A joint trial document brief is a best practice for trial.
Trial goes a whole lot smoother when counsel can agree on a joint trial document brief. The cooperation in vetting documents down to what matters helps keep the volume of paper down and the trial focused.
Negotiating a joint trial document brief simply involves going back and forth with a proposed index, with both sides adding what they see as required for their client. A final review is needed once assembled to ensure completeness.
In coming to an agreement on a joint trial document brief, the following 6 questions should be addressed (as discussed in Bruno v. Dacosta, 2020 ONCA 602 https://canlii.ca/t/j9sn4 at paragraph 53 (citing Girao v. Cunningham, 2020 ONCA 260):
1. Are the documents, if they are not originals, admitted to be true copies of the originals? Are they admissible without proof of the original documents?
2. Is it to be taken that all correspondence and other documents in the document book are admitted to have been prepared, sent and received on or about the dates set out in the documents, unless otherwise shown in evidence at the trial?
3. Is the content of a document admitted for the truth of its contents, or must the truth of the contents be separately established in the evidence at trial?
4. Are the parties able to introduce into evidence additional documents not mentioned in the document book?
5. Are there any documents in the joint book that a party wishes to treat as exceptions to the general agreement on the treatment of the documents in the document book?
6. Does any party object to a document in the document book, if it has not been prepared jointly?
The parties should discuss who is reponsible for printing (or uploading) the joint trial document brief. The agreement regarding the joint trial document brief can be marked as an exhibit at trial to reflect everyone’s agreement on the record.
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