Reviewing and Updating Forms and Form Pleadings

Most codes of ethics for legal professionals require the professional to stay up-to-date with the law applicable to their practice – and most of us do. However, simply knowing about changes in the law does not complete the task as illustrated by this from a post today on Judge Larry Primeaux’s blog:

Lawyers are all over the ballpark when it comes to the UCCJEA allegations required by MCA § 93-27-209. Some still use the old and now-repealed UCCJA provisions that have apparently fossilized in their computers. Some omit them entirely. Some use a hybrid. And some even plead the proper provisions.

The problem is that while we know the current law, we use forms and form pleadings that continue to employ old language and citations. It is just another danger of relying heavily on forms and boilerplate. Quite frankly, it is unlikely that the attorney on the legal team is going to catch this. Rather, the good paralegal will review and update forms on a regular basis. Indeed, the review should be conducted everytime the form or form language is used.

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