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The consortium responsible for the TCC eDisclosure protocol has just released a revised version with accompanying (extensively enhanced) guidelines, intended to be a “best practice” approach to the thorny and difficult issue of electronic disclosure in the Jackson era of civil procedure.
Andrew Haslam sets out some of the revisions to the protocol. His previous post setting out the background to the TCC eDisclosure protocol can be found here.
The new documents can be downloaded from the Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association (TeCSA) website here.
The changes reflect the feedback received from users of the approach, who in the main were happy with the protocol, but wanted more "worked examples" in the guidance notes. They have certainly got what they asked for, with the notes containing text drawn from a number of "real life" protocol documents, and in many cases showing alternative strategies and wording for various elements of the eDisclosure process.
The main document of the TCC protocol describes the approach to the exercise, with the bulk of the customisation to reflect a specific matter appearing in the six appendices:
In a similar fashion the Guidance notes are split into two, first a document covering the body of the protocol, and then a separate set of "worked examples" for the appendices. The second document also includes a timeline diagram showing the interaction between the legal process and the stages of the EDRM model, a flowchart of the pathway to the first CMC, and checklist some 136 points to be aware of over the lifetime of a eDisclosure exercise. The previous version of this advice clocked in at 11 pages, the combined total of the new assistance is now 39 pages, a clear indication of the comprehensive explanations of all the different nuances within the processes.
The guidance commentary is split between explanations of each specific point followed by example text of the different approaches users can adopt for that specific area. So, though it is a collaborative agreement, there is still a lot of room for a knowledgeable lawyer to legitimately gain advantage in their choice of options at each stage of the process. In order to do that, practitioners will need to understand the pros and cons of the competing strategies, but the guidelines certainly will take people a long way down that path.
Andrew Haslam is an independent eDisclosure consultant who was part of the working party who produced both the original and revised versions of the protocol/Guideline. The opinions expressed in this article reflect his personal views, and not those of the TCC, TeCSA, TECBAR or SCL.
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Andrew Haslam, is the UK’s leading independent litigation support
consultant, who since 1997 has provided specialist legal IT advice and
eDisclosure strategy to the UK’s top law firms. Andrew started his
professional career serving 12 years in the British Army where he
acquired an IT degree and an abiding interest in how computing can help
people work more efficiently. He then spent a decade delivering document
management solutions to clients in the Military, Central Government and
Pharmaceutical sectors. From early 2004, Andrew has been at the
forefront of developments in eDisclosure, and is recognised as one of
the UK’s leading consultants in this field, speaking at many conferences
and authoring a series of white papers on a variety of technology
topics. In 2013 he was the technical adviser to the working party that
produced the Technology and Construction Court eDisclosure protocol and
continues to serve on the team overseeing the protocol’s evolution.
Tel: +44 (0) 7789 435080
0330 161 1234