A friend mentioned he had been getting a few questions from people representing themselves in court, also known as appearing pro se or pro per, and since it is an issue that is both easy and not covered in very many places we thought we would do a short article on it.
Exhibits are something which a litigant wants a court to see and consider. They can be used in motion practice or in a trial but for our purposes here today we are ONLY discussing using exhibits in association with motions and other filings.
Essentially, no matter what type of document you are filing you will want to do a few things with regards to the exhibits:
- Label them so they are identifiable (ex. Exhibit A, B, C, etc)
- Mention them in the text of the motions (ex. Attached hereto as Exhibit A is a letter Defendant received from Plaintiff and which shows…"
- Attach them to the back of the document using staples or clips. Usually staples unless the document is so large that staples are not feasible.
- Another issue is that an affidavit should be attached from the person filing the motion stating that the copies attached are true and correct copies of the original documents. If anything requires a "predicate" to be admissible, then the predicate should be established in the affidavit as well.
That's it. It doesn't get much simpler. Just tell the court what the exhibit is and make sure the court can find it.
The only kicker to using exhibits is that you have to understand the Rules of Evidence, and we'll have a Guerrilla Guide to Evidence coming soon as well as some articles on that topic.