Links To Document Samples

Sample Pleadings and Briefs for District Court and Other Jurisdictions

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The website for the United States Courts contains a comprehensive list of the official forms that are used in U.S. District Courts. Most District Courts have a webpage that contains additional forms and templates. The Eastern District of Texas and the Eastern District of New York have better than average collections of complaints and other pleadings intended for use by pro se complainants that lawyers can readily adapt. The Eastern District of Washington provides samples of lined-pleading paper in Word, WordPerfect and PDF format. The Northern District of Texas has Word and WordPerfect versions of some of the most common forms. 

The U.S. Appeals Courts do not have a comprehensive list of forms. However, the 1st Circuit, 2d Circuit, 3d Circuit, 4th Circuit, 6th Circuit, 7th Circuit, 8th Circuit, 
9th Circuit, 10th Circuit and 11th Circuit each have a webpage devoted to forms. If your circuit does not have the form you are looking for, you may be able to find it on one of these sites.

The following sites contain pattern jury instructions: U.S. Third Circuit Model Jury Instructions; U.S. Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions; U.S. Sixth Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions; U.S. Seventh Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions; U.S. Eighth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions; Ninth Circuit, Civil & Criminal Jury Instructions; Tenth Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions; Eleventh Circuit Civil and Criminal Jury Instructions; U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, Civil and Criminal Jury Instructions. LLRX.com has a compendium of links to state court jury instructions and the Faculty of Federal Advocates has published a series of employment law jury instructions.

The Department of Justice maintains a long list of forms on topics as varied as immigration, importation of firearms and presentment of damage claims to federal agencies. Similar forms for other federal agencies are maintained at usa.gov


The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse at the University of Michigan Law School is a treasure-trove of samples of legal documents. The documents are limited to civil rights cases, but the subject is broadly defined to include child welfare, nursing home abuse and immigration. Moreover, the cases arise out of almost every federal jurisdiction and a decent sampling of state courts, so you can gain insight into the peculiarities of pleading style in differing locations. The American Civil Liberties Union has a smaller sampling of legal pleadings on the same topics. 

The Center for Criminal Justice Advocacy has a large collection of samples for criminal-defense motion-practice, mixed with practical advice and philosophical observations. Other sites devoted to criminal-law pleadings include the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California, the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The New Jersey Courts have a series of published rules governing case captioning that set forth the basic rules and then deal with consolidated appeals, identification of parties who have left the litigation and the rest of the oddball scenarios that you will encounter. These rules can give you a starting point for laying out your caption in other jurisdictions. Here are samples of captions for quasi in rem cases in U.S. District Court and Missouri

SmartRules.com enables you to prepare specialized legal documents from a variety of jurisdictions for a fee. PDFOnline lets you convert PDFs to Word for free. 

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