Organising Documents on DCS for a Court Case

Contents

  1. 1 Introduction
    1. 1.1 Document management - pCloud 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 Smith v Jones - Court Pleadings, Orders and Served Witness Statements case
      1. 2.1.1 Pleadings
      2. 2.1.2 Court Orders
      3. 2.1.3 Claimant’s Expert Report
      4. 2.1.4 Defendant’s Expert Report
      5. 2.1.5 Claimant’s Witness Statements
      6. 2.1.6 Defendant’s Witness Statements
      7. 2.1.7  Exhibits needed for trial
      8. 2.1.8  Notices about Evidence
    2. 2.2 Smith v Jones - My Documentary Evidence case
      1. 2.2.1 Audio and Video file placeholders
    3. 2.3 Smith v Jones - Documentary Evidence Disclosed Early by the Other Side case
    4. 2.4 Smith v Jones - Pleadings, Orders, Served Witness Statements and Evidence case
      1. 2.4.1 Pleadings
      2. 2.4.2 Court 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 Smith v Jones - Witness Statements to be Exchanged case
      1. 2.5.1 Witness Statements to be Exchanged
      2. 2.5.2  Exhibits
    6. 2.6 Smith v Jones - Complete Set of Documents for Trial 
    7. 2.7 DCS cases for Exhibits
    8. 2.8 Extra DCS Cases for Hearing Bundles
  3. 3 Special DCS Case relating to costs issues 
    1. 3.1 Smith v Jones - 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 - PDF copies of Exhibits and witness statements already served
    3. 4.3 Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Hearing Bundles   
    4. 4.4 Smith v Jones - PDF copies of other DCS cases
    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  Advices
    4. 5.4  Settlement
    5. 5.5  CostsStatements 
    6. 5.6  CostsDisbursementsEvidence
    7. 5.7  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 - pCloud 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 pCloud (and Irista for digital photos), 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 pCloud to be copied to DCS if developments make them relevant after all. It is convenient to use pCloud 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 pCloud 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 court 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 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 case.

The reason why there will be more than one DCS case during the lifetime of your court 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 will normally order witness statements to be exchanged and although the court does 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. There are in fact practical reasons why the court does not want to be provided with all the documents but in principle there is no problem with the court 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 court rule - in fact two rules - which mean that:-

a) "without prejudice except as to costs" correspondence cannot be shown to the court 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 (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 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 before 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 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. How to load documents to DCS is explained here.

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.     


Smith v Jones - Court 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 every contested case there will be at least a Claim Form and Particulars of Claim, and there will always be a Defence or a Defence and Counterclaim. In addition there may be further pleading documents such as a Reply to Defence, 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

Court Orders


ORD

 
Date

 Orders made by the court (e.g. about how the parties are to prepare for trial) and notices issued by the court 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 Expert Report

 
CR
 
Date

 Where the court gives the Claimant permission for an expert to be used, the Claimant’s expert’s report and the replies the expert gives to subsequent questions sent by either party are stored here – e.g.

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

 
DR
 
Date

 Where the court gives the Defendant permission for an expert to be used, the Defendant’s expert’s report and the replies the expert gives to subsequent questions sent by either party are stored here.

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 containing non-digital photos referred to in the witness statements stored in the above two sections. (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 JJS1 - Old 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 which should be stored not in this section but in the Court 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



Smith v Jones - 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. 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 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


Photo of Orchard                             17 Feb 1954

Conveyance Mardon to Hillfield     10 Apr 1982

AB123456 Transfer                           15 Jun 1998

Photo of Orchard                              17 Jun 1999

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.

Audio and Video file placeholders

Your documentary evidence includes not only written documents but also any relevant audio or video files (e.g. mp3 and mp4 files). You should store copies of these on a cloud storage system with zero knowledge encryption such as MEGA. For each video or audio file, create a one page placeholder, and paste a read/download-only link into the placeholder page so that the placeholder page looks something like this:



then store only the placeholder file in the My Documentary Evidence case.



Smith v Jones - 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 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.  

The main section in this case is identified by the letters C (if the other side is the Claimant) or D (if the other side is the Defendant). 


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

Photo of Orchard                          17 Feb 1999

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


Smith v Jones - 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 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

Court Orders


 B
 
Date

 Orders made by the court (e.g. about how the parties are to prepare for trial) and notices issued by the court 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 which should be stored not in this section but in the Court 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
 
C1 Exhibit JJS1-01 - Photo of Orchard     17 Feb 1954

C4 Exhibit JJS1-02 - Photo of Orchard     17 Jun 1999

C15 Exhibit JJS1-03 - Photo of Orchard     10 Apr 2001

D7 Exhibit PJ01-01 - Photo of 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

 Exhibits containing non-digital photos referred to in the witness statements stored in the above two sections, and 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 JJS1 - Old Photos


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




Smith v Jones - 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 documents within the exhibits will also be stored in the main DCS case.)

Exhibit JJS4 - Old 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.

Smith v Jones - 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 for Exhibits

If a document is to be used as evidence in a court 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. Non-digital photographs should normally be exhibited because there is often no convenient way of identifying a non-digital photograph other than by exhibiting it. 

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

4. If a witness statement is used to support an application (i.e. a short court 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  

When assembling Exhibits sight should not be lost of how documents will eventually, at trial, be arranged in a Trial Bundle and referred to. The Exhibits may be in a section at the end of the Trial bundle, for reference, but generally copies of individual documents will also need to be in chronological sections and it is the copy of the document in the chronological section which will generally be referred to at trial, so documents in the chronological sections should be readily identifiable without having to refer to the Exhibits section. In the case of documents such as emails and letters, the document itself identifies what it is, but this is not the case for non-digital photographs (2 above) or for other documents without an obvious identifying feature (3 above) and in the case of disputed authenticity (1 above), whilst the document may purport to identify itself, that is in dispute.

Taking all this into account, generally the best way of arranging Exhibits is as follows.

Non-digital photographs (category 2 above) should be in a single Exhibit starting (immediately after the frontsheet) with an index followed by the photographs, each photograph having a page number at the bottom centre prefixed by the Exhibit mark. E.g. if the Exhibit mark is JJS1, the first photo in the Exhibit should be marked bottom centre with JJS1-1, the next photo JJS1-2, etc. This means that for the purposes of the eventual trial bundle each non-digital photo in the Exhibit can then be extracted as an individual PDF named - e.g.


Exhibit JJS1-1 Photo of garden 23-02-1950

Exhibit JJS1-2 Photo of garden 27-04-1992

so that they can be inserted in the correct position in the chronological section.

There may need to be more than one Exhibit for non-digital photos. For example one Exhibit containing non-digital photos may be used for an initial application but, by the time of the trial, more non-digital photos may be relied on and a further Exhibit for those extra non-digital photos may be needed, but whether there is one Exhibit or more than one Exhibit, each Exhibit containing non-digital photos should generally contain only non-digital photos.  

The Exhibit pages (following the frontsheet) for an Exhibit for non-digital photos are usually created using the DCS sub-bundle feature - i.e. in the DCS case which contains the non-digital photos along with other documents (e.g. Documentary Evidence case) a sub-bundle, or more than one sub-bundle, is created containing just non-digital photos and no other document types.   
 
Documents which are Exhibited only because they are to be used in an application (category 4 above) would be in a single separate Exhibit the pages of which (after the frontsheet and index) would also be created with a page number at the bottom centre prefixed by the Exhibit mark. For this further Exhibit It is not generally possible to use the sub-bundle feature because many of the the documents to be included in it (such a documents from the Land Registry and emails) will need to be reduced in size slightly so as to provide a good top and bottom margin (www.sejda.com/resize-pdf can be used to create 1 inch margins left, top and bottom) to contain the exhibit page number without obscuring text, so a new DCS case will need to be created for this type of Exhibit.      

Once an Exhibit, together with the witness statement which refers to it, has been filed at court and/or served on the other side, it cannot be amended (if something has been missed out a further witness statement and/or Exhibit would be filed/served subject to court rules, but the witness statement/Exhibit already served/filed cannot itself be changed) and so, providing a full backup has been made into the Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Exhibits and witness statements already served folder (and a copy of the signed frontsheet has also been saved in that folder), the Exhibit DCS case itself can be deleted (Caselines generally charge for the total number of pages existing in all DCS cases at any one time hence the reason why you may wish to delete large Exhibit DCS cases when the DCS Exhibit case itself is no longer required). Similarly if a sub-bundle was used to create the Exhibit, the sub-bundle can be removed after a full backup has been made.   

               

Extra DCS Cases for 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 court hearings before the trial, you may need, when the time comes, to create a new and separate DCS case specifically to produce a bundle for a particular short court hearing. During the course of litigation, before the eventual trial, one side or the other might make an application to the court for an interim order to, for example, preserve the status quo or give temporary relief pending the trial. In this situation an 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 applications made to the court which are in some sense 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, the court 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 court to re-consider). If there is to be a hearing a short hearing bundle will be required. If the court is going to decide "on the papers" without a hearing, the court may still require the claimant 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 file.

As explained below, a full backup of all hearing bundles should be saved in the Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Bundles folder. Providing a PDF copy of a hearing bundle has been saved in this way the DCS case itself can be deleted (e.g. to save costs, as Caselines generally charge based on the total number of pages existing at any one time in all the DCS cases) but you should delay deleting the DCS case for a hearing bundle until 2 months after the hearing in case there is an 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 the saved PDF, it is easier to download them from the DCS case itself, hence the reason for keeping the DCS case for the hearing for two months after the hearing to see whether there is to be a appeal.

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. If the mediation is unsuccessful then you can delete the mediation bundle DCS case after making sure you have taken a full backup (mediations are without prejudice but the mediation bundle PDF might need to be consulted after the trial if there is a detailed assessment of costs process).


Special DCS Case relating to costs issues 

Smith v Jones - 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 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

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 - PDF copies of Exhibits and witness statements already served

For each Exhibit which consists of more than one or two documents a DCS "case" will have been used to produce a paginated and indexed bundle of documents. As Caselines generally charge for the total number of pages existing in all DCS cases at any one time you will not want to keep the DCS cases used to create Exhibit bundles after the Exhibits have been served, but before deleting them you should take a full backup and store that in this folder. A "full backup" means a copy of the bundle PDF as it was when you printed it out and created the hardcopy (you should also store a PDF copy of the signed Exhibit frontsheet) plus a copy of the individual (unpaginated) documents within it (in case you need to reuse one of the individual documents later on) stored in a sub-folder within this main folder. If a sub-bundle was used to create the Exhibit you take a full backup of the sub-bundle before removing the sub-bundle. 

PDF copies of small Exhibits (with signed frontsheets) which were not produced using DCS should also be stored in a sub-folder in this folder once they have been served as should PDF copies of witness statements which have been served.

It may be that not all witness statements and Exhibits which have been served need to be in the main DCS case. For example a witness statement served in support of a procedural application may have no significance for the overall case. Also even if a witness statement does need to be in the main DCS case it may be that some of the Exhibits referred to in that witness statement do not need to be in the main DCS case because it is intended, when the Trial Bundle comes to be produced, to mark up the witness statements in the bundle so that for every reference to a document in that Exhibit, there is a reference to a separate copy of that document in the chronological sections. Having a backup copy of all served witness statements and all served Exhibits in this folder means that you can be confident in removing witness statements and Exhibits which it is considered do not need to be in the main DCS case knowing that if they turn out to be needed after all they can easily be restored.  


Smith v Jones - PDF copies of Hearing Bundles   

As explained above, whenever there is a court 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 you should take a full backup of it and store that in this folder. A "full backup" means a copy of the paginated and indexed bundle PDF as it was when you printed it out and created the hardcopy bundle, plus a copy of the individual (unpaginated) documents within it  (in case you need to reuse one of the individual documents later on).

If the other side 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 other DCS cases

As explained above, for the Disclosure of Documents stage it is convenient to have the separate cases for documentary evidence but once the Disclosure of Documents stage has been reached, and the documents have been copied to the main DCS case, the separate cases can be deleted after a full backup of the separate cases has been taken and stored in this folder. 

Once the litigation has ended a full backup of the Complete set of case documents for trial case, and all other remaining cases, should be taken (and stored in this folder) before the remaining cases are deleted.  


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 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 load copies of digital photos and videos to Canon Irista, load any relevant audio files to MEGA, and copy other electronic documents 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 the 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.

 Advices

 Opinions and Advices written by me.

 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 barristersexpert witnesses, mediators and from any commercial document scanning or printing service you use, and for court 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 court documents which have been filed/served (e.g. pleadings and witness statements) should be kept in a cardboard file in case the court 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 May 2019 Disclaimer