Electronic Disclosure – Multi-Track

In fast track cases standard disclosure applies which requires parties to disclose (1) documents on which they rely; (2) documents which adversely affect their own case or another parties case, or which support another party’s case; and (3) which a party must disclose because of a relevant practice direction.

The Jackson civil litigation reforms, inter alia, on 01 April 2013 changed the procedure for disclosure for multi track claims and electronic disclosure.

Practice Direction 31B applies where electronic documents are disclosed. The procedure of electronic disclosure requires preparation. Practice Direction 31B makes it compulsory for parties to a case to contact each other and discuss the procedure for electronic disclosure. The discussions should include the scope of the search for the electronic documents, document preservation and how the exchange should take place. This will usually take place prior to the Case Management Conference.

The scope, reasonableness and cost of the search required must be proportionate on which Practice Direction 31B contains specific guidance on in the search for electronic documents.

Costs should be monitored on an ongoing basis to keep them proportionate as the amount of documents in a party’s control can become disproportionate to the claim. Therefore, documents should be managed as efficiently as possible to minimise costs.

By Michael Coyle at Lawdit Solicitors

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