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Electronic Booklets in the Commercial Courts

Neil Cahill
06/09/2022

Locations

Ireland

The commercial court division of the High Court now requires materials to be submitted in electronic format.
 
Previously, High Court Practice Direction HC93 only required a set of hard copy papers in respect of motions or trials to the Commercial List to be lodged by the moving party in the Central Office by 4.30pm on the Wednesday preceding the Monday motion list or week of the trial.

Now, Practice Direction HC113 requires that, in addition to the hard copy booklets, and electronic copy must also be lodged by the moving party within the same time limits i.e. the preceding Wednesday of the hearing date.

The Practice Direction provides the following guidance as to the form and manner of electronic booklets.  This includes:
 
  • All electronic booklets should be prepared in .pdf format with hyperlinks from the index of each book to each document in the book.
  • The electronic booklet should be identical to the format of the hard copy booklets.
  • When using a file-share, the booklet should be downloadable from a link with no security measures in place.

Format for electronic booklets in Motions
In the case of a Motion the following core booklet should be provided:
 
  1. A book of Pleadings in date order containing each of the following (to the extent that they have been delivered or made): -
  • The Summons
  • The affidavit grounding the motion for entry into the Commercial List
  • Memorandum of Appearance
  • Statement of Claim
  • Notices for Particulars and Replies
  • Defence/Counterclaim
  • Reply
  • Any Further relevant Particulars and Replies
  • Notices to Produce
  • All Orders of the Court
 
  1. A book of Motion Papers to include the following: -
  • Notice of Motion
  • Grounding Affidavit (with exhibits unless they are voluminous in which case they can be provided in separate booklets)
  • Any Replying Affidavits and further exchanges of Affidavits
  • The Moving Party’s Written Submissions
  • The Responding Party’s Written Submissions
 
  1. A book of Authorities containing the Relevant Authorities from all parties to include the following:-
  • A copy of the provisions of the Rules of the Superior Courts under which the relief is sought (if applicable)
  • All relevant statutory provisions
  • Core Authorities most likely to be mentioned during oral submissions



Format for Electronic Books for Trial

A similar format is required for booklets for trial as motions.
 

  1. A book of Pleadings in date order, as follows: -
  • Summons
  • Memorandum of Appearance
  • Statement of Claim
  • Notices for Particulars and Replies
  • Defence/Counterclaim
  • Reply
  • Any Further relevant Particulars and Replies
  • Notices to Produce
  • The Orders made by the Court
 
  1. A book of core documents
This book should contain the core material which each party proposes to address at the trial of the action. It should be in a format agreed between the parties well in advance of the trial and include the relevant discovery reference from the discovery made by the parties (where it is a document discovered by one or both parties).

 
  1. A book of legal submissions containing:
  • The Plaintiff’s Written Submissions
  • The Defendant’s Written Submissions
  • Any other Written submissions (from Notice Parties/Third Parties etc)
 
  1. A book of witness statements from each party
This book should also contain copies of any materials appended to the original witness statements as delivered

 
  1. A book of Authorities containing the Relevant Authorities from all parties to include the following: -
  • A copy of the order of the Superior Court Rules under which any relief is sought (if applicable)
  • A copy of any relevant statutory provisions.
  • The Core Authorities most likely to be mentioned during oral submissions


Conclusion
At Fieldfisher we continuously invest in technology to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of developments in the delivery of legal services and the smooth transition to a paperless environment.

Whilst hard copy documents are still required in court, this new Practice Direction shows the Courts are embracing technology and moving  towards a paperless environment.

Written by: Neil Cahill

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