In a judgment today Jackson L.J. made some trenchant remarks about the quality of the appeal bundle. It illustrates the importance of reading (and complying) with the relevant rules and practice directions.
The case was Illife -v- Feltham Construction Ltd  EWCA Civ 715. The appeal related to a summary judgment order in multi-party litigation concerning fire damage. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. However Jackson L.J. made some observations about the state of the bundle.
Jackson LJ had a specific section of the appeal on the bundle.
“Part 5. The Court of Appeal bundle
Paragraph 27 of Practice Direction 52C sets out clear rules concerning what should be included and – more importantly – what should be omitted from bundles prepared for the Court of Appeal. In particular, paragraph 27 (1) provides that the appeal bundle “must contain only those documents relevant to the appeal”.
The present appeal bundle (ignoring the authorities bundle) contains 2,550 pages. This includes numerous duplicates and irrelevant documents. There are at least two copies of Dr Goudsmit’s report and at least two copies of the JCT contract. The arrangement of the correspondence is, to put it charitably, chaotic. It is certainly not chronological. For example, I managed to track down the architect’s important letter of 12th May 2011 at page 1807. His follow-up letter dated 16th June 2011 is tucked away at page 2148. Mr Dearie’s email of 26th September 2011 (about the gap around the flue) is at page 359. Amongst the jumble of correspondence there are copies of superfluous authorities. The brief chronology furnished by the parties does not contain any page references to aid the hapless judge as he/she struggles to piece together the story of what happened.
A BUNDLE OF RELATED POSTS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
- Trial bundles: Timing, Contents & Presentation: and do you know “Sedley’s Laws” ?
- Trial bundles. Sedley’s Laws and Documentary Carpet Bombing.
- Troublesome bundles yet again.
- Proportionality, bundles and £3 million spent on costs.
- When bundles & sanctions collide.
- More on Bundles: there is much time and money to be saved yet.
- Lengthy bundles and interim costs.
- Get bundles and skeletons to court or else.
- Relief from sanctions: Bundles: Expert evidence and litigants in person.
- Costs, proportionality and getting the bundles right.
- “Madness” over costs and useless trial bundles.
- More about trial bundles: Most of the stuff in them is useless (apparently).
- Bundles, appeals and the art of advocacy: Are poor bundles letting down your case?
- Useless Bundles; lengthy skeletons and judicial ire.
- A word about bundles: More views from the Bench.
- Trial Bundles: Another view from the Bench.
- The Importance of Trial Bundles again: Read Legal Orange.
- Yet more on bundles
- More comments from the Court of Appeal on Bundles.