Finding things

Finding what you want in a hurry is a large part of conducting a hearing in an orderly way. Having to keep pausing in the middle of your cross-examination or submissions to hunt for a document wastes time time and interrupts your train of thought at best – and if you can’t find what you’re after, may deprive you of good points you could otherwise have made.

A lot of the answer is just to know the bundle well. But you can also develop certain habits that will help you navigate smoothly. What the habits are will depend on your own way of thinking and doing things. You may find colours helpful – for instance flagging certain sorts of documents in particular colours, highlighting one corner of respondents’ witness statements in one colour, claimants’ in another, using coloured paper for a particular document (e.g. your chronology) that you may want to refer to a lot. Or it may be about where you put things: if you always tuck your list of issues inside the front flap of your bundle, then you will always know where to look for it. If you always write a list of the witnesses and key players on the first page of your notebook, you will know where to find that too. If you’re lucky enough to be able to commit key page numbers to memory without breaking sweat, do that. If your bundle runs to several volumes, make sure there is a clear label on the inside cover of each volume as well as on the spine – that way if you have 2 or 3 volumes open, you will still be able to tell at a glance which is which.

These are all just examples. The real point is to notice what’s tripping you up, and then apply a bit of thought to how you can prevent it.

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