MORE ABOUT TRIAL BUNDLES: MOST OF THE STUFF IN THEM IS USELESS (APPARENTLY)
The decision discussed earlier today of Dowdall -v- William Kenyon & Sons Ltd  EWHC 2822 (QB) contained an interesting observation that I wanted to deal with separately. It concerns the “usefulness” of trial bundles.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE BUNDLES
- The Claimant has served a witness statement by him, and another by his present solicitor, Mr. Johnson. I have also considered the statement which he made in the First Action. I did not hear oral evidence. In the case of the Claimant, that was because he is not well, and no-one wished to cross-examine him. His evidence is of limited relevance to the issues which I have to resolve. Mr. Johnson was not cross-examined but I heard submissions about the sufficiency of his evidence on certain significant matters. The court was supplied with 5 bundles of documents. I indicated that pre-reading of all that material had been impossible and that I was going to decide the case on the basis of the written material which was drawn to my attention during the hearing or in the Skeleton Arguments. Documents which were not drawn to my attention by these means are not, so far as I am concerned, part of the evidence merely because they appear in a Bundle but have not been mentioned by anyone. Counsel accepted this approach and I heard conspicuously careful and helpful submissions on behalf of all 4 parties.
SO FIVE BUNDLES AND MOST OF THE DOCUMENTS IN THEM WERE NOT READ
It is perhaps not surprising that the most read post on this blog is the post on the preparation of trial bundles. Considerable expense, time and effort (and a few trees) could be saved if the parties produced bundles that contained only the relevant documents as opposed to every single conceivable document.