How to Use This Book

AuthorLeonard H. Bucklin
How to Use This Book
Volume 1, entitled Building Trial Notebooks, is a discussion of the reason for and the use
of each of the sections of your trial notebook, and includes the Basic Forms contained in
Bucklin Trial Notebook. Review each section in Building Trial Notebooks Volume 1 to under-
stand how you can use each of the sections of your trial notebook to your best advantage.
Bucklin Trial Notebook contains only the Basic Forms and is ready to use in your next
case. Use Bucklin Trial Notebook to organize the next worthwhile case that comes into
your office.
Note: The forms in Bucklin Trial Notebook have page headers and page num-
bers on them for your convenience and initial understanding. You will be
using the CD and your word processor to print out additional forms for multi-
ple use, or for use in your other trial notebooks. The CD allows you to print
out the forms, for your clients or you to use, without the page headers found
on the top of the pages in Bucklin Trial Notebook.
Your Trial Notebook as Primary File
Your trial notebook should be your primary file in a litigation case. When a litigation
case is started, that is also the time to start your trial notebook for that case.
The trial notebook is not just for trial. We said that before, and it bears repeating.
Your trial notebook is a way of organizing the entire course of your litigation. Your
notebook has all the basic information you need for any task at hand. Your Litigation
Checklist (found under “The Plan”) shows you what you have done, what you need to
do, and when you need to do it. Your trial notebook has your materials for deposition
arrangements, deposition questions, settlement conferences, motions, and appearances
before the motions judge. Finally, your trial notebook is your guide and resource book
during trial. All the way through the litigation, if you reach for your trial notebook, you
will have the equivalent of a thick primary file folder, organized by tab divisions.
When you start using a trial notebook as the primary file folder, you still will keep
whatever file system you now have in your office. Some lawyers I know have changed
entirely to using computer records and notebooks as their only file folders, but that is
really a matter of personal preference. Whatever makes you comfortable in your use of
litigation files is what you should do, with two exceptions:
1. Always use your trial notebook as the primary file that you reach for first, when
you want to see the status of the case, and when you are preparing for the next step in
the litigation.
2. Always take your trial notebook with you as the primary file when you go outside
the office to work on a case in any way, whether it be to a deposition, witness confer-
ence, mediation, or court motion.
(Rev. 4, 8/08)

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