Time to announce a winner to the California Pleading challenge.

I was certainly skeptical about the possibility that anyone could complete the challenge, but developer Paul Bailey (aka “PizzaPanther”), undertook the challenge and submitted a great pleading.

California Google Docs Pleading

The picture doesn’t do the pleading justice — I zoomed out to clip the picture — but the full print works well.

I’ll make the document template available to attorneys for $10. I have a couple of comments to make on using the document to make it a little more usable (understandable) before fully releasing. When it’s ready I’ll make the document link available.

After thoroughly reviewing California’s rules, I discovered that the most difficult part of this pleading is the line numbering on the side. I discovered that California’s rules only require a line above the footer. If you can get the numbers to line up, then you can eliminate the vertical lines. However, out of caution (California’s rule is “reject if it doesn’t comply”), we opted to use the traditional filing.

Since we also had a 2nd great submission that complies with the rules and takes the alternative approach, I’m going to award Daniel Baker with a small reward. I’ll make both templates available for the $10 purchase price.

Special thanks to Ross Jurewitz and Jurewitz Law Group for inspiring this innovation, and to Paul and Daniel for their remarkable work. This challenge proves that if you can dream it, you can do it…probably.

Here’s a payment button if you want to get on the list the pleadings. If your PayPal address is different from your Google account, please let me know and I’ll send the share link to your Google account:

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


Russ Richelsoph · February 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm

If I buy the template, can I modify it? Arizona uses a very similar pleading.

    Jeffrey Taylor · February 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Yes, but I wouldn’t modify it too much. What’s Arizona’s pleading look like.

Russ Richelsoph · March 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Arizona pleadings look very similar. We are not required to have numbering, but I think it looks more professional. We do not have a line space between the court and the county. We are also not required to have a line at the bottom of the page above the footer. Here are the local rules for Maricopa County, but this is pretty universal statewide:

Maricopa County Local Rule 2.15
(a) The name, address, telephone number, email address, and State Bar of Arizona attorney identification number of the attorney causing the document to be filed. There shall also be included an identification of the party being represented by the attorney, e.g., plaintiff, defendant, third party plaintiff, et cetera. This information shall be typewritten or printed in the space to the left of the center of the page and beginning at line one (1) on the first page. The space to the right of the center shall be reserved for the filing marks of the Clerk of the Superior Court.

(b) If the document is being presented by a self-represented litigant, the information required in paragraph (a) shall be included, with the exception of the State Bar of Arizona attorney identification number.

(c) The title of the court shall commence on or below line six (6) of the first page.

(d) Below the title of the court, there shall be inserted in the space to the left of the center of the paper the title of the action or proceeding. In the space to the right of the center and below the title of the court, there shall be inserted: (1) the number of the action or proceeding and (2) a brief description of the nature of the document.

Maricopa County Local Rule 2.16
The typeface used in all pleadings, motions and other original documents (including text, quotations and footnotes) filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court shall be no smaller than twelve (12) point. This rule does not apply to self-service center documents and other documents generated by the court and prepared in a format approved by the Presiding Judge.

    kielsky · March 12, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    2 more votes for an Arizona version. I’m happy to share PDF examples of what our pleadings look like, which I would love to reproduce using Google apps.

      Jeffrey Taylor · March 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      I’m not convinced that Arizona’s pleadings are all too difficult. I’ve reviewed the court rules and I don’t see any requirements that would make this type of pleading difficult. I put together this pleading (http://goo.gl/nq1X7X) that I think meets all of the requirements.

      Let me know.

      Jeffrey Taylor · March 12, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Interestingly enough, even the Arizona Bar’s pro hac vice template doesn’t comply with the rules: http://goo.gl/2QuQn9 (court title starts at or below line 6).

        kielsky · March 12, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        There is quite a bit of variety, and the courts are not policing the pleadings with rulers to catch anyone who bends or breaks the rules (at least not so much at the trial court level).

        Most important, the attorney e-mail is required in the address block on all pleadings, and there should be numbers in the left margin (but their alignment is never expected to be perfect), the pleadings are to be double-spaced (with the usual exceptions), the paragraphs are supposed to be numbered (but often are not), and pages are supposed to be numbered.

Tim Jolly · April 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

You should have asked for more. When I didn’t see a contest winner link I was thinking of offering something to sweeten the pot. Thanks.

    Jeffrey Taylor · April 5, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I’m not looking to retire on this pleading, just want a little extra “scratch” for my efforts. Thanks for supporting, and I hope you’ll share with everyone you know.

Melanie · May 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

I just purchased the template through paypal and tried emailing you with the email paypal provided to contact you but it bounced back. The email I sent was requesting that you send the google doc to a different email address. If you could give me a valid email address to contact you, I would appreciate it! Thanks.

    Jeffrey Taylor · June 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    You can always contact me at Jeff [at] thedroidlawyer.com.

William DeClercq · December 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

SOLD! My team and I love Google Docs for colalboration, but the pleading format issues are the biggest hurdle to switching. I’m hoping this template works well for us.

    AGOLDEN1 · April 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    So, did it work for your firm? Notes…feedback?

Let's discuss this (you can use Markdown in your comment)

%d bloggers like this: