Checklist to Organize Plaintiff Action





[  ]INTAKE. 01.  Initial Client Information (via first telephone call to law firm).

[  ]INTAKE. 02.  First appointment is made; a letter is sent to client to confirm the appointment and advise him or her what to bring to the office; a second questionnaire (Client Information Questionnaire) is enclosed with instructions to fill it out to the best of the client’s ability.

[  ]INTAKE. 03.  Further information is taken from client at first appointment to determine if case will be represented.  The third intake form in this manual (Personal Injury Intake Sheet) can be used by the attorney or paralegal to fill in information about the client’s accident during the first interview, or the form can be given to the client to fill in and return to the office.

[  ]Give client a booklet explaining what to expect in the handling and procedure of his case; if appropriate, also give client a form of diary in which to keep track of his pain and suffering, doctor or therapy visits, etc.


[  ]Choose the appropriate form of contingency fee agreement and have client, attorney and referring attorney, if any, execute.


Have the client execute the appropriate release forms:

[  ]General form of release.

[  ]Tax information from Internal Revenue Service.

[  ]Client’s insurance records.

[  ]Client’s personnel records for work history and wage loss information.

[  ]Medical records and reports.


[  ]Determine statute of limitations.

[  ]Write for medical information.

[  ]Write to appropriate agencies for driving records (when appropriate for automobile accident cases) and accident, investigative or incident reports.

[  ]Write to Plaintiff’s employer to determine wage loss information.

[  ]Write to Defendant’s insurance carrier advising of representation of Plaintiff and requesting insurance coverage information.

[  ]Write to Plaintiff’s insurance company for coverage information and log of no-fault payments (when appropriate for automobile accident cases).

[  ]Write to Defendant advising of representation of Plaintiff.

[  ]Write a thank you letter to referral source, if appropriate.

[  ]Send special notice to public entity of claim and injury.

[  ]Write for mortality tables for use at trial.

[  ]If Defendant is a corporation, check the responsible agency for corporate information to determine status of the corporation, the names of the responsible officers and directors, name of registered agent and address, etc.

[  ]In automobile accident cases, obtain disposition of traffic court trial or hearing, if any.

[  ]Obtain photographs of accident scene, property damage, and client’s injuries.

[  ]Obtain engineer’s drawings, if appropriate.

[  ]Prepare a Case Development Plan.

[  ]Attempt to negotiate settlement in selected cases.


[  ]Prepare and serve Complaint.

[  ]Prepare and serve Summons and Affidavit of Return of Service.

[  ]Prepare and serve Interrogatories.

[  ]Prepare Reply to Affirmative Defenses, if necessary.


[  ]Set date for Defendant’s deposition.

[  ]Arrange for court reporter.

[  ]Consider videotape and telephone depositions.

[  ]Prepare motion or stipulation defining circumstances of taking.

[  ]Prepare and serve Request for Admissions.

[  ]Prepare and serve second set of Interrogatories, if needed.

[  ]Prepare and serve Request for Production of Documents.

[  ]Prepare and serve second Request for Production of Documents, if needed.


[  ]Motion and Order for Partial Summary Judgment.

[  ]Motion and Order for Summary Judgment.

[  ]Motion to Amend Complaint.

[  ]Move to set case for pre-trial conference.

[  ]Move to set case for trial.


[  ]Pre-Trial Statement.

[  ]Pre-Trial Order.

[  ]Diary relevant dates from Pre-Trial Order.

[  ]Prepare Pre-Trial Checklist.

[  ]Motions in Limine.


[  ]Prepare appropriate jury instructions for trial.

[  ]Prepare appropriate jury verdict forms.


[  ]Summarize depositions.

[  ]Prepare and mark exhibits.

[  ]Prepare trial notebook.

[  ]Letter to witnesses advising what to expect at trial.

[  ]Prepare and serve subpoenas on witnesses.

[  ]Prepare list of witnesses, addresses, telephone numbers, and make sure witnesses have transportation.

[  ]Arrange last minute briefing or pre-trial conference with:

[  ]Trial team.

[  ]Client.

[  ]Witnesses.

[  ]Letter to doctors, hospitals, etc. , for update on medical bills due.

[  ]Check courtroom for facilities (view boxes, videotape arrangements, etc. ).

[  ]Obtain medical illustrations and checklist for use of demonstrative evidence.

[  ]Obtain trial docket.

[  ]Check sequencing of earlier trials to determine “ready date. “


[  ]Prepare Final Judgment form.

[  ]Prepare settlement sheet for client indicating distribution of settlement proceeds.

[  ]Prepare Motion to Tax Costs.

[  ]Determine terms of structured settlement.

Attorney Specific Forms

–For Attorney Specific Forms you can download in Word format, go to

Inside Checklist to Organize Plaintiff Action