Organising Documents for Lands Chamber s.84 Applications

Document management - documents saved on a folder on your computer and documents in Bundledocs

Once litigation has started, or is about to start, relevant documents are held in Bundledocs, It is important only to store relevant documents in Bundledocs because your barrister will be referring to Bundledocs each time you ask them to do a piece of work and if the barrister has to look through many irrelevant documents on Bundledocs that will be likely to increase the fee they quote for each piece of work.

At the outset, before 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 when asking a barrister to advise it is convenient to load copies of at least what appear to be the most important documents to a folder on your computer called, say Potentially Relevant Documents. As part of the process of asking a barrister to advise (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 the start of litigation the barrister would normally, as part of the process of drafting the Application or Notice of Objection identify and load copies of documents to Bundledocs, but thereafter it is your responsibility to identify further relevant documents to be loaded. 

Documents in category (b) would not be loaded to Bundledocs but they should be kept in the Potentially Relevant Documents folder on your computer because sometimes a document deemed not obviously relevant unexpectedly becomes relevant when another document is being considered.     


If you use cloud storage - e.g. MEGA - don't give have me on your access list

Sometimes it is convenient, instead of emailing to me a document you might want advice about, to load the document to cloud storage such as MEGA and provide me with a link, and initially when you first asked me for advice you might have given me general read access to a particular folder on your cloud storage. However now that legal proceedings are underway you will be granting me access to the Bundledocs bundles 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 general access to your cloud storage (e.g. MEGA) - 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 Bundledocs bundles 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 Bundledcos bundles (and not your cloud storage) is that if key documents have been accidentally missed out of the Bundledocs bundles I am more likely to spot that if that is what I am working from. It is always your responsibility to ensure that the Bundlesdocs bundles bundles contain everything which will be needed at trial (final hearing) and you should not rely on me happening to spot something missing, but if I work from the bundle 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.       


Organising documents in Bundledocs

Smith v Jones - Application bundle

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

 Application

 

 
 The Application form itself together with the documents which accompanied it when it was sent to the tribunal office - e.g.

Application                                                                                            20 Jan 2020

Applicant’s Statement of Case                                                            20 Jan 2020

Marked Large-scale map                                                                     20 Jan 2020

Grant of Planning permission 2018-123456-AB                                15 Dec 2019 

Architect's Plans referred to in Grant 2018-123456-AB                    9 Sep 2019  


 

Objector 1 Notice of Objection 

   
 The Notice of Objection itself together with any documents accompanying it or provided shortly after subsequently – e.g.

Notice of Objection                                                                              5 Feb 2020

Conveyance Baker to Gardiner                                                           20 Apr 1950

Objector 2 Notice of Objection 

   
 The Notice of Objection itself together with any documents accompanying it or provided shortly after subsequently – e.g.

Notice of Objection                                                                              15 Mar 2020

Conveyance Thompson to Baker                                                        13 May 1930

Other potentially relevant documents

 
Date
 
Documents not accompanying the Application or Notices of Objection but potentially relevant such as environmental reports referred to in the relevant grant of planning permission.
 

Tribunal Orders

 
Date

 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 Apr 2020

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.
 
Date
 
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 sections shown above, documents which do not belong there. If, for example, you were to store every piece of correspondence sent or received, “just in case”, that would defeat the object because the important documents would be lost among the mass of more routine correspondence. 


Interim Hearing Bundles

A Trial Bundle - to be used at the trial at the end of the case - is created from the Application bundle described above. 

Sometimes there are other shorter hearings before the trial - interim hearings - for which a hearing bundle may need to be produced. However generally an interim hearing bundle would be produced using standard PDF software rather than generated by Bundledocs. Bundledocs might be used as a convenient tool to generate a bookmarked unpaginated PDF from selected documents in the main bundle but the interim hearing bundle in its final form would not be generated by Bundledocs. 

Folders on your main 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 - copies of hearing bundles

Once a hearing bundle has been used at a hearing, a copy of the bundle PDF should always be saved in this folder. This is because if there is an appeal (or other query about the hearing) the documents included in the appeal bundle will include documents from the hearing bundle with their original hearing bundle page numbers and, whilst it might be possible to extract individual documents from the main bundle you need to know what page numbers they had in the particular hearing bundle as these may be referenced in, for example, the judgment. 
So, irrespective of which side produced the hearing bundle, a copy should always be stored after every hearing including the final trial.
If it was the other side which produced the hearing bundle and they only sent it to you in hardcopy form (not also as an eBundle) 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.    


 Service 

 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).

 ServiceEvidence

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

 Advices

 Opinions and Advices written by me.

 Settlement

 Correspondence between parties which aims to achieve a settlement. 
 

 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 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).

 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, 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. 
 
  
   

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.


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 2020   Disclaimer