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In praise of yellow highlighters

Yellow highlighters have a great advantage over any other colour: the marks they make are invisible to the photocopier.

One of the many ways to get a bundle wrong is to include pages where the key parts of documents have been obscured (once photocopied) by the use of a highlighter, or annotations made after the event. This is easily done. Your file of papers builds up as the case goes along, and as additional papers arrive – the ET3, for example, or material disclosed by the respondent – you read them highlight what you regard as the important bits. Quite likely you also annotate them.

Then a couple of weeks before the hearing, when the time comes to prepare the bundle, you realise that the only copy you have of several key documents is heavily annotated and highlighted. Unless you can get a clean copies from the other side, you may have to spend tedious time with a bottle of correction fluid, removing your extraneous marks from the documents before copying. Most highlighter marks will be impossible to remove anyway without also obscuring the text.

This can be avoided in one of two ways. If you have ready access to a photocopier, the simplest thing is just to copy every document as it arrives and keep one clean copy in a separate folder called ‘draft bundle’ from the outset. Make your own marks on a second copy.

If photocopying means a trip to the print shop or public library, do not bother to make spare copies of all the documents as you get them. Instead, confine yourself to a yellow highlighter when marking the documents for your own purposes. This isn’t a bad rule even when it comes to marking your own copy of the bundle, because sometimes – and you can’t tell in advance when this will be the case – the hearing bundle will need to be cannibalised for a subsequent appeal or re-hearing.

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