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Paralegal Tips and Tricks: How to Create an Effective Trial Notebook

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Working space at the office with laptop ,coffee cup,glasses and a notebook with the words paralegalYou’re probably aware of the importance of a trial notebook because it’s one of those things that you need when organizing your trial documents. This means you need to keep your trial notebook updated and well organized.

In addition, this ensures that you could easily access all the information you need and won’t have to carry multiple files, just your handy trial notebook. While safekeeping and updating might seem complicated at first, your effort will be worth it.

Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Get all relevant evidence and make a list that could aid you in monitoring your exhibits. If you’re on the plaintiff’s side, consider letters and if you’re working on the defendant’s side, opt for numbers, or vice versa.
  • When you’re done with the outline of the trial, list down each point that would be helpful in disproving or proving points during the trial.
  • Create a list of witnesses and be sure to note their details.
  • Begin your trial preparation by organizing a trial brief, provided the presiding judge allows it, suggests an experienced instructor of online paralegal degrees.
  • Make separate entries or folders for all witnesses, including the other side, and write down the facts you want them to clear up during the trial.
  • List down all relevant questions and consider including pretrial orders that could potentially help during the trial.
  • Make a list of sample questions and an outline of opening and closing statements.
  • Make trial verdict forms.
  • Ensure that you organize your trial notebook in a way that you could easily access the most important information when you need it.
  • Consider making a copy of your trial notebook and keep them at different locations just in case one goes missing.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that every lawyer is different and might need specific categories and requirements for the notebook. To that end, be sure to confer with the lawyer first in order to accommodate his or her wishes.