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Fonts And Formatting

You went through your case with a fine-toothed comb. Your exhibits were in place, you checked for spelling errors, and your lead document was ready to go! So why was your eFiling rejected? Well…that could depend on what font you used!

Did you know that your eFiling can actually be rejected for formatting errors, in addition to errors in content? In the hustle and bustle of a case, it’s easy to forget that there are real people on the other end of every filing. The content you’ve submitted should make for a clear reading experience for the judges and clerks who review them. One of the components of this reading experience is the font.

In California, court rules state that the font style must be essentially equivalent to Courier, Times New Roman, or Arial. The wording here can be a little tricky because it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what “essentially equivalent” could include. The simplest solution is to stick with any of the three fonts named above. As these fonts have been specifically cleared, this removes any concern about the filing being rejected. However, you may still need to check with your local court to ensure that their rules are not more specific than those set forth by the state.

In addition to fonts, you should also consider line spacing when formatting your documents. Some fonts look drastically different even with identical line spacing. You should try to find a combination of spacing and font style that pair well. The lines on each page must be 1.5 spaced or double spaced and numbered consecutively. This will create room between the lines, but not so much space as to appear barren. The font you choose must be no smaller than 12pt to comply with court requirements. You can find more information about formatting within Chapter 1 of the California Rules of Court. These rules were revised as of January 1st, 2018, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest requirements!

Ultimately, your formatting choices are left to your best judgment! Use your general knowledge of professional font choices to make an informed decision. If you’re concerned about formatting issues, or simply looking to save time, full-service EFSPs like First Legal can help identify formatting errors! With our concierge services, you simply email-to-file and we’ll handle the review and follow up! That’s the First Legal difference!

If you have questions on any of our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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