I posted a few days ago about the benefit of making it easy for people to do things you want them to do. The EAT in one of its standard letters sets a nearly perfect example of how not to make it easy:
Your attention is drawn to Employment Appeal Practice Direction 2008 paragraphs 6, 13 and 14 concerning the filing of bundles, skeleton arguments and authorities for the forthcoming hearing. Failure to file the documents in accordance with the directions may result in you being required to appear before the President or another Judge of the EAT to explain your non compliance.
There are a lot of detailed instructions in the Practice Direction about what has to go in bundles, skeletons and lists of authorities and how they are to be presented, but the important and urgent thing you have to know – so you can put it in your diary – is what the deadlines are for getting these documents in. Clearly the EAT feels quite strongly about parties doing these things at the proper times, or the instructions wouldn’t be backed by such a blood-curdling threat. But it would be much more likely to get what it wanted if its standard letter said instead something like:
Four copies of your agreed bundle of documents for the hearing must be lodged with the EAT by [date]; 4 copies each of the skeleton arguments are due by [date]; and 4 copies of an agreed authorities bundle must be lodged by [date]. You will find detailed instructions about these things at paragraphs 6, 13 and 14 of the Practice Direction (copy enclosed).