What Is a Conformed Copy of a Legal Document?

Written by margaret lucas agius
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What Is a Conformed Copy of a Legal Document?
An original legal document is usually considered as preferred, and primary, evidence. (signing a contract image by William Berry from Fotolia.com)

There are several different types of copies of original legal documents, including an authenticated copy, a certified copy and an exemplified copy. A conformed copy of a legal document will be defined and discussed here.

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Definition

According to Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary, a conformed copy is an exact copy of a document filed with a court, with certain exceptions described below.

Features

A court clerk conforms a copy by stamping it with the date filed, and adding any handwritten notations to the copy that exist on the original, including the judge's signature.

Identification

A conformed copy may be identified by its handwritten and/or typed notations, which replace signatures and official seals.

Function

Under the best evidence rule, a conformed copy is admissible as evidence in a lawsuit when the original document has been destroyed or lost, according to West's Encyclopedia of American Law.

Significance

According to West's Encyclopedia of American Law, a conformed copy is considered secondary evidence, while the original document is primary evidence.

Considerations

The best evidence rule dictates that the original of any document be used as evidence at trial whenever possible, according to Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary.

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