DCS - Organising Documents for Lands Chamber s.84 Applications

Everything 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 tribunal will allocate a case number. But the DCS system also uses the word "case" to refer to a collection of documents (from which, if necessary, a "bundle" can easily be produced). So there may be several DCS cases for your single tribunal case.  

Storing the above documents in DCS in the way described not only allows you to find key important documents quickly but, most importantly, will allow you to deal with the process of the production of a Trial Bundle. Because the process of production of the Trial Bundle is a collaborative task between the parties, and the other party might be inefficient, it is essential to have all documents which might need to be included in the Trial Bundle ready in DCS so that, if necessary, the Trial Bundle (or a Supplementary Trial Bundle if the other side is producing the Trial Bundle and refuses to include documents you require) can be produced quickly in time to meet the deadline for delivery which will normally be a week or two before the trial.

Also 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 and you ask me to carry out work at each stage. It would not be cost-effective for me to search through your cloud storage, so don't give me access to your cloud storage, but instead you should put copies of the key documents and relevant documentary evidence, in DCS as explained below.

You will be granting me access to the DCS 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 own cloud storage - indeed it it best if you do not grant me access to your own cloud storage 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 is only the documents in the DCS  cases described below which I will be considering (together with any email message and attachments you provide to me at the point where you ask me to carry out the next piece of work in your case). Ensuring that I do not have access to your cloud storage will remind you that it is your responsibility to ensure that the DCS cases are up to date with the key documents they are designed to hold (but no other documents).       


Organising documents in Caselines DCS

In the Caselines Digital Case System (DCS) groups of documents are organised into what are called cases and, within each case, documents can be further divided into sections. As shown below, you will initially need to create two or three DCS cases for your case, and you may need, later on, to create further cases to produce bundles for the trial. How to load documents 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, Reports and any 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 Case Management 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 an injunction is claimed in High Court proceedings and, an interim injunction having been granted, the High Court has stayed the case so that an application can be made to the Upper Tribunal (lands Chamber), 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 Witness Statements and the other one Smith v Jones - Tribunal Pleadings, Orders, Reports and any Witness Statements.     

Smith v Jones - Tribunal Pleadings, Orders, Reports and any Witness Statements case

Name of Section  Order by What documents should be stored in it

 Statements of Case

Documents drafted by each side which seek to define, at a summary level, the assertions of each party and to what extent they are disputed by the other party. Also the Application Form and Notice of Objection are stored here – e.g.

Application                                                                                            20 Jan 18

Applicant’s Statement of Case                                                            20 Apr 18

Notice of Objection                                                                               15 May 18

Objector's Statement of Case                                                              15 May 18  

Tribunal Orders


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

Order                                                                                                        27 Feb 18

 Applicant’s Expert Report

There should be a separate section for each expert so if the Applicant has two experts and there are two Objectors with one expert each, there will be four sections.
An 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 Sep 18

Supplementary Expert Report Mr Jenkins                                         30 Oct 18

Expert’s Replies to Questions                                                            14 Nov 18

Important Note It is important that you do not store, in the DCS cases and sections shown above, documents which do not belong there. If, for example, you were to store every piece of correspondence sent or received, into the sections of the Tribunal Pleadings, Orders, Reports and 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. You may need, when the times comes, to create a bundle containing documents directly relating to a particular forthcoming hearing but this should be done by creating a new and separate DCS case, to contain the documents required for that hearing (some of which may be copied from the reference cases), not by adding documents to the above cases and sections which do not belong there.

Extra DCS Cases for Hearing Bundles

Usually, when the time comes for the main hearing, or "trial", at the end of the litigation process, the Pleadings Orders, Reports and Witness Statements case is renamed Complete set of Case Documents for Trial and a Trial Bundle is created from the DCS case by ticking/unticking the Included box for documents as appropriate. 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 Complete set of Case Documents for Trial DCS case is used for that purpose. 

However sometimes there may be short hearings on the way before the trial and, if so, a short hearing bundle will be required for that hearing. In this situation the short hearing bundle will be produced by creating a new and separate DCS case, to contain the documents required just for that hearing (which may be copied from the Pleadings Orders, Reports and Witness Statements DCS case)All bundles should be kept intact after the hearings they were produced for because, although a short hearing results in a tribunal order and it is normally only the order which needs subsequently to be referred to, occasionally it happens that some occurrence in the future means that some document used in the earlier hearing, which is not contained in the other DCS cases, needs to be consulted. 

Once the trial has ended and the judge has pronounced judgment, that is normally the end of the litigation (barring any assessment of costs if that was not carried out at the end of the trial) but occasionally one side or the other may appeal to a higher court and, in that case, a new and separate DCS case is set up to produce an appeal bundle.

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.

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
 Order Documents by What documents should be stored in the section

 Open Offers

 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. 

 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.  

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.

Folders on your main Windows computer

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) 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 used to create a short 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 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 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 tribunal 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). 


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 that to me to ask me to advise. 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.    


 Any emails from me regarding 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).


  Evidence of how and when you served particular documents on parties, for example, a certificate of posting provided by the Post Office. 


 Opinions and Advices written by me.


 Correspondence between parties which aims to achieve a settlement. 


 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 tribunal fees. Also any invoices associated with obtaining evidence – e.g. charges for copies of aerial photographs. Invoices can include expenditure before proceedings commenced (e.g. pre-action advice from a barrister or solicitor).


 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, if there is a possibility they might be awarded costs, 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. 


 Any correspondence in which one party accuses the other of unreasonable litigation behaviour. Most cases are about behaviour which could be described as unreasonable but if the way a party behaves in the litigation itself is unreasonable (e.g. missing deadlines or bombarding the other party with long repetitive emails) relevant emails would be stored here as they may be relevant to the order the tribunal eventually makes about who should pay the costs of the litigation itself. 

Paper files you should keep

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


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This page was lasted updated in July 2019   Disclaimer