Preparing Properly Structured Factual Statements Within Legal Proceeding Documents


Using Best Practices For Stating Facts Within Legal Documents Including Pleadings, Affidavits, and more.

The drafting of legal documents involves both the technical craftsmanship of meeting the mandated procedural rules as well as the artistry necessary to provide an easy to follow, clear and concise, orderly telling of a story containing requisite particulars.  To help ensure such clarity, a story that leads straight to a point without sidebar thoughts that present as distracting mental detours.  Indeed, using a KISS acronym, Keep Information Simply Stated is always a best practice.  Keeping information simply stated is most easly done using a straightforward chronology of events.

Roadway to Success
Organizing the Chronology

For most legal cases, there is likely just one chronology of events.  A person borrowed money, there was a due date, the repayment failed to occur on time, and a balance remains due.  For other legal cases, the may be more than one story to tell; and accordingly, there may be more than one chronology of events that are relevant to the overall legal cases.  For cases with multiple stories to tell, usually because there is more than just one Plaintiff and one Defendant as parties and each of the multiple parties, while contributing to the overall issues in dispute, engaged in conduct that occurred as, and should be presented as, a separate story that occurred concurrently with the overall story.  In such circumstances, tell each story within a separate chapter, just like a movie that uses flashbacks to reveal what happened within different settings and involving different characters.  To begin, simply create a timeline of the relevant facts.

April 14th 2021

Jack sent an email message to Judy.

The email message contained a request to borrow five thousand 00 ($5,000.00) dollars.

April 15th 2021

Judy sent an email message to Jack.

The email message advised of willingness to lend five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars to Jack.

The email message also stated that such willingness was subject to promise of repayment within thirty (30) days.

April 16th 2021

Jack sent an email message to Judy.

The email message acknowledged, and agreed to abide by, the thirty (30) day repayment condition.

April 17th 2021

Judy sent five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars, via an email transfer, to Jack.

May 17th 2021

Jack failed to repay the five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars as due to Judy.

May 20th 2021

Judy sent an email message to Jack.

The email message stated that repayment of the five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars was overdue.

PRO TIP:
An easy to follow chronology states the date, and time if relevant, followed by the detailing of the facts that occurred at such date and time.  This is most easily done by following the structure rule of:
When, did Who do What (and maybe to Who).

Pleading Facts Example

Based on the above chronological timeline of events, the facts can be easily extracted and stated within a pleading, or other, legal document.  The pleading of such facts, may appear as:

  1. On April 14th 2021, Jack sent an email message to Judy.
  2. The email message contained a request to borrow five thousand 00 ($5,000.00) dollars.
  3. On April 15th 2021, Judy sent an email message to Jack.
  4. The email message advised of willingness to lend five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars to Jack.
  5. The email message also stated that such willingness was subject to promise of repayment within thirty (30) days.
  6. On April 16th 2021, Jack sent an email message to Judy.
  7. The email message acknowledged, and agreed to abide by, the thirty (30) day repayment condition.
  8. On April 17th 2021, Judy sent five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars, via an email transfer, to Jack.
  9. On May 17th 2021, Jack failed to repay the five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars as due to Judy.
  10. On May 20th 2021, Judy sent an email message to Jack.
  11. The email message stated that repayment of the five thousand 00/00 ($5,000.00) dollars was overdue.

The above visual chronology timeline of events is now transposed into a a chronological pleading.  Again, to help keep information simply stated, if you have a case with multiple event timelines occurring, such as the above occurring concurrently with Jack borrowing a further ten thousand dollars from Joey, then break the pleading into chapters.  Keep the above detailing of what happened involving Jack and Judy separate from what happened involving Jack and Joey.  Avoid interweaving two, or more, stories within the same chronology by using chapters.


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