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How to Create a Legal Pleading Template

Updated April 17, 2017

Legal pleadings follow a standard format, which depends on the nature of the pleading and the local rules of the court. Paralegals and attorneys frequently use templates for legal pleadings, as they frequently draft pleadings. Create a legal pleading template to more easily and efficiently draft pleadings.

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  1. Consult the local rules of the court. Read the Rules of Civil Procedure to determine the requirements for pleadings. Obtain a copy of a pleading filed in the court to use as a sample for the template creation.

  2. Create a template from a blank page by opening your word processing program and drafting a sample pleading, using the pleading as a guide. Change the margin settings, page size and other formatting to meet court specifications.

  3. Insert field codes, which are placeholders for data that changes, for each of the required pleading parts, according to the local rules of the court. Normally, insert field codes for the jurisdiction, venue, style of the case (party names), case or civil action number and designation (title of pleading). Insert a field code for the text or body of the pleading and the signature of the party.

  4. Draft the certificate of service, the language of which will not change. The certificate of service simply certifies that a true and accurate copy of the pleading shall be served on adversary parties on the same day that the pleading is filed with the court. See the sample pleading for exact language used in the jurisdiction. Insert a field code in the certificate for the date.

  5. Save the document as a template, rather than as a word document. Assign the template a title that will make it easy for your or other users to find and retrieve the template. Close the template.

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About the Author

Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.

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