What Is a Conformed Copy of a Legal Document?

Updated June 05, 2017

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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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About the Author

Margaret Lucas Agius, a NALA Certified Paralegal, has been writing for and about the legal profession for more than a decade. Her articles have appeared in the "Michigan Bar Journal," the "Michigan Paralegal" and "Facts & Findings." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Detroit Mercy and a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies from Madonna University.