An exhibit is a form of evidence used to prove your civil or criminal case before a judge and/or jury. Incorporating exhibits into legal documents -- whether prepared for court or as part of a contract or sales agreement -- helps clarify documents or previous agreements referred to in the legal document itself. There are general rules to follow when formatting an exhibit page; however, if you're preparing a document for court it is always best to consult an attorney or applicable local court rules.
Go through the legal document, making a list of references to any prior legal actions. These include things such as agreements, convictions, property descriptions or any other piece of evidence mentioned in the document. You will need to attach each of the items as exhibits at the end of the document.
Determine how you will label your exhibits. Generally, exhibits are labeled in sequential alphabetical or numerical order. For example, Exhibit A is followed by Exhibit B, etc. This gives the reader clear guideposts to follow throughout the document.
Create an exhibit page. Exhibit pages should start a new section in the document and generally do not have page numbers. At the top of the page, in a large bold font, type the name of the exhibit and a brief description of the exhibit. For example, "Exhibit A -- Deed of Trust." This is called the caption.
Add footers to exhibit pages if desired. If an individual exhibit consists of more than one page, you might want to add footers on subsequent pages. The footers should contain the same information as the caption. You may also wish to create an index page that lists all of the exhibits in order. Place the index page after the legal document, in front of the first exhibit.
- Formatting an exhibit is not hard, just make sure to clearly label the exhibit number.
- Don Farrall/Photodisc/Getty Images