New Rule Requires Pleading Title in Footer

by Kendall Callas

If you haven't made the change already, it's time to jump into action to comply with the new CRC Rule 201(f) pleading footer requirement. Quick action is advised, because this new rule went into effect as of the first of the year!

NEW CRC RULE 201(f).

As of January 1, 1999, this new California Rule of Court requires a footer at the bottom of every page filed to the court (except for exhibits). Positioned below the page number, the footer must contain a horizontal line and the pleading title (or abbreviation of it).

Here is the exact text of the new rule:
(f) (Footer) Except for exhibits, each paper filed with the court shall bear a footer in the bottom margin of each page, placed below the page number and divided from the rest of the document page by a printed line. The footer shall contain the title of the paper (examples: "Complaint," "XYZ Corp.'s Motion for Summary Judgment") or some clear and concise abbreviation.

In my interpretation, the required footer should look something like this:
                                        - 2 -
          Pleading title ...

General consensus amongst my clients is that this format is acceptable for Federal court pleadings as well.

This task is easily accomplished in any version of WordPerfect by using the Footer feature. Create the footer (A or B), center the page number, press Enter, insert a horizontal graphic line, press Enter, then type the pleading title. The new rule does not prescribe alignment of the title (left, center, or flush right).

You will also need to reduce your bottom margin (by about 0.15" or more) to allow for the extra lines of the footer.

If you wish to be able to suppress the page number on page 1, you will need to place the page numbering in a separate footer (using footer A for the horizontal line and title, footer B for the page number).

A macro, template, or merge program can really make this type of task easy. A low tech approach is to create the footer in a template, merge program, or format file, placing a marker such as "@@" in the location where the title should be inserted. Then, a simple search for "@@" (from the very top of the document) will put you in position to type the pleading title into the footer. (WP 5.1 users will need to do an "extended search" with Home, F2.)

Whatever approach you take, invest a little energy to make it easy to repeat. That means store your pleading format — as a macro, style, format file, template, or merge program. And do it soon!

Copyright (C) 1999 by microCounsel, (415) 921-6850. All rights reserved.

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