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Court Rules Research Guide: Forms

Court rules govern the procedures of a court and how matters before a court are handled and processed. This guide identifies resources for locating court rules.

Forms

Forms are available at both the federal and state court levels, including Wisconsin. Model federal forms relate the federal court rules to the required forms. The forms provide the necessary language for court filings and help the practitioner in complying with the rules. It is imperative that both the forms and the court rules consulted are current.

Multivolume sets of treatises on federal practice, such as Moore's Federal Practice, include forms. Sets of form books such as AmJur Legal Forms may also prove helpful.

Documents filed in actual court cases provide examples for drafting pleadings.  Such court documents filed in federal court may be available on PACER (registration is required) and commercial databases such as BloombergLaw, Lexis or Westlaw. Access to these databases may be restricted to members of the Marquette University Law School community.

Similarly, many state-specific form books are available. The forms relate to the local practice and procedure rules and may be published by state bar associations and/or commercial publishers. Some state codes/statutes also include forms along with the court rules.

 

Federal Forms

Many federal forms are available both online and in print. Model federal forms relate the federal court rules to the required forms. The forms provide the necessary language for court filings and help the practitioner in complying with the rules. It is imperative that both the forms and the court rules consulted are current.

Multivolume sets of treatises on federal practice, such as Moore's Federal Practice, include forms. Sets of form books such as AmJur Legal Forms may also prove helpful.

Documents filed in actual court cases provide examples for drafting pleadings.  Such court documents filed in federal court may be available on PACER (registration is required) and commercial databases such as BloombergLaw, Lexis or Westlaw. Access to these databases may be restricted to members of the Marquette University Law School community.

Wisconsin

State Forms

Most states have forms specific to practice in the state courts. State statutes/codes and the state court rules may specify what must be included in pleadings filed in court. Forms are often included in the rules volumes. Many states provide forms on local or state court websites. In most instances, state court forms are not as numerous as federal forms. Therefore, it may be necessary to combine portions of a state form with a federal or general form for a specific issue. However, the form must comply with the court rules for the specific state (jurisdiction).

Suggestions for finding forms for state courts:

Check for books about legal research for the appropriate state in a law library's catalog. Books have been published for many states and may include information about court rules and forms. For example, the book Wisconsin Legal Research can be located by searching Marqcat at the Marquette University Law Library.

Perform a keyword search in a law library's catalog for the name of the state and the word forms. (Example: Illinois forms)

Law librarians at many university law libraries prepare state-specific research guides on finding court rules and may inlcude information on forms. Search the Internet for a state-specific research guide. (Example: Pace Law School, New York)

In addition, fee-based commercial databases such as BloombergLaw, Lexis and Westlaw also contain court rules for each state and should be checked for the availability of forms. Content may vary by state. Access is restricted to members of the Marquette University Law school community.

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