Find a Pleading Precedent

I like baking.  You gather all the ingredients, put them together according to a recipe and then, if all goes well, you share a tasty treat.  Starting a legal action is a little bit like baking:

  • you start with the facts provided by your client (ingredients)
  • you put them together according to accepted rules (recipe)
  • you serve your claim on the other parties (share)

The recipe for a claim can be tested with a precedent for a pleading.  I was reminded today of how challenging finding a precedent can be. Sources of pleading precedents can be internal to your organization: the KM system, the documents in previous files.  Precedents are also published in texts. The best precedents include assistance for why they are written the way they are, and what a user should be careful of.

Many legal texts will have sample documents that could be in an appendix with the ubiquitous title of “Forms”. There are even commercially available sets of forms and precedents.  LexisNexis Butterworths has several offerings if you search their catalogue with the work precedents and content from CCH Canadian includes some precedents. A helpful text from Carswell is Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Canadian Precedents of Pleadings.*  Check out the table of contents.

Today’s Tip: Think about how to execute your pleading recipe by looking to precedents.

*Full disclosure: many of my colleagues at Field Law contribute to this work.

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