Organising Documents on Caselines for a Court Case

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, 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.

In addition to what is created by the litigation process itself (i.e. formal litigation documents and correspondence about the case), 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 be stored in as separate “case” on Caselines as should your own documentary evidence.

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 Caselines system also uses the word "case" to refer to a collection of documents (from which a bundle can easily be produced). So there will be several Caselines cases for each court case.  

Storing the above documents in Caselines in the way described not only allows you to find key important documents quickly but also  means that you can use the Caselines system to generate a Disclosure list (at the Disclosure of Documents stage) automatically and, 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 Caselines 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 just before the trial.          



Caselines

In the Caselines system, 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 Caseslines cases for your case, and you may need, later on, to create further cases to produce bundles for the trial and for any other court hearings. First of all you need to register on https://civilcourtdcs.caselines.co.uk/ and get a password. Then to create a case, click Create New Case, then click Create a blank case. Type in the name of the case – e.g. Smith v Jones – Case Management, and click Create. Other functions within Caselines, such as creating sections, should be fairly self-explanatory. How to load documents is explained here.

To allow me access to a case, click on People, click Invite New Participant. Type in “John Antell” for Person’s Name and my email address for Person’s Email. Tick Change This Case, tick Invite People, tick Update People’s Access and click Invite. On the next screen, where it says Invitation Sent, click Send Advisory Email

The documents to be stored in each Caselines 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 Case Management case as soon as you send or receive them, it is equally important that you do not store, in a Caselines 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.


Smith v Jones - Case Management case

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

Pleadings  
Date

 Pleading documents, otherwise known collectively as statements of case, are the documents in which each side seeks to define, at a summary level, 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 16 

Particulars of Claim                                                    30 Jan 16

Defence                                                                       23 Feb 16

Court Questionnaires  
Date

 Directions Questionnaires and any Case Summaries, List of Issues, or other similar documents filed with them. Also Listing Questionnaires (Pre-Trial Checklists) and documents filed with them.

Directions Questionnaire – Claimant                            25 Feb 16

Directions Questionnaire – Defendant                           26 Feb 16

Court Orders  
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 16

 Offers 
Date
 
All offers from one party to the other (whether open offers, Part 36 offers, without prejudice except as to costs offers, or Calderbank offers) and any responses (e.g. explaining why an offer is not accepted, requesting further information, etc). If one party proposes mediation but mediation does not take place then the letter proposing mediation and any reply declining mediation.

Letter Defendant to Claimant                                        28 Feb 15

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.

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.  

Claimant’s Expert Report  
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 16

Supplementary Expert Report Mr Jenkins                    10 Apr 16

Mr Jenkins Replies to Questions                                  23 Apr 16

Defendant’s Expert Report  
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 for Trial  
Date

 Signed witness statements of the Claimant and each of the Claimant’s witnesses which have been (or are about to be) exchanged with the other side ready for the trial – e.g.

Witness Statement of John Smith 1st                           02 May 16

Witness Statement of Paul Davis 2nd                           14 May 16

Defendant’s Witness Statements for Trial  
Date

Signed witness statements of the Defendant and each of the Defendant’s witnesses which have been (or are about to be) exchanged with the other side ready for the trial – e.g.

Witness Statement of Jeremy Jones 1st                       03 May 16

Witness Statement of Pamela Jenkins 1st                    10 May 16

 Other Witness Statements 
Date
 
If there are any other witness statements, such as witness statements used when making (or responding to) Applications made along the way as the litigation proceeds, they are stored in this section.

Witness Statement of Paul Davis 1st                               03 Feb 16
 Proofs of Evidence 
Title
 
 You and/or people you have contacted who are also witnesses to relevant events may have recently written down what they remember at your request, either a full account in a Proof of Evidence and/or perhaps a summary in a letter or email. If you decide to use a witness at trial then information from their Proof of Evidence/letter/email etc. will eventually be included in a witness statement which you will exchange with the other side but, until then (and even after then if some issue arises which it was previously thought was not in dispute and so was not covered in detail in the witness statement) it is useful to have the Proofs of Evidence/letter/email etc. readily available so they should be stored here. 

After witness statements have been exchanged you and/or your witnesses may have paragraph-by-paragraph comments on what the other side's witnesses say in their witness statements. These are also stored here.

John Smith - Letter                                                                       05 Mar 16
 
John Smith - Proof of Evidence                                                    12 Mar 16

John Smith - comments on witness statement of Jeremy Jones
  15 Jun 16


 Exhibits 
Date
 
Witness statements often refer to Exhibits (e.g. I refer to a photograph which I took on 01/06/2015 marked JJS1). The exhibits referred to are stored here.

Exhibit JJS1                                                                    02 May 16

Exhibit JJS2                                                                    02 May 16

Exhibit JRJ1                                                                    03 May 16

Exhibit JRJ2                                                                    03 May 16

Exhibit PRD1                                                                   14 May 16 

 NOTICES FOR VIDEOS and AUDIO FILES 
Date
 
If there are video and/or audio files you will need to serve a CPR 33.6 Notice if you want to use them at trial. Store the Notice here and also store here any similar notices served on you by the other side.

Notice under CPR 33.6                                                 19 Jun 16

If there are video and/or audio files but no CPR 33.6 Notices have yet been served by either party, create this section (with nothing in it) just to remind you not to forget them. Omit this section if there are no video or audio files. Change section name if only videos and no audio or vice versa.

 Other Notices about Evidence 
Date
 
Notices about evidence sent by one party to another, other than those relating to video and audio files, are stored here. This includes Notices under CPR Rule 33.6 regarding photographs and plans, and CPR 32.19 notices challenging the authenticity of documents. 

Notice under CPR 33.6                                                30 May 16

NB This section is for notices about evidence sent by one party to the other; it is not for notices of hearings sent out by the court which should be stored not in this section but in the Court Orders section.     




In addition to the Case Management “case” described above, there should be a separate Caselines “case” or “cases” for documentary evidence.

If you have been using Caselines right from the start of litigation, it is convenient to create one “case” for your documents (which you can use to easily generate a disclosure list at the disclosure of documents stage) and a further case for documents produced by the other side. So one case would be named e.g. Smith v Jones – Claimant’s Documentary Evidence and one would be named Smith v Jones – Defendant’s Documentary Evidence. If, however, you only start to use Caselines after the Disclosure of Documents stage has already been completed, then it may be convenient to just have a single case named e.g. Smith v Jones – Documentary Evidence containing both your documents and documents produced by the other side. Of course where a document produced by the other side is identical to one you already have, you only need to load one copy. 

Smith v Jones - Documentary Evidence case


 Name of Section Section number Order byExamples of documents which might be stored in section
 Photographs A 
Date

Photo of Orchard                                        17 Jun 99

Photo of Orchard                                        23 May 14

Video of Orchard 01                                    22 Nov 14
 AB123456 Title Deeds B 
Date

Conveyance                                                      10 Apr 1999

Register of Title  AB123456                                31 Oct 2016

Title Plan  AB123456                                          31 Oct 2016


 CD654321 Title Deeds C 
Date

Conveyance                                                      15 Mar 1998

Register of Title  CD654321                                31 Oct 2016

Title Plan  CD654321                                          31 Oct 2016


 Other Documents D 
Date

Letter John Smith to Lucy Jones                   15 Aug 12

Agreement John Smith and Lucy Jones         20 Sep 12

Email at 10.20 John Smith to Peter Jones      15 Aug 13



Usually the main run of documents are best arranged chronologically regardless of the document type, whether contract, purchase order, invoice, letter, email etc. in the Other Documents section, so that the sequence of events can be seen. However sometimes certain limited groups of documents (such as title deeds for different properties as shown in the example above) are best organised separately from the main run of documents – still organised chronologically but separately.


Important Note It is important that you do not store, in the Caselines 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 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. 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 Caselines case, to contain the documents required for that hearing (some of which may be copied from the above cases), not by adding documents to the above cases and sections which do not belong there.


Cases for Hearings

As well as the two or three Caselines cases shown above – which are for general reference throughout the case - you may need, when the times comes, to create a Caseline case specifically to produce a bundle for a particular court hearing.

A trial bundle case would be named e.g. Smith v Jones - Trial Bundle  and, after you have created the basic Trial Bundle case in Caselines you would normally ask me to populate it with the documents which will be required (by copying selected documents from the two or three general reference cases shown above). Even 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 in practice the is best done by creating a Smith v Jones – Documents to be Included in Trial Bundle case in Caselines. 

During the course of litigation, before the 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. An application bundle case normally starts off life as a case named e.g. Smith v Jones - documents for counsel for Application - May 2016 into which you will load all the documents which seem relevant to the application. If the court has directed you to produce the application bundle, I may, before the application hearing, rename it to e.g. Smith v Jones - Bundle for Application Hearing on 1st June 2016  and finalise the documents it should contain, removing unnecessary documents and  perhaps adding some documents taken from some of the general reference cases) so that you can use it to produce the application bundle. Depending on how many documents there are I may do this even if the other party has been directed to produce the application bundle as a convenient way for you to indicate to the other side documents to be included.  

As well as specific applications made to the court which are in some sense contentious, there may, during the litigation before the trial, be a case management hearing which is more administrative in nature and may be concerned with giving directions about how the parties are to prepare for trial setting appropriate deadlines for each step (although even case management hearings sometimes include dealing with some simple applications). A short hearing bundle normally starts off life as a case named e.g. Smith v Jones - documents for counsel for Directions Stage - Jan 2016 into which you will load all the documents which seem relevant. If the court has directed you to produce a bundle for the hearing, I may, before the hearing, rename it to e.g. Smith v Jones - Bundle for Case Management Hearing on 1st Feb 2016  and finalise the documents it should contain, removing unnecessary documents and  perhaps adding some documents taken from some of the general reference cases, particularly from the Case Management case). Depending on how many documents there are I may do this even if the other party has been directed to produce the application bundle as a convenient way for you to indicate to the other side documents to be included.

Once the trial has ended and the judge has pronounced judgment, that it normally the end of the litigation (barring any enforcement action which may be necessary, and 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, an appeal bundle case will be necessary.

At any stage of the litigation a party can make an offer to settle. Sometimes it is agreed that there will be a formal mediation, conducted by a professional mediator, and if there is a mediation usually a mediation bundle is produced to be used by the parties and the mediator.     


Audio and Video Files

As well as PDFs, you can also store audio and video files (e.g. mp3 and mp4 files) in Caselines, but Caselines charge for audio/video files by the MB so, in order to avoid the extra charge, most people store their own audio and video files, and any audio/video files disclosed by the other side, on a folder in cloud storage (named e.g. Smith v Jones - av files) outside of Caselines, and just load a small placeholder text file into Caselines containing the words e.g. “Placeholder for video dated 22/5/2016”. You should grant me read access to the folder on cloud storage where you store video and audio files. Keep the folder containing video and audio files separate from any other folders you may have for the case on cloud storage. Google Drive is a very convenient (and free) cloud storage system though you should note that it, like all Google systems (including Gmail), it is hosted outside the United Kingdom and so may not be subject to the same data protection standards as apply in the United Kingdom. 


Your Email System

Virtually all correspondence you send or receive will be automatically stored in your email system. This even includes much correspondence received by post because (depending what it is) you will be scanning it in and emailing it 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.

Occasionally, if there is a query, you may need to search for past email correspondence about the litigation. It is best to use an email system - such as Gmail - which you will have access to at any time wherever you are because although many steps in litigation occur at predictable times there is always the possibility of something arising unexpectedly which may mean that you need to find old emails quickly. You can locate emails in your email system by date but it is also useful to group correspondence according to what it is about to make it easier to find. Most email systems allow you to create folders but Gmail has the advantage that instead of folders it uses "labels" and an email can be assigned to more than one Gmail label. So you can have one Gmail label for all litigation emails and further labels for particular subjects such as settlement. Here are some suggested labels to use:   


Gmail labels

 LitCorr All litigation emails

 Service Any emails from me regarding 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 centre dealing with the case.

 Advices Opinions and Advices from your barrister.

 Settlement Correspondence between parties which aims to achieve a settlement. 
 
 App

  You can create separate labels for each application - e.g. AppInjunction, AppSetAside etc.

 CostsSchedules  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).

 CostsEvidence Supporting evidence of the individual items of expenditure you have incurred in the case. 

This may include invoices from barristers, expert witnesses, mediators and from any commercial document scanning or printing service you use. 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. advice from a barrister or solicitor).

Note: any costs information not in, or attached to, an email - such as a spreadsheet of court fees paid - can be stored in a further cloud storage folder - see Cloud Storage below.

You can collect details of other, smaller, items if you wish which might be able to be claimed, particularly if the court orders detailed assessment, but often the law of diminishing marginal returns applies – i.e. recording lots of small items takes time, and diverts from thinking about more important matters. Also most people want, if they can, to avoid the court ordering a long and costly process for assessing costs (detailed assessment) by making their costs claim simple (leaving off the small items) and asking the court for the faster and cheaper process of summary assessment. 

 CostsBehaviour Any correspondence in which one party accuses the other of unreasonable litigation behaviour.



Cloud Storage

You do not need to routinely provide me with access to all past litigation correspondence but, if a matter arises which you ask my advice on, I may ask you to quickly provide me with PDF copies of the relevant emails, particularly if an application is to be made for an interim order. To enable you to provide PDF copies of emails quickly it is a good idea to set up in advance a folder in cloud storage and use Cloud HQ to ensure that whenever an email is sent or received a PDF copy is automatically created.Note that using CloudHQ will result in your data being processed outside the United Kingdom. If you are concerned about this there is an alternative method of creating PDF copies of emails though it is more laborious.  

A second folder should be set up in cloud storage to contain PDFs of full bundles of documents produced by Caselines - e.g. when a bundle is produced for a hearing or when seeking an Opinion from a barrister.

Cloud Storage folders

 Smith v Jones - PDFcopies of emails PDF copies of all litigation emails and email attachments.
 Smith v Jones - PDFcopies of bundles PDF copies of bundles from the Caselines system so that you have an exact copy of what the bundle contained when it was printed out and used at a hearing (or provided to a barrister for an Opinion).
 

Original signed court documents

The original signed copies of court documents which have been filed/served (e.g. pleadings and witness statements) should be kept in a paper 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 January 2017 Disclaimer