What does legal format mean?

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How to Record and Transcribe Your Next Business Conference
February 23, 2019

What does legal format mean?

Legal documents follow a very specific format. Whether writing papers in law school, preparing legal pleadings, or other paperwork in the judicial realm, knowing what legal formatting is key. A professional can help you draft these difficult documents.

Know the Local Rules

Each region and municipality has its own set of rules. The rules can change from one region to another. Even if you are simply writing papers in law school, you need to know what the rules are in your area. You can contact the clerk of court. Ask for a printout of the rules. Much of this information can be available online. Always follow the rules presented.

Examples are Your Friend

While you should always contact your attorney and a formatting professional before attempting to write your own legal forms, studying examples helps you familiarize yourself with the documents. For example, defendants can search the web or even look at pleadings already filed for examples of formatting. You want an example from the same court, which can be difficult to find. Speak with your attorney about acquiring sample documents. Even if you use a professional service, knowing what to expect will help you.

Special Paper

Some courts even require filings on special paper. Some courts require specific pleading paper, otherwise, the court may not accept your paperwork. If no specific paper is required, then use standardized paper.

What Information Should Be Included?

The legal format requires a wide variety of information, from your identification like name, address, and phone number to the names of the plaintiffs and defendants in the case. The caption should indicate the names of the plaintiffs. For example, “Frederika Green, Plaintiff v. Lillian Broderick, Defendant.” Include the case number. Be sure to provide this information to your transcription service.

The body will include information about the complaint. Your attorney will help you draft the wording. Bold headlines, capitalization, and underlining are all used to help the judge formally understand your case. Don’t forget page numbers. Your signature and the date will be needed for the documents.

Each set of legal documents has its own unique formatting. Be sure to follow the rules of your local court. Speak with your attorney about specifics in the case. Work together with your attorney, the court, and your transcription professional about drafting professional paperwork. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to share our years of legal formatting experience with you and provide you with the service that you need for your case.

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