Trial bundles can be pain-free if you follow the rules. When it comes to preparing trial bundles for court there are many pointers and guidelines to take into consideration. It has been said that a good trial bundle will not win a case but a bad one may damage it.
Production is generally considered to be a laborious administrative task and is consequently often assigned to trainees and paralegals but this should not deflect from the necessity to get it right. A good eye and attention to detail is crucial in the collation, production and eventual printing of the trial bundle. A judge’s time is valuable and limited, so time cannot be taken up searching through a badly produced bundle.
Why produce a trial bundle?
The purpose of a trial bundle is to assist lawyers and the courts to access relevant documents and affect a smooth-running process throughout the hearing. Key considerations are:
- What to include/exclude. Finding a happy balance should be made a priority when deciding what documents need to be included, and as referred to in White Winston Select Asset Funds LLC and another v Mahon and another - a “building up from nothing” approach should be preferred to “thinning down from everything”.
- Be sure to check on court guidelines and parameters, especially regarding the maximum number of pages to be included in each bundle and whether there is a stipulation on the said pages being printed single or double-sided.
- Ensure the bundle is easily navigable by using a concise and accurate index. Dividers and/or coloured sheets will be required to separate the documents.
- Any pagination should also be clear and of a large enough font to be legible and care should be taken to avoid previous page numbers in the process.
- Be careful that the most relevant documents are accessible (a core bundle containing the most relevant documents is advisable when the trial bundle is particularly document heavy).
- That the files are clearly marked on the fronts and spines for identification. They should be almost regimentally uniform to impress the judge and show that you’ve taken to the task with the utmost vigilance!
Full guidelines can be found on the Government website.
Here at Atlaw the importance of creating a perfect trial bundle is certainly not lost on us.
We understand the process implicitly and have even spotted mistakes within bundles sent to us for printing before they ended up in front of the judge. This experience is essential when our clients request to produce multiple sets on time for court.
If you are tasked with creating a trial bundle and you need our help to produce sets accurately and to meet the court’s deadline you can contact us 24/7 at 020 7490 1646