Word’s nifty {seq} field

I am a big fan of MS Word 2010’s { seq } field. It defines a sequence of numbers or letters, and you can have more than one sequence by differentiating between bookmarks.

So, say that I’m drafting discovery responses, and I have a bunch of exhibits. Instead of depending on my eyes to make certain the exhibits have been named in sequence when I get to that final draft, I just type “Exhibit Ctrl+F9[1] seq ‘bookmark'” and am done with it.

In the example picture below, I named my bookmark ‘intex’ for ‘interrogatory exhibit’. The first field would appear as ‘1’, because I did not include any formatting switches. The second and third examples both have the \* ALPHABETIC switch, which forces Word to display the number as a capital letter.[2] Once you have added the { seq } field, you can right click on it, and Word will bring up a dialogue through which you can choose specific options.

The { seq } field used for interrogatory exhibit numbers.


  1. [1]Remember that Word requires the Ctrl+F9 keystroke to add a field; you can’t just type the squiggly brackets and expect it to recognize the field
  2. [2]\* alphabetic would display a lowercase letter.

Easily draft discovery with Multi-leveled Lists

If you’re like me, you detest having to format discovery responses, because there is the number of the question, and then there is the “Answer:”.

A week ago, I discovered that by defining a new multilevel list, typing those documents is a breeze.

Simple multilevel list in Word 2010

So, how does one format that nifty list?

Well, in Word 2010 on the Home Menu, click the down arrow on the multilevel list icon and choose “Define new multilevel list…”

Start a multilevel list

Word starts you off with a default list to edit. You can then choose which of the standard nine levels to modify. In this case, I chose to modify the third level. The first option box asks you to enter the format for the number. Delete everything, and type in “Answer: “or “Response: “, depending on your (attorney’s) preference. Notice that I typed a space after the colon. Then click the Font button to set the format to bold. Or bold and underline. You can format the rest of the list however you want. Last, hit OK, and you’re done.

Editing the third list level.

A shortcut that I use when typing lists is Alt+[ and Alt+] to increase and decrease the levels on the list. It is much more efficient than jumping to and from my mouse every 30 seconds.

No more social security numbers in pleadings

Kudos for the new Illinois Supreme Court Rule No. 138 (effective 1/1/12), which requires all filing parties to redact out or leave out social security numbers in pleadings and exhibits, except in cases where they are required; in that case, only the last four digits shall be used, and the filing party will need to include an accompanying Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing. In response, the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission has updated their Application for Adjustment of Claim form and removed the field for SSN.