From 1 January 2014, an e-disclosure protocol, approved by the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) will be available for use.
The protocol has been designed with the aim of better managing disclosure in document heavy cases in the TCC. It sets out a template for the parties to follow and it guides them on how to extract electronic digital data by storing and processing the data in accordance with modern e-disclosure requirements.
For ease of use, the protocol includes a template document designed to provide structure for communication between the parties from the beginning of a case right through to trial. This should assist the Jackson reforms in that it will help practitioners to budget for e-disclosure by requiring precision in terms of the scope of the process. Moreover, from 1 January, the court could order parties to adopt it, unless they agreed to an alternative.
The protocol will no doubt be adopted in other areas of civil litigation, in due course, where disputes are document-intensive and it would seem to be a positive step towards ensuring that the legal profession is able to meet the demands of the 21st century.
If you are interested in finding out more about the protocol it can be found on the Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association website: http://www.tecsa.org.uk/e-disclosure