Lawyers love paper! How many trees did you kill to write all that?! How many forms do I have to sign?!

Perhaps you’ve heard, or said, some of these very things! And while there are undoubtedly lawyers who ‘love paper’, the real reason for the vast amount of paperwork involved in legal matters is the need for accuracy and thoroughness.

While a handshake between friends may be sufficient in some interactions, in the world of law, each and every contingency often gets reduced to a writing and each party has, of course, their own interests. Thus, lawyers working with multiple parties on complex (and sometimes even simple) matters can indeed generate near countless pages of documents.

Not all legal documents are created equal. Many of the items in this category are simple letters and the like. “Pleadings”, on the other hand, are a formal document in which a party to a legal proceeding, especially a civil lawsuit, sets forth or responds to allegations, claims, denials, or defenses. (Black’s Law Dictionary 8th ed. 2004)

In addition to correspondence and juror certificates, the two oldest pieces in the museum are in this category and include a jury summons and a jury verdict, both of which are over three-hundred years old.