Forms for Civil Practice Thomas Keefe,


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  • Much of a lawyers time is spent drafting legal documents such as wills. Trusts, and leases. To assist lawyers in this aspect of their practice, publishers have created form books that provide sample legal documents that enable lawyers to model documents after these examples and to tailor these form documents to their practical needs. Today, most lawyers store these documents in an electronic repository, document management system or ‘brief bank.’ These are often the best place to start when looking for a template. But, when these fail, lawyers must look elsewhere. I would guess that about one out of four questions that I get at the reference desk has to do with finding a “form to assist a lawyer in drafting a document whether it be a complaint, a retainer agreement, a distribution agreement a will or whatever the case may be. This presentation is intended to be a brief introduction or refresher on using forms or templates to help draft important legal documents. Due to the complexity of the subject, this will be a very cursory overview of some of the tips for successfully locating the right form and knowing how to use it.
  • I happen to be a big fan of forms online
  • Don’t forget
  • Also, West/ Lawyers Coop Pattern Discovery Series: Motor Vehicles Employment Discrimination Family law Med Mal Prem Liability Products Liability Tort Actions
  • Searchable by keyword, subject and also by statute (criminal)
  • Estate Planning IICLES Asset protection planning Estate planning for Illinois attorneys : the basics and beyond Estate planning in disabled adult guardianships Estate, trust, and guardianship litigation, 2002 Illinois estate planning forms and commentary, 2005 Retirement benefits issues in estate planning
  • Forms for Civil Practice Thomas Keefe,

    1. 1. Forms for Civil Practice Thomas Keefe, Associate Director for Instruction And Electronic Resources The John Marshall Law School March 26, 2008
    2. 2. Why forms? <ul><ul><li>Drafting documents: what lawyers do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Licensing intellectual property </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Civil rights section 1983 complaint </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employment agreement w/ restrictive covenant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jury instructions in securities case </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fee splitting with multiple counsel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why use form “books” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No better template available </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask an expert </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two heads are better than one </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure you have all elements/clauses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t reinvent the wheel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caveat on using generic forms </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Types of Forms <ul><ul><li>Litigation forms: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>complaints, motions, discovery, jury instructions, court forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transactional forms: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>employment agreements, corporate transactions (M&A), licensing agreements, wills & trusts, real estate transactions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law practice forms: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>client letters, retainer agreements, fee-splitting agreements, HR forms, accounting </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Where do I Find Forms? <ul><ul><li>Encyclopedic form books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treatises/ practice materials with forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CD-Roms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Westlaw: (1) forms-all (2) il-forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LexisNexis: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(1) Illinois > search forms and drafting instructions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(2) Legal   > Secondary Legal   > Forms & Agreements </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A note for CBA members and alums </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Internet Forms </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. How do I locate forms? <ul><li>Library catalog: su=‘forms’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>302 subdivisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>740 titles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms-civil procedure-u.s. 31 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms—contracts—u.s. 9 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms-law-Illinois 70 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms-estate planning-Illinois 6 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms-Instructions to Juries 31 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword searching for formbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>contracts and forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois and forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Bibliography </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a reference librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Forms online </li></ul>
    6. 6. Forms You Should Know About: Encyclopedic Form Books <ul><ul><li>American Jurisprudence Legal Forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>62 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>22,000 in 268 legal topics from abandoned property to zoning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>each topic contains drafting guide and notes on use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>West’s Legal Forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>61 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Section titles cover: Business Organizations, Retirement Plans, Debtor—Creditor Relations, Real Estate Transactions, Domestic Relations, Estate Planning, Commercial Transactions, Elder Law, Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks, Employee Benefit Plans, Employment Agencies, and Service Agreements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why should I care? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You never know what you are going to have access to </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Searchable online (Westlaw: Forms-All) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Great for fishing </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Forms You Should Know About: Litigation-related Form Books <ul><li>American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>82 volumes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>43,000 drafted, practice- and court-tested state and federal forms, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists, and timetables needed for every stage of a case. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes statutory and procedural rules references. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers notices, complaints, petitions, declarations, summonses, demurrers, answers, counterclaims, cross-complaints, interrogatories, replies, motions, affidavits, stipulations, bills of particulars, subpoenas, orders, writs, jury instructions, findings of fact, judgments, bonds, decrees, and much more. </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Forms You Should Know About: Litigation-related Form Books <ul><ul><li>Causes of Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>32 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive guides to research, practice, and procedure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Damages awards survey, and litigation forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practice checklists and sample cases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Available via Westlaw </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IICLE Causes of Action: Elements, forms, winning tips--Tort Actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of contents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IICLE Causes of Action-- Elements, forms, winning tips--Business & Non-Personal Injury Actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of Contents </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Forms You Should Know About: Litigation-related Form Books <ul><ul><li>Bender's Forms of Discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>about 30 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>more than 200 title categories of sample interrogatories from Accounting to Zoning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Available on LexisNexis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Am Jur Proof of Facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>53 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides expert advice on preparing your case, quickly determining the facts essential to winning your case and proving them, and determining which cases to take or refer. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes strategies, tactics, and practice tips and tools for every stage of trial preparation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contains extensive checklists, sample interrogatories, model discovery forms, sample proofs, diagrams, as well as artwork and illustrations. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Forms You Should Know About: Litigation-related Form Books <ul><li>Sources of Jury Instructions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No general set of approved instructions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Jury Practice and Instructions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>West publishing </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>9 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>aka Devitt & Blackman </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modern Federal Jury Instructions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LexisNexis </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5 volumes & pattern instructions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Individual circuits often have their own pattern instructions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7 th circuit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jury Instructions by subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Individual titles put out by ABA committees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Litigation practice treatises </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Forms You Should Know About: Litigation-related Form Books <ul><li>Jury Instructions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pattern: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois pattern jury instructions: civil, IPI </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois pattern jury instructions: criminal, IPI </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non-pattern: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois non-pattern jury instructions 3d : annotated IPI companion (West) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois forms of jury instruction (LexisNexis) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Forms You Should Know About: Transactional Form Books <ul><li>Transactional forms include: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contracts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employment agreements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial agreements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Securities filings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual property filings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Family law/ estate planning documents </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Forms You Should Know About: Transactional Form Books <ul><ul><li>Current Legal Forms w/ tax analysis (Rabkin and Johnson) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>34 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes tax background, practice background, checklists </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>covers corporate, commercial, intellectual property, domestic relations, employment, and computer agreements, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of contents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Available on LexisNexis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Midwest Business Transaction Guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>14-volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>covers Illinois, Indiana and Michigan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summarizes state and federal law, relevant statutes, important regulations and secondary legal sources. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>state-by-state guide to business, wills and trusts, commercial, real estate and personal transactions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include discussions of current business practices, tips for drafting and reviewing documents, and a procedural guide. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(LexisNexis) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of Contents </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Forms You Should Know About: Transactional Form Books <ul><li>Warren's Forms of Agreement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 volumes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topics covered include: business organizations, computer agreements, real estate, commercial loans, and intellectual property. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of Contents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transactional forms on LexisNexis </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legal  > States Legal - U.S.  > Illinois  > Search Forms & Drafting Instructions </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Forms You Should Know About: Transactional Form Books <ul><li>Estate Planning form books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with IICLES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covered in transactional form books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search the catalog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Law practice forms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Essential formbook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ABA Law Practice Management Section </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volume I: Partnership and Organizational Agreements / Client Intake and Fee Agreements </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volume II: Human Resources / Fees Billing and Collection </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volume III: Calendar, Docket, and File Management / Law Firm Financial Analysis </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volume IV: Disaster Planning and Recovery / Risk Management and Professional Liability Insurance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters for lawyers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois Law Office Practice Forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IICLEs </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Final Thoughts <ul><ul><li>Forms are intended as a starting point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantage of forms online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Restrict search to title to narrow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Westlaw better for litigation forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LN better for transactional forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many books now include forms on CD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check record </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advantage of forms online </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms via the Internet </li></ul></ul>