California Pleading Bank: a ‘githubbing law’ project

Open Law Lab - CA Pleading Bank

The State of California has a Pleading Bank that can be used by a licensed attorney to find sample, guiding documents to expedite her work.  It links back to our earlier discussion on this site as to potential Form/Document sharing among legal professionals — as a model for Githubbing Legal Work Product among lawyers.

It catalogs state & federal pleadings, grouped into different stages of the court process or type of process.  Users can convert their text documents into an online version and submit it for inclusion in the Pleading Bank. The system allows for commenting on the pleadings by users as well.

The platform is only open to registered users — you must be a lawyer to register (with some exceptions for those who work alongside lawyers).  It’s not a ‘crowdsourcing’ legal work product site, like Docracy, where any user could upload or use the resources shared there.  Instead, it’s an ‘expert-sourcing’ site, where only licensed experts can add resources, comment on them, and use what others have provided.

The project was funded by a TIG Grant from the Legal Services Corporation, partnered with the Legal Aid Association of California, San Diego branch. It was released as a beta version in October 2013.

If you have used the site, or have thoughts on it — we’d love to hear your feedback. Does this model work? What could it make it better? And where else could it be applied?

California Pleading Bank Basics–December 2013 from Legal Aid Association of Calif. on Vimeo.