The analysis of court and arbitration proceedings shows that the general background of a business dispute is rarely unequivocal and going through the impenetrable maze of documentary evidence often proves challenging. Therefore, all materials supporting a given line of argument should always be well-thought-out and appropriately structured.
Moreover, during every step of works on a business dispute one should continue assessing whether chosen line of argument is or can be supported by available documents. Consequently, the following activities, which support the argument structure in a dispute and address issues of key importance for the party, should be considered:
- Drawing up a list of areas to be analyzed and evaluated to assess the damage;
- Confirming or excluding the cause and effect relation between the fault and the damage;
- Determining possible approaches to assessing each identified area affected and the entire damage;
- Critical assessment of documents collected for the purpose of damage evaluation in terms of their usefulness, conciseness and coherency with the adopted line of argument; it is often worth to eliminate information related to the dispute which does not contribute much to the damage assessment as in practice more is not always better;
- Drawing up or ordering damage appraisal;
- Consideration of data scope that may be obtained during the dispute, including the information that would only be only made available based on decisions of the court/court of arbitration;
- Verifying whether all selected data have been included in damage appraisal;
- Presenting the results of the analysis, conclusions and own arguments in a logical manner.
The practice of business disputes proves that a well-prepared documentary evidence is one of the key success factors in such disputes. The quality of available documentation or detected deficiencies may considerably affect dispute’s strategy, including decisions on resources to be involved in the process of claiming damage or dismissing accusations.