The duty of disclosure arises automatically once a party commences legal proceedings in a Queensland Court against another party, but what is disclosure?
Disclosure is an obligation on each party to disclose to the other party, all material they have in their possession or under their control. that is relevant to the allegations in issue in the proceeding (rule 211 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) (“UCPR”)).
If you are considering commencing legal proceedings against another person or company, you need to ensure that you hold all relevant material on which you intend to rely upon in the proceedings, which are directly relevant to your dispute. If you are defending a claim, you also hold a duty to disclose all relevant material in your possession that is relevant to the dispute.
The parties are required to deliver the documents in their possession to the other party within 28 days after the close of pleadings (rule 214 of the UCPR). This will usually occur by either party providing a “List of Documents” to the other party. The List of Documents will contain all relevant material that the party intends to rely upon in the proceedings.
In the event that the other party to the proceedings does not provide a copy of any of the documents and/or correspondence to which they refer in their pleadings (i.e Statement of Claim or Defence), the other party can request such document by serving on the other party a rule 222 notice. A rule 222 notice is in accordance with rule 222 of the UCPR, in that a party may by written notice, require another party to provide a document for inspection or permit copies of the document to be made.
There is an exception to the rules: You are not required to produce a copy of any correspondence or documents between a party and its legal representative.
A party to a proceeding must be aware that the duty of disclosure arises the moment legal proceedings are commenced and continues until the end of the proceedings, whether that is made by a court judgment or a settlement between the parties. This means that if a document comes into your possession during the proceedings, that is relevant to the dispute in question, you are required to disclose that document in the proceedings.
If you are unsure as to what documents are relevant or can be disclosed and would like assistance in this regard, please contact our litigation lawyers now to discuss your next steps at 07 3009 8444.
The blog published by Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers is intended as general information only and is not legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing the blog posts, the reader understands there is no solicitor-client relationship between the reader and the author. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a legal practitioner, and readers are urged to consult RCR on any legal queries concerning a specific situation.