How to Prepare Legal Documents & Evidence for Court

Ensure you prepare before appearing in court
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Everyone involved in a court case wants to win a favorable judgment. Effectively preparing the legal documents and evidence you need are the first step toward winning your case. If you are representing yourself in a legal matter, you can prepare legal documents and evidence for court by using readily available resources and following instructions carefully.

Step 1

Determine the evidence required to substantiate your claim or defense. Research the evidence you intend to bring to court to ensure that it is relevant, factual and supportive of your case. Identify every detail necessary to prove your case or disprove the claim brought against you. Interview any potential witnesses who can support your claim or defense. Establish solid facts and organize them logically.

Step 2

Write an affidavit stating the evidence you have gathered to support your case. Include all relevant facts that you intend to present to the court. Divide the contents of the affidavit into paragraphs and number them according to subject matter. Be precise and succinct.

Step 3

Download court forms and other required legal documents. Different cases require different types of legal documents and court forms. Most states make forms available through local court clerk offices. Standardized forms for each type of case contain instructions for filling them out correctly.

Step 4

Prepare a request for document discovery if the case is complex and protracted. This seeks to obtain evidence the opposing side intends to use in court so that you can better prepare your case. Identify any information that is likely to be used against you. Note any mistakes that may be contained in this information. Be prepared to provide discovery information to the other side if requested.

Step 5

Make sure you are using correct legal terminology. Get help with this from the court if you need it. Use the correct names of all parties involved in the case. Check the grammar, punctuation and presentation of the affidavit to make sure everything is in proper order.

Step 6

Prepare a court bundle after you have gathered all documents and evidence. Make copies and present them in advance of the hearing to the court and the opposing side. Keep at least one copy. You may also need additional copies if the other party uses counsel or if there is more than one defendant.

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