Litigators are being asked to adapt quickly, following the Court’s recent guidance for parties to engage in remote hearings during lockdown as a result of COVID-19. For many, the acute emphasis on an alternative to traditional, in-person hearings is a step in the right direction, with the consensus being that they will provide a route for litigation to be managed more efficiently, in good times and bad.
The guidance sets out instructions on how these hearings should be conducted, and references amendments made to the CPR to introduce these changes. We are here to support law firms through these challenging times and we too have adapted to help clients meet the Court’s requirements.
The new guidance dictates that electronic bundles can be prepared in “.pdf or another format.” Whilst complex and multi-faceted trial-presentation software already exists, it is tailored to large-scale litigation in the High Court and it is not cost effective or appropriate for smaller applications and hearings where the volume of documentation is generally smaller. A simple problem only requires a simple solution…
The latest version of the Anexsys eBundling application Exhibit has been adapted to meet the requirements of remote hearings, regardless of size.
Exhibit is a lightweight and inexpensive document bundling application, adapted to meet the requirements of remote hearings, as an alternative to a continuous .pdf bundle. Using Exhibit users can have an unlimited number of documents open without leaving the application home screen, enabling swift transitions between documents and simple navigation of the hearing bundle.
Why is Exhibit suitable for remote hearings?
Exhibit is a standalone application which can be deployed offline. Identical copies of the electronic hearing bundle are provided to the parties and the Court on a USB or through secure file-sharing protocol, in a similar manner to the distribution of hard copy bundles in hearings of old.
Exhibit has a built-in .pdf viewer used for all document types, including Excel files. It supports notes and annotations, enabling users to mark up copies of documents in advance of the hearing with comments and highlights. All documents within the Exhibit bundle are text searchable, meaning users can search for specific words and phrases contained within the bundle documents in advance of and even during a hearing.
Users pay a flat fee for the creation of the hearing bundle which depends on the number of documents and the number of copies required. There are no hidden user fees, data hosting, processing costs.
Video Conferencing & Remote Hearing Support
In addition to eBundling, we are currently providing hands-on assistance with remote hearings. The court’s guidance approves a variety of conferencing methods (Skype for Business, Zoom and others). Impartial third-party assistance can help these hearings proceed without hitches. We provide a quasi-paralegal service, setting up video-conferencing, screen sharing and providing further technical support throughout hearings. This ensures that the parties, counsel and the Judge are on the same page and that software issues which have the potential to derail a hearing are avoided.