PRESENTING THE CASE PROPERLY FOR YOUR CLIENT: TRIAL BUNDLES: RESURRECTING THE ADVICE GIVEN BY “LEGAL ORANGE”
The average lifespan of a blog is around 100 days. One blog on law and litigation that stopped posting several years ago was Legal Orange . A blog that started in December 2013 and where the last post was December 2015. The posts on that blog (by an anonymous blogger) combined knowledge, experience and commonsense. Many of them remain relevant. Here are selected extracts. As ever it pays to read the original.
“What is the point of handling a claim for a couple of years and then failing to present it well to the court? You are selling yourself short and doing a disservice to your client.”
THE POST ON TRIAL BUNDLES
An example of the commonsense that prevailed was the post, in January 2014 on trial bundles. The opening words say it all.
“Being a civil litigator often means you do not need to know too much about “the law” but it is vital that you are an expert in procedure.
With that in mind we should focus on trial bundles. This subject comes about due to receiving a draft trial bundle index recently from an opponent. It made me cringe.
The main issue was that they wanted to include EVERYTHING in the bundle. A very silly move. It bore all the hallmarks of a person with limited (if any) trial experience. It’s always the way if someone has never been in court.”
THE ADVICE THAT LEGAL ORANGE GAVE
The post then goes on to show how the person drafting the trial bundle had failed to look at the issues.
“Tell me, what are these key issues you speak about?
What is the trial about?
What are the key documents for this hearing?
What other non-vital documents need to be available?
Which documents will be read or disregarded?”
WHAT YOU LEAVE OUT IS AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU PUT IN
“If a case has trundled along for years, the Judge does not need to see every document. They only want to have copies of the limited documents which go to the key issues to be decided.”
“Many people forget that often correspondence over many years can be viewed as 2 people “point scoring” and getting bogged down in the tiny details of the claim. It’s a virtual certainty that you will not need to index every single letter and email!! What is the benefit, for example, of including an acknowledgment email? Or a 10 page email chain repeating itself several times over?”
GO THE EXTRA MILE
Legal Orange advocates going the extra mile by labelling everything correctly. Preparing a useful and accurate case summary and chronology. Putting the case number of the case on the outside of the file (to reduce the risk of the court losing it).
SO I HOPE LEGAL ORANGE IS FARING WELL
It is difficult to know what to do when an anonymous blogger stops blogging. I hope it was due to a change of job, or decision to prioritise other things.
I’ll take a leaf from Legal Orange’s blog.
He or she used to always end their posts with the same three words “over and out”.