Form                                                              30 Jan 18 

Particulars of Claim                                                30 Jan 18

Defence                                                                    23 Feb 18

Orders


 B
 
Date

 Orders made by a judge (e.g. about how the parties are to prepare for trial) and notices issued by the court/tribunal such as a Notice of Hearing - e.g.

Order                                                                        27 Feb 18

If Pre-Trial Checklists have been ordered to be filed, copies of both side's Pre-Trial Checklists should be stored here also.
 

Notices about Evidence

 C  
 Notices about evidence sent by one party to another are stored here. This includes Notices under CPR 32.19 notices challenging the authenticity of documents. 

Notice under CPR 32.19                                         30 May 18

NB This section is for notices about evidence sent by one party to the other; it is not for notices (e.g. about hearings) sent out by the court/tribunal which should be stored not in this section but in the Orders section.        

Claimant’s Expert Report

 
D
 
Date

Expert Report Mr Jenkins                                     14 Mar 18

Supplementary Expert Report Mr Jenkins          10 Apr 18

Mr Jenkins Replies to Questions                         23 Apr 18

Defendant’s Expert Report

 
E
 
Date

Expert Report Mr Philps                                        20 Mar 18

Mr Philps Replies to Questions                            20 Apr 18

Claimant’s Witness Statements

 
F
 
Title

 Signed witness statements of the Claimant and each of the Claimant’s witnesses, which have been served.

Witness Statement of John Smith - 1st                 02 May 18

Witness Statement of Paul Davis - 2nd                  14 May 18

Defendant’s Witness Statements

 
G
 
Title

Signed witness statements of the Defendant and each of the Defendant’s witnesses, which have been served.

Witness Statement of Jeremy Jones 1st                03 May 18

Witness Statement of Pamela Jenkins 1st             10 May 18
 

Photographs

 
H

Date
 
C15 Photo at 15.22.16 Orchard     10 Apr 2001

D7 Photo at 12.40.54 Orchard       23 May 2003

 

Other Documentary Evidence

 
I
 
Date

C2 Conveyance Mardon to Hillfield     10 Apr 1982

C3 AB123456 Transfer                          15 Jun 1998

D2 Conveyance Lloyd to Briggs          10 Apr 1999

C5 Letter Mardon to Hillfield                17 Aug 2002

D3 Letter Williams to Jenkins                13 Jul 2007

C6 XY654321 Transfer                           25 Nov 2010

C7 Letter John Smith to Lucy Jones    15 Aug 2012

D4 Letter Smith to Jones                       15 Aug 2012

C8 Agreement Smith and Jones            20 Sep 2012

D5 Agreement Smith and Jones            20 Sep 2012

C9 Email at 10.20 Smith to Jones          15 Aug 2013

D6 Email at 10.20 Smith to Jones          15 Aug 2013

C11 AB123456 Register of Title              31 Mar 2018

C12 AB123456 Title Plan                         31 Mar 2018


C13 XY654321 Register of Title              31 Mar 2018

C14 XY654321 Title Plan                         31 Mar 2018

 
Exhibits
 
J
 
Title

All Exhibits referred to in the latest witness statements produced for trial. (Separate copies of all the documents referred to in all the above witness statements will also be stored in the appropriate Documentary Evidence case - see below.)

Exhibit JJS4 - Photos


Note: in a Tribunal case the parties may not be called Claimant and Defendant but may have other names such as Applicant and Respondent and the section titles would then be named "Applicant's Witness Statements" rather than "Claimant's Witness Statements" etc.

The following Bundle settings should be used for this case:

Page Number Position in the Bundle - Right
Page Stamping Colour - Red
Section Numbering Restarts in the Bundle - ticked
Display Document Dates in the Index - ticked 
Display Section Numbers in the Index - ticked
Include Front Page and Index in Complete Bundle - ticked
Include Front Pages and Indexes in each Section - unticked




Witness Statements to be Exchanged case

Signed witness statements (and accompanying exhibits) which are to be exchanged are stored in this case until exchange of witness statements takes place. 


Section Title Section
Letter
  
 Order Documents byWhat documents should be stored in the section

Witness Statements to be Exchanged

 
W
 
Number

 Signed witness statements for you and any other of your witnesses which have not yet been served.

Witness Statement of John Smith - 1st                 02 May 18

Witness Statement of Paul Davis - 2nd                  14 May 18

 Exhibits

EX Number Exhibits referred to in the witness statements stored in the above section. (Separate copies of the individual documents within the exhibits will also be stored in the main DCS case.)

Exhibit JJS4 - Photos

Choose the No Page Numbers option and untick Include Front Page and Index in Complete Bundle in the Master Bundle options for this case

Once the witness statements (and exhibits) have been served (e.g. at the exchange of witness statements stage) a full backup of this case is taken, the witness statements and exhibits are copied into the Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statement and Evidence case, and this separate case can then be deleted.

Complete Set of Documents for Trial 

The Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statements and Evidence case can then be renamed Complete Set of Documents for Trial as it should contain all documents which might, in theory, be needed in the Trial Bundle. In practice some documents - particularly some documents in the Other Documentary Evidence section (e.g. duplicates in this section would not be included in the trial bundle and it may be that some documents neither party wishes to rely on) and some witness statements and exhibits used for applications in the past (e.g. about purely procedural matters) - will not need to be included in the trial bundle  and for these documents the Included tickbox would be unticked so that the document does not appear in the generated Trial Bundle PDF.

If it is the other side, rather than you, which has been directed to assemble a trial bundle, you will need to tell the other side what documents you require to be included in it and the above DCS case is used for that purpose. 



DCS cases (or sub-bundles) for Exhibits

If a document is to be used as evidence then, unless the rules made special provision, the normal starting point would be that every document has to be vouched for by a witness who gives evidence saying what the document is. This, however, would be hugely inconvenient and time-consuming, so, fortunately, the Civil Procedure Rules contain provisions which should mean that for the vast majority of documents, this is not necessary. For example, in most cases each party is required to disclose in advance the documents it will (or may) use at the trial and if the other party does not admit the authenticity of a disclosed document they have to serve notice of that, otherwise they a deemed to admit authenticity. This means that the vast majority of documents do not need to be exhibited by a witness but can simply be referred to, as necessary, in the witness statement, by some obvious identifying feature (e.g. "the email from from John Smith to Peter Jones timed at 13.10 on 10 July 2017"). There are, however, some instances where it is necessary or desirable for specific documents to be exhibited by a witness:

1. If the authenticity of a document is disputed it will need to be exhibited by a witness who can speak to its authenticity (e.g. a witness who wrote and sent a letter can give evidence of that, exhibiting a copy of the letter).

2. Some other documents may not contain obvious identifying features - e.g. an unsigned undated handwritten note  - and these also need to be exhibited

3. If a witness statement is used to support a hearing of an interim application (i.e. a short hearing before the eventual trial) it will normally need to exhibit every evidential document it refers to. This is because applications are heard quickly and there is no formal "disclosure process" or "agreeing bundle" process in relation to the application by which the other party could be deemed to admit authenticity of documents  


The exhibits can be created by creating a new DCS case for each exhibit and copying selected documents from the main DCS case to each new exhibit case. This may, however, increase the charge made by Caselines (which is normally based on total number of pages in all DCS cases) and can be laborious, and an alternative is to create sub-bundles in the main DCS case. There is no extra charge for including a document already in a DCS case in a sub-bundle but the procedure for producing an exhibit using a sub-bundle is slightly more complicated because the section letter of the single section in the main DCS case needs to be temporarily changed to e.g. Exhibit JJS1 in order to ensure that the Section Numbering Restarts in Bundle option can be used to create page numbering bottom centre in the form Exhibit JJS1-1, Exhibit JJS1-2 etc. In addition if there are A3 documents which are to be in a second exhibit a new section with a section letter of e.g. Exhibit JJS2 needs to be created, and the A3 documents in question temporarily moved to it so that a second sub-bundle can be used to create a second exhibit for the selected A3 documents. 

Traditionally exhibits are page numbered bottom centre but, if doing so obscures significant information in some documents, bottom left page numbering can be used as an alternative. Bottom right numbering should generally be avoided because bundles (in which an exhibit might be included) are invariably numbered on the right.    


               

Extra DCS Cases for Interim Hearing Bundles

As explained above, a Trial Bundle - to be used at the trial at the end of the case - is created from the Complete Set of Documents for Trial DCS case by ticking/unticking the Included box for documents as appropriate. 

But if there are other short hearings before the trial - interim hearings - you may need, when the time comes, to create a new and separate DCS case specifically to produce a bundle for a particular interim hearing. During the course of litigation, before the eventual trial, one side or the other might make an interim application for an interim order to, for example, preserve the status quo or give temporary relief pending the trial. In this situation an interim application hearing bundle would be produced by creating a new and separate DCS case, to contain the documents required just for that hearing.

As well as specific interim applications which are often, at least to some degree, contentious, there may be, early on in the litigation, a case management hearing - usually called a Case Management Conference  or CMC - which is more administrative in nature and may be concerned with giving directions about how the parties are to prepare, over the coming months, for the eventual trial, setting appropriate deadlines for each step. To save costs in cases where the directions are likely to be relatively straightforward, a judge may simply read each party's proposed directions (which each party submits with the Directions Questionnaire) and issue directions without holding a case management hearing (if this happens the parties usually have the right, upon receiving the order giving the directions, to ask the judge to re-consider). If there is to be a hearing a short hearing bundle will be required. If the judge is going to decide "on the papers" without a hearing, the claimant might still be required to assemble and lodge a bundle for the judge's/master's use when making the decision on the papers because that is quicker and easier to use than looking through the court's/tribunal's file.

Sometimes it is agreed that there will be a formal mediation, conducted by a professional mediator, to see if a settlement is possible, and, if there is a mediation, usually a mediation bundle is produced, to be used by the parties and the mediator, by setting up a new and separate DCS case.


Special DCS Case relating to costs issues 

For Costs Arguments case

This case is for documents which might be used in arguments about costs at the end of a hearing once the judge has given judgment. 
  
Section Title Section
Letter 
 
 Order Documents byWhat documents should be stored in the section

 Open Offers

 
XA
 
Date
 
 Open offers (i.e. offers from one party to the other which are not Part 36 offers, without prejudice offers, without prejudice except as to costs offers, nor Calderbank offers) and any open responses (e.g. explaining why an offer is not accepted, requesting further information, etc) are stored here.


 Costs Orders 



 

 
XB
 
Date
 
 This section contains all orders the court or tribunal has already made about costs. For example at a previous hearing a judge may have made a cost capping order or may have approved a party's costs budget (in this case the budget as well as the order approving it should be included). At a previous application hearing the judge might have ordered one side or the other to pay the costs of a previous application so that those costs have already been dealt with and should not be counted again. Or at a previous hearing the judge might have made "no order as to costs" which means that neither side can claim costs associated with that hearing whatever the final outcome of the case, so, again, those costs must not be included in the costs claimed by a party. Or at a previous hearing the judge may have ordered "costs reserved" which means that (unless dealt with subsequently at a further hearing before trial) the trial judge decides who should pay the costs of the previous hearing (this would be the case anyway but the judge ordering "costs reserved" is indicating to the trial judge - who may be a different judge and, even if the same judge, is unlikely to remember all details of the previous hearing - that the costs of the previous hearing should not necessarily be awarded to the eventual winner of the case). 

 Interim costs Schedules

 
XC
 
Date

 At the litigation proceeds through various stages either party may have provided an interim schedule of costs incurred or an estimate of costs to be incurred. These should be stored here.

 Other documents relevant to costs

 
XD
 
Date
 
 This section is not for documents which may be useful for assessment of costs (deciding how much a party ordered to pay costs should pay) but for documents which may be relevant to arguments about who should pay costs or whether they should pay the costs (whatever they are after assessment) for the whole period of the litigation or for a particular part of the litigation. An example of documents stored here would be correspondence pointing out that a party's conduct in the litigation process itself has unnecessarily increased costs.

 Without Prejudice offers WOP Date Any Part 36 offers, without prejudice except as to costs offers, and Calderbank offers, and any responses (e.g. explaining why an offer is not accepted, requesting further information, etc) are stored here. If one party proposes mediation but mediation does not take place then the letter proposing mediation, and any reply declining mediation, should be stored here.

Letter Defendant to Claimant                             28 Feb 18

NB Offers and responses which are unqualifiedly without prejudice (i.e. without prejudice rather than without prejudice except as to costs) are not stored here because these cannot be shown to the judge even after judgment. Initial letters proposing/or refusing mediation are normally without prejudice except as to costs and so would be stored here, but any documents produced during, or in preparation for, mediation itself will be unqualifiedly without prejudice (even if they do not explicitly say so) and are not stored here.  


As well as the Master Bundle, a sub-bundle named OPEN should be created containing all the documents for all sections except the WOP section. The Bundle Settings for both Master bundle and OPEN sub-bundle should be set as follows

Page Number Position in the Bundle - Right
Page Stamping Colour - Red
Section Numbering Restarts in the Bundle - ticked
Display Document Dates in the Index - ticked 
Display Section Numbers in the Index - ticked
Include Front Page and Index in Complete Bundle - ticked
Include Front Pages and Indexes in each Section - unticked  


A hardcopy bundle is then created as follows:

1. Print out the entire OPEN sub-bundle

2. Print just the WOP section from the Master Bundle.

3. File the pages of the WOP section after all the pages printed from the OPEN sub-bundle

The above procedure results in a bundle having a main index at the front which lists documents in all sections except the WOP section. The purpose in doing this is as follows. The general idea of a Costs Arguments bundle is that it should not need to be used until after the judge has given judgment (decided who wins) but occasionally some documents in it may need to be shown to the judge before judgment. However the documents in the WOP section must not be seen by the judge until after judgment. By excluding the documents in the WOP section from the index it is possible, if necessary, to remove the WOP documents (each one of which will be identified by the letters WOP in red as part of the page number on the bottom right) and for the remainder of the bundle - including the main index - to be seen by the judge.      


Important Note: The above DCS case is not for documents which may be useful for assessment of costs (deciding how much a party ordered to pay costs should pay) but for documents which may be relevant to arguments about who should pay costs or whether they should pay the costs (whatever they are after assessment) for the whole period of the litigation or for a particular part of the litigation. An example of documents stored here would be correspondence pointing out that a party's conduct in the litigation process itself has unnecessarily increased costs. Interim costs schedules (if there are any) are included in the case only for the purpose of giving a rough assessment of the proportion of costs incurred at different stages of the litigation process (not for the purposes of assessment of costs).


Folders on your main Windows computer

In order to save costs some documents are not stored on DCS but stored on folders your computer. This includes documents in temporary DCS cases where the DCS case is no longer likely to be required but the documents it contained are stored as a backup on your computer. You can give the folders on your computer names commencing with the name of the case - e.g. Smith v Jones.

 

Smith v Jones - PDF copies of my disclosure lists and disclosed documents

Within this folder you should create a sub-folder for each occasion on which you send a disclosure list to the other side. The subfolder will contain the disclosure list/disclosure statement/certificate, and PDF copies of the documents disclosed.


Smith v Jones - backups of DCS cases

Caselines generally charge a fee based on the total number of pages of documents existing at any one time in all the DCS "cases" which the customer has created so you might want to delete DCS "cases" (particularly those containing large numbers of documents) after they are no longer needed, in order to keep costs down. It is sometimes possible to create a new bundle using the sub-bundle feature and although Caselines does not generally charge any extra for documents included in sub-bundles (beyond the charge already made for the pages of the document in the "master" bundle of the DCS case) there is a limit to the number of sub-bundles which can exist for a DCS case at any one time so you may also want to remove sub-bundles when they are no longer needed. Before deleting a DCS "case" (or removing a sub-bundle) you should take a full backup of it and store that backup in a sub-folder in this folder. Also once the litigation is ended you will want to do a full backup of all DCS cases then in existence and store in a subfolder within this folder.

A full backup means a PDF copy of the indexed and paginated bundle generated by the DCS case (where the case was used to generate a hearing bundle or an exhibit) plus unpaginated PDF copies of the documents in the case, collected together in a sub-folder.

As a general rule you can consider a DCS case (or sub-bundle) used to create exhibits as no longer needed (and therefore as a candidate for a full backup and then deletion) once the exhibit (together with the witness statement which refers to it) has been filed at the court/tribunal office and/or served on the other side. This is because at this point the exhibit cannot be amended. If something has been missed out a further witness statement and/or Exhibit would be filed/served subject to the rules, but the witness statement/Exhibit already served/filed cannot itself be changed and so the DCS case (or sub-bundle) used to create it is no longer needed.

As a general rule you can consider a DCS case (or sub-bundle) used to create an interim hearing bundle as no longer needed (and therefore as a candidate for a full backup and then deletion) 2 months after the hearing has taken place providing there is no appeal. If there is to be an appeal the documents included in the appeal bundle will include documents in the hearing bundle with their original hearing bundle page numbers and, whilst these can be extracted from a full backup of the DCS case, it is easier to download them from the DCS case itself, hence the reason for keeping the DCS case (or sub-bundle) for an interim hearing bundle for two months after the hearing to see whether there is to be a appeal.

As a general rule you can consider a DCS case (or sub-bundle) used to create a mediation bundle as no longer needed (and therefore as a candidate for a full backup and then deletion) if the mediation is unsuccessful. As with other DCS cases you do need to do a full backup of it before it is deleted because although mediations are without prejudice the mediation bundle PDF might need to be consulted after the trial if there is a detailed assessment of costs process.


Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Hearing Bundles produced by others   

As explained above, whenever there is a hearing a hearing bundle will need to be produced, either by you or by the other side. 

If the hearing bundle is produced by you using DCS then after the hearing you you should take a full backup of it and store that in the backups of DCS cases folder. 

If it was the other side which produced the hearing bundle and sent it to you in hardcopy form, you could ask them if they can also send you a PDF copy which you can then save in this folder: they will probably be able to do this easily because most people create hearing bundles in PDF form and print a hardcopy from that. It is good practice to always keep the hardcopy anyway just in case there is any difference which you might not immediately notice (e.g. a page may have been inserted as an afterthought in the hardcopy without being in the PDF). 


Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Exhibits and witness statements already served/filed

Once a signed witness statement and accompanying exhibits has been filed and/or served a PDF copy of witness statement and exhibits (including signed exhibit frontsheets) should be stored in this folder. Some of these may be stored in the main DCS case and but some (which are unlikely to be needed for the trial) may not be so by storing all witness statements/exhibits in this folder when filed/served you ensure that you have a copies.  



Smith v Jones - My native electronic documents       

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. 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 directed by a judge). 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 load copies of digital photos, videos and any relevant audio files to this folder on your Windows computer. 


Smith v Jones - Other side's electronic documents 

If the other side send you a native copy of one of their electronic documents you can store it here. Normally they will also send you a PDF copy which you will be storing in Documentary Evidence section of the main DCS case (or if they don't send you a PDF copy you will need to create a PDF copy from the native copy).
               

Organising Your Email Folders

Virtually all correspondence you send or receive in the course of litigation will be automatically stored in your email system. This even includes much correspondence received by post because some of that you will be emailing to me and asking me to advise you. Likewise you will be emailing to me PDF copies of any signed letters you send out by post which you have asked me to draft. Because searchable email folders are so convenient, people sometimes, even if they have no other reason to send by email, scan things in as PDFs and email them to themselves so that they can store them in a convenient email folder. For example if you receive an invoice for a disbursement by post, you could scan it in, email it to yourself, and store it in the CostsDisbursementsEvidence folder (as well as keeping the paper original).  

I would suggest that you have a high-level folder for emails relating to the case (named - e.g. Smith v Jones) to keep them separate from other emails, such as your personal emails, and that below that high-level folder you have at least the following sub-folders.    


 Service 

 Any emails from me advising how to validly file and serve formal documents. Also any correspondence sent by you or received by you which notifies an address for service or a change of address for service of formal documents (including any correspondence notifying a change of solicitor representing the other party). Any notification by a court of a change of address of the court or court centre dealing with the case.

 ServiceEvidence

  Evidence of how and when you served particular documents on parties. This includes both documents provided to you by others - such as a certificate of posting provided by the Post Office - and Certificates of Service  which you complete and sign. Usually these never need to be referred to but occasionally they can be important. For example, if a court grants an injunction then the court order will normally need to be personally served on the person to whom the court order applies and a Certificate of Service completed. If, at some time in the future, the person disobeys the court order then the Certificate of Service will be needed for a committal application, but in 99% of cases court orders are obeyed (as nobody wants to go to prison) so that the Certificate of Service is not usually needed.
 
 Disclosure  Emails by which you provide copies of documents to the other side during the disclosure process and emails received from the other side.

 


 Settlement

 Correspondence between parties which aims to achieve a settlement. 
 

 CostsStatements 

 Costs budgets, estimates of costs, and statements of costs filed by either party as the case proceeds. Also Disclosure Reports (giving estimate of costs of disclosure of documents).

 CostsDisbursementsEvidence

 Supporting evidence of disbursements in the case. 

This may include invoices from barristers, mediators and from any commercial document scanning or printing service you use, and for court/tribunal fees. Also any invoices associated with obtaining evidence – e.g. charges for copies of historical aerial photographs. Invoices can include expenditure before proceedings commenced (e.g. pre-action advice from a barrister or solicitor).

 CostsOther

 Most people, in order to increase the likelihood of the trial judge carrying out a (fast) summary assessment of costs at the end of the trial will want to put forward a Statement of Costs for Summary Assessment at the trial which just includes disbursements (on the basis that if it includes small items as well the judge may be more inclined to order the long and costly process of Detailed Assessment for which a specialist Costs Lawyer would need to be engaged). However if, for whatever reason, Detailed Assessment is ordered normally information about all expenditure (not just Disbusements) is provided to the Costs Lawyer and to cater for this possibility all emails relevant to expenditure, however small, can be stored here. 
 
  



Paper files you should keep

Original signed formal litigation documents

The original signed copies of formal court/tribunal documents which have been filed/served (e.g. pleadings and witness statements) should be kept in a cardboard file in case the court/tribunal should require them to be produced.

Disclosure Documentation in two ring binders



Disclaimer

This information page is designed to be used only by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services. The information in it is necessarily of a general nature and is intended to be used only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. This information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else.

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.


This page was lasted updated in August 2019 Disclaimer