Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Backing Sheet Definition:

A back cover page to a legal document designed to show, when folded, what the legal document is and who it is from.

Favoured by process servers and Court registry staff, backing sheets usually model the style of proceedings on the top, with the title of the document in the middle and the name and address of the law firm or attorney that is issuing the particular document at the bottom.

The traditional design is to have the backing sheet present as three columns, with printing on the middle column only such that when applied to a document face back, and then folded, the column with information appears as a cover.

Process servers, if a backing sheet is present, can quickly annotate the details of service right on the backing sheet.

The Court registry seems to have mixed feeling about backing sheets. They add convenience as the full address (and phone number) of the issuing law firm is not always apparent from the document whereas it always is upon a backing sheet.

However, in an indiustry which is increasingly concerned with paper, the backing sheet adds a sheet to every legal document.

Many jurisdictions have done away with backing sheets all together and instead require that the name, address and phone numnber of the issuing lawyer or law firm be within the legal document itself, usually under the lawyer's signature block.

Lawyers still use backing sheets for documents such as wills or powers of attorneys as folding protects the contents of the document and once folded, provided a backing sheet is properly formatted, and readily indicating to the client what the document is.

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