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  1. #1
    Greg Loomis is offline Member
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    Simple newbie question: How do I number my exhibits?

    What is the name of your state?

    California.

    I am the defendant in a civil suit. I_m representing myself. I want to file two separate motions. Both motions include several exhibits and they both reference a certain business letter. In the first motion the business letter will be _Exhibit 3._

    How do I number this same business etter in the second motion? Should it also be _Exhibit 3?_

    In other words, do the exhibit numbers follow each individual motion? Or do they remain the same across the entire lawsuit?
    Last edited by Greg Loomis; 08-02-2007 at 10:18 AM. Reason: What is the name of your state? What is the name of your state? What is the name of your state?
  2. #2
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Loomis View Post
    What is the name of your state?

    California.

    I am the defendant in a civil suit. I_m representing myself. I want to file two separate motions. Both motions include several exhibits and they both reference a certain business letter. In the first motion the business letter will be _Exhibit 3._

    How do I number this same business etter in the second motion? Should it also be _Exhibit 3?_

    In other words, do the exhibit numbers follow each individual motion? Or do they remain the same across the entire lawsuit?
    Each individual motion.

    A couple of other things to consider - at least here, Defendants' exhibits are letters; plaintiffs use numbers. Double check that. Also, some judges get very mad when you submit the same exact exhibit that's already been submitted (by anyone). In other words, they don't want duplicate copies of paper - it's a waste of paper, of time, etc. Check your specific judge's part rules to see where they stand on this issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  3. #3
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    The court will assign the identification numbers and letters as items are submitted.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

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  4. #4
    Greg Loomis is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty View Post
    Each individual motion.

    A couple of other things to consider - at least here, Defendants' exhibits are letters; plaintiffs use numbers. Double check that. Also, some judges get very mad when you submit the same exact exhibit that's already been submitted (by anyone). In other words, they don't want duplicate copies of paper - it's a waste of paper, of time, etc. Check your specific judge's part rules to see where they stand on this issue.
    Thanks. And thanks for mentioning the thing about letters (I was going to ask about that.) Iíll look into it.
  5. #5
    Greg Loomis is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
    The court will assign the identification numbers and letters as items are submitted.
    I know that is true for evidence introduced during hearings and trials, but I am just writing a motion that I will submit to the clerk at the desk.

    Iím just being lazy. Iíll go over to the CA website now and re-read my stack of Nolo Law books.

    Thanks.
  6. #6
    dcatz is offline Senior Member
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    I respect racer, but Iím not sure that I understand this response. I donít believe itís correct as I do understand it, and the newbie may suffer from the same confusion.

    If it suggests that numbering/lettering can be left blank, when submitting a motion, that wonít work in CA (it would also make it extremely difficult to reference the Exhibit in the body of the motion).

    If it suggests that numbering/lettering will be done by the court at time of trial, that may happen somewhere, but Iíve never seen it. Normally, a judge will let you know exactly what he/she expects at the Trial Setting Conference.

    Beyond that, for the newbie, if a judge hasnít already told you exactly what they expect in their courtroom (and theyíll usually publish those rules as a hand-out, if theyíre that picky), I think you can feel safe following YAGís advice.
  7. #7
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    At trial, particularly in state court, exhibits are frequently numbered "on the fly" as they tend not to have as extensive pre-trial procedures as do federal courts (where you will not only mark and jointly pre-submit your exhibits, but may also get rulings on their admissibility prior to trial).

    But I digress. One more thing that occurred to me is that submitting two separate motions using related exhibits on the same date is also likely to piss off the judge (waste of papers, time, etc.) Check to see if you're permitted to file one motion that seeks multiple relief (usually no problem).

    For example, instead of filing "Motion 1 to Compel Production of Document" and "Motion 2 to Extend Deadline", file "Motion 1 to Compel and Extend".
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  8. #8
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    From what I have seen in civil trials, which is mostly small claims court in my state, the exhibits would be submitted just like evidence and assigned a letter or number (respondants start at R1, plaintiffs as P1), the court clerk tracks and lists the items and numbers each. If any of the items are referred to later, the evidence or exhibit would be referred by it's assigned number. In the OP's case, he would just refer to the item by the number assigned by the court clerk. A space would be left blank for the item number and filled in when the letter is submitted as evidence. I assumed California did it the same, sorry.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

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  9. #9
    dcatz is offline Senior Member
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    In CA SC, I agree with racer. It's done "on the fly" - litigants asked to mark Exhibits with "delta" or "pi" 1, 2, 3 etc.
    But I thought the OP was filing a motion in a higher court, where he would be likely to reference his attached Exhibit in the body of the motion and would need to pre-number/letter.
    We're on the same page, racer. Sorry about confusion.
  10. #10
    Quaere is offline Member
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    Greg: When you write a motion, the exhibits attached to it are either numbered or lettered, by you. Some lawsuits could have dozens, even hundreds, of "Exhibit A's" in them.

    Example:

    You are writing a motion to dismiss. To introduce an exhibit to your motion, you write something like,

    In the August 2, 2007 letter from Mr. Smith, attached herein as Exhibit A, blah blah.

    Later in the same motion if you refer to the exhibit again, you call it Exhibit A.

    When the motion is docketed, it will be assigned a document number. Assume your motion in this example is Document 2. From now on, if you refer to the letter from Mr. Smith in another document, you refer to it as:

    Mr. Smith admitted he was guilty (See Doc. 2, Ex. A) or
    Mr. Smith admitted he was guilty (Doc. 2, Ex. A)

    It is unlikely your court wants to have the same exhibit attached to more than one motion. If itís not too long, quote the applicable excerpt from the letter in the text of your motion or memorandum and identify where the quote came from with one of the two methods above.

    In future writings, when you want to refer to an Exhibit that is already in the record, you will describe it as:

    Mr. Smith admitted he was guilty (Motion to Dismiss, Exhibit A, page 2, paragraph 6), blah blah or

    Mr. Smith admitted he was guilty (Doc. 2, Exhibit A, page 2, paragraph 6), blah blah
    or

    Mr. Smith admitted he was guilty (paragraph 6, page 2, Doc. 2, Exhibit A), blah blah

    You will see document citations in every conceivable order with all kinds of different punctuation. Sometimes, you will see several different styles within the same document! The important thing is that you make it as easy as possible for the court to find the item you are referring to. The order or punctuation are not critical.

    If you want to learn to do it right, I suggest a book called ďThe Elements of Legal StyleĒ.
    A quick on line reference is [url]http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/index.htm[/url]

    Too much info? lol
  11. #11
    Greg Loomis is offline Member
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Quaere View Post

    If you want to learn to do it right, I suggest a book called ďThe Elements of Legal StyleĒ.
    A quick on line reference is [url]http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/index.htm[/url]

    Too much info? lol
    Excellent. You know it. Never too much info. Thanks. I owe you lunch or something.

    Fyi, I donít have the book but I did discover that link a few days ago.
  12. #12
    Greg Loomis is offline Member
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    Thanks again everyone. My question was answered. So I guess this thread is closed unless someone has anything else to say.

    Stay tuned. I intend to ask a few more newbie questions - but I will start new threads for them.

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