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How to prepare for court: Organize your paperwork

Even those who have never attended a court proceeding know how much paperwork is involved with legal cases. In New Hampshire, if you will be appearing in court, you should be sure to have all your ducks in a row, so to speak, before you arrive on the day of your hearing.

Whether it's evidence, forms to be filed with the courthouse or an affidavit, it's critical that you have gathered it all, have the proper certifications if necessary, and have it organized in such a way that whatever the judge asks you for, you'll have it close at hand.

Think of it like going to the Division of Motor Vehicles, better known as the DMV, to renew your license or the Post Office to apply for a passport. Before you ever set foot in the door, you've done extensive research on those agency's websites in order to determine the proper types of identification to bring, what forms you need to fill out and what documents are acceptable to prove residency.

The same goes for court. Well in advance of your trial or hearing, you should contact the clerk at your designated court to find out what paperwork will be required in your case. You may also be able to determine this through online research, but it's worth calling to verify with a knowledgeable individual in these matters.

Likewise, you should bring multiple copies of each of these documents to court with you on the day of your proceeding. Beyond what is required, have at least two extra copies on hand, one for the opposite side of the aisle and one for the judge.

If all this seems overwhelming, it's in your best interest to work with an experienced New Hampshire lawyer. By enlisting a professional to help you, you can ensure that everything will be in order on the day of your hearing and that you will have the best chance of success in court.

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