10 Ways to Use Exhibit Labels in Your Law Office

6th Oct 2021

10 Ways to Use Exhibit Labels in Your Law Office

Are you looking for different ways to use exhibit labels in your law office? Then check out some of these prime examples.

State trial courts receive over 100 million case filings every year. That figure is closer to 400,000 for federal trial courts. These cases involve a lot of documents including evidence.

If they are not properly filed and organized before submission, it can create a logistical nightmare. Not to mention, poorly labeled evidence can adversely affect your clients' cases.

This is the last thing you want as a lawyer. It takes long hours of reviewing and preparing for a case. Part of which should include exhibit labels. They should clearly identify the evidence you'll be submitting.

Most states have specific guidelines on how to do this. Lawyers and support staff at your office should know how to label exhibits for court based on your location.

Trial exhibit labels are also important if a case is unsuccessful. They will play a crucial role if your client decides to appeal the decision. If you're uncertain what exhibit labeling system you should use at your law office, read on for some tips.

1. Start With a System

Your court exhibit labels won't matter if the filing system at your law office is a mess. You should have files organized for quick access by authorized staff members.

This will help you find important documents quickly. It will also ensure relevant evidence is in the correct file. Your system should include a well-thought-out labeling system.

You can incorporate the file numbers you use as a reference on your trial exhibit labels. This will assist when you're adding court-submitted documents into client folders.

2. Don't Forget Your Digital Files

You'll need to organize your digital files using a system similar to the one you use for your physical files. This will ensure you know where to find corresponding documents. Coding or reference numbers for physical files should be the same for digital documents.

Having a digital copy of each of your physical files provides you with a great backup system. Both systems should also have an easily accessible records index.

This is a list of all the files in your system that includes their location. It's similar to a table of contents.

3. Prepping for Trial

You should consider your trial files work in progress. You'll be using them throughout the trial. You may need to quickly retrieve as well as add pertinent information to them.

You probably won't add them to your filing system until the trial is over. So you should also have a system for your trial files. It's often recommended that you organize them in categories such as:

  • Inter-office memos
  • External correspondence
  • Proceedings and pleadings
  • Witness information, including statements
  • Client documents
  • The court filed documents from the opposing party
  • Transcripts and exhibits
  • Research
  • Experts

Contacts for all parties involved in the case should also be easily accessible. You should also have a list of any tasks you need to complete for the case. Digital files should also mirror this system.

Whether you place the files in a drawer or binder, it's great to have custom tabs to separate each category. It will help you find documents easier.

4. Find Out the Court's Requirements

The way you file your documents will depend on the state and the court where you're filing. Find out about standing orders regarding this procedure. There may be specific laws or rules that you must abide by.

The same applies to eFiling documents. There will be a specific way you'll need to prepare your PDF documents.

5. Double Up

You'll need to have a record of everything you've submitted to the court. The best way to do this is by duplicating these documents.

Essentially you'll have two sets of files. The one you provide to the court, the other you keep for your records. Label them in a similar way so that you don't lose track of any documents.

6. Organizing Your Exhibits

Exhibits will be a part of your trial prep. In addition, you'll also have examinations for discovery. You'll need to secure all associated documents. This will ensure you don't lose any information you've learned about the other side's case.

You need to organize them in preparation for trial. So it helps if you create an index for both. Exhibit labels are an important part of this preparation.

7. Making Exhibit Labels

You'll want your exhibit labels to stand out and be easily identifiable. Not only for you but for court employees, including the judge. Many companies that provide labeling products can customize them for your needs.

Wondering how to make exhibition labels? And what to print on them? First, find a company that specializes in legal supplies. They will guide you on which colors to choose so that they stand out and what you should print on them.

They may suggest print labels to indicate:

  • A plaintiff's exhibit
  • A petitioner's exhibit
  • A defendant's exhibit
  • A respondent's exhibit
  • A state exhibit

The labels should be easy to affix to your documents. They should have a blank space where you can include your dates, exhibit number, or letters.

8. Labeling Exhibits for Trial

Consider the documents you'll need to place labels on. They will include:

  • Depositions
  • File pleadings
  • Trial documents
  • Exhibits
  • Reports
  • Letters

Here's how to label exhibits for trial:

  • Organize them chronologically
  • Have them bound or indexed
  • Select a uniform description for all documents, ex. Exhibit 1 - [Tab #]
  • Keep cross-examination documents separately, but make copies

If you have several exhibit documents you don't want to give the court a stack of loose papers. An option would be placing them into a tabbed binder. Some companies that provide exhibit labels also have exhibit binder supplies.

9. Organize Additional Documents

Binders are not only ideal to submit court documents. They can also help you organize other supporting documents for your case. Consider putting the following in a labeled binder as well:

  • Objections to Evidence
  • Original Discovery
  • Your copy of the exhibits
  • Draft Arguments
  • Counsel's Trial Brief

This will go a long way to ensuring you're well-prepared for your case.

10. Prepare for Any Outcome

Whether you win or lose your case, the documents provide a record of events. If they're organized well, they're easier to review. You owe it to yourself and your client to have documents well-labeled to pursue an appeal.

Organizing Your Law Office With Exhibit Labels

There are often multiple documents involved in one case. You will need to submit some to the court. But you'll also need to keep your records.

Your ability to easily reference and find these documents is essential to the success of your client's case. Exhibit labels can help. Some suppliers can make it easy for you to label your exhibits for submission to the court.

ExhibitIndexes.com is one of them. We not only provide color-coded exhibit labels for all types of documents. We can help you organize them with custom tabs and binders.

Contact us to start getting your law office organized today!