California has some screwy pleading standards. I’m sure other states have their mixed up pleadings, but since this post is California-specific, I’m chastising them. The fact is, the pleading designs we all learned in law school during our first year get trounced once you cross the border into the Golden State. That’s not to knock those on the “Left Coast,” because I spent many formative years picking and smelling the Eschscholzia californica.

For months California litigator, Ross Jurewitz, has been prodding me to develop a California-friendly pleading that works in Google Drive. “You did it here, so how about one for California,” he challenged. Well, I tried and failed. And I failed. And failed.

Many lawyers like Ross are recognizing the value of Google Drive. Not only is Google Drive a cost-saving mechanism, but, when used correctly, Drive can perform the same functions as its biggest rival, Microsoft Office. I’m particularly fond of Drive for its ability to move my document creation, presentations, and storage to the cloud. And regardless of your opinions regarding the cloud, I guarantee they’re probably safer with Google than in your own office.

Now, since I can’t figure out how to complete the job, Ross and I are teaming up for a contest/challenge: design a California compliant pleading for use in Google Drive (Google Docs). Here’s an example of what your completed template will look like:

California Pleading Example

Click to view a larger version of this image.

Well, your pleading will at least conform with the California Rules of Court regarding pleadings — there’s a really good summary of the rules here (not sure how up to date though).

The first person to share a California-compliant pleading formatted for use in Drive will win a $25 American Express gift card from Jurewitz Law Group and a Google Chromecast (or $25 Amazon gift card) from The Droid Lawyer.

Some folks will believe this pleading’s easy to create, but don’t kid yourself. It’s the numbers and lines (or the alternative combination) that will kill you. And trust me, I’ve tried uploading the form template and it doesn’t work. Also, creating a table doesn’t work very well, unless you can lock specific areas. Are you ready for the challenge? Time to get started . . . almost. Here’s the official rules:

  1. First in time shall be measured by 1) sharing of the Google Doc file with edit access to jeffreybtaylor [at]; and 2) notifying jeff [at] that you have an entry for “The California Pleading Challenge”. You must share all entries with full edit access.
  2. Your entry must comply with California Rules of Court 2.01, et. seq.  If your entry does not comply with the California rules for pleading you will have a chance to amend your pleading, but you will also risk losing your status in line. A winner will be selected based on time of arrival and compliance with the California rules.
  3. Your entry must be a template that is usable [update: that means I can edit it] in Google Docs.
  4. By submitting your entry, and if you win, you agree to relinquish any copyright in your content, and grant Jeffrey Taylor an unrestricted license to use and reproduce your submission in any form or media I deem appropriate.
  5. This challenge is open to anyone (under 18 get your parents permission), but void where prohibited or in countries embargoed by the United States of America.
  6. The challenge begins February 8, 2014 and will end 1) upon receipt of the first valid entry, or 2) December 31, 2014, which ever comes first.
  7. Your chances of winning are based on the number of entries received.

There’s probably a bunch more rules and regulations I should add, so just know those are included, also. In the off chance we have two winners, we’ll figure out something.

Now, get designing.

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+.

1 Comment

A New Google Docs Pleading for California Lawyers | The Droid Lawyer™ · February 17, 2014 at 5:30 am

[…] Time to announce a winner to the California Pleading challenge. […]

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