Captions and Signatures

    The caption of a legal pleading (frequently called 'style of the case') and signature blocks present challenges for document authors. There can be the 'easy' single party pleadings (one plaintiff, one defendant) or there can be any number of combinations of multiple parties (one plaintiff, two defendants; two plaintiffs, one defendant; two or more of each, etc.) You would like Pathagoras to be able to 'design' the proper pleading based on your feeding it the proper number of parties to the litigation. (Note: this 'problem' is not limited to parties to a lawsuit; it occurs in contracts involving one or more Buyers and Sellers; Shareholder agreements with multiple combinations of Shareholders on each side; etc.)

   There is no universal solution, but we offer a few tips

   If you have a finite number of possibilities (i.e., never more than two of each), you can create each variation within the body of the document itself and create an options block, separation each possible caption from the next with a "/".

<<*Options*!Parties!One Plaintiff, One Defendant/Two Plaintiffs, One Defendant/One Plaintiff, Two Defendants/Two Plaintiffs, Two Defendants*

(caption1 text here)/

(caption2 text here)/

(caption3 text here)/

(caption4 text here)>>

(Remember from previous lessons regarding Options text, the coloring in examples such as the above and below is   provided for emphasis only. It is not required for any functional purpose.)

   Alternatively, and we like this better, you can create each variation as individual documents and store them under appropriate names in the SuperFolder along with other 'universal' documents that can (and should) be stored there. Maybe the names of the various captions will be P1D1.doc; P2D1.doc, P2D2.doc, etc.

   In the base document itself, create an options block that reads:

<<*Options*!Parties!One Plaintiff, One Defendant/Two Plaintiffs, One Defendant/One Plaintiff, Two Defendants/Two Plaintiffs, Two Defendants*<<P1D1>>/<<P2D1>>/<<P1D2>>/<<P2D2>>>>

   When a document that contains either of the above <<*Options*>> blocks is processed, it will present the options in the below fashion:


   When you make a selection, Pathagoras will delete the unwanted captions, and leave the desired one. (In the first example, the text itself is what remains. In the second example, after the initial processing of the <<*Options*>> block is complete (and let's assume that the second choice was selected, the term <<P2D1>> is what remains. It being a double angle bracketed term, Pathagoras reprocesses it and determines that a document is being sought. Following the Search Order Rules, it finds the document p2d1.doc in the Super Folder and inserts its contents at the proper location.

   When the number of choices exceeds just 'a few,' consider using the <<*Repeat*>> function. Be sure to read the sections regarding Repeats with !Groups! and incrementing values

  Signatures: All concepts and above examples apply with equal weight to constructing signature blocks. Only the location in the document is different. Don't forget to use !Groups! to tie the response made at the beginning of the document processing to the signature blocks.

  Inside Addresses: Using simple options, you can generate the variables needed to create a 'standard' inside address block for a single individual or a couple. Here's a 'simple' sample. The group name !couple! causes the selection made at the 'top' to automatically carry into the salutation:

Mr. {!joint!and Mrs.} [H First Name] [Surname]



[City], [ST] [Zip Code]


Dear Mr. {!joint!and Mrs.} [Surname]:


Dear [H First Name] {!joint!and [W First Name]},

    Of course, you can get fancier by offering additional titles (e.g., 'Dr.' and 'Rev.'); for the spouse you should also have a professional title selection; and you should add options for same sex couples. (In the below samples, we have changed variable titles to 'Spouse1' and 'Spouse2').

[Sp1:Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.] {!joint!and [Sp2:Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.]} [Sp1 First Name] [Surname]



[City], [ST] [Zip Code]


Dear [Sp1:Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.] {!joint!and [Sp2:Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.]} [Surname]:


Dear [Sp1 First Name] {!joint!and [Sp2 First Name]},


   See more legal caption/style examples using the Repeat function at this link.

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