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Finding Forms & Form Books

Last Updated 11/2010  Direct feedback on this page to lawlib@umn.edu.



Law students and lawyers often use sample or model forms when creating documents. There are two main categories of forms. The first category is instruments. Instruments are used in transactions such as contracts, estates and trusts, and real property. The second category is pleadings, which are filed with the court (see also the pathfinder for trial practice which includes a section on pleadings). Formbooks can cover the entire span of the law or they can be geared towards a specific area. Here are a few helpful hints about forms:

  1. Sample forms are just that -- samples. Many must be refined to meet your particular needs and wants. Find forms in multiple sources and compare them. Then incorporate the best aspects into your own form.


  2. Court forms that are specific to a jurisdiction are often available at the local law libraries. This is especially true for the different counties; therefore ask the county law librarian about court forms. Some local courts, such as Hennepin County District Court, make many forms available on their websites http://www.mncourts.gov/district/4/?page=1824.


  3. Other court forms can be found on the web. The website for the Minnesota Judicial Branch (http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=513) includes a section with links to court forms on a variety of topics. Individual federal courts sometimes have some forms available on their website; for example, see Minnesota Federal District Court forms at http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/FORMS/court_forms.htm.


  4. Law firms and offices normally have in-house databases of forms. If you are working, check those databases for forms you might use.


  5. Some formbooks include annotations, checklists, and citations to cases in which the forms were used.

Note:  For additional advice and resources in locating Minnesota legal forms see the Law Library's research guide, Basic Minnesota Legal Research (click on the Finding Minnesota Forms link).

How Do I Find Forms?


To find forms at our library, search MNCAT Discovery Catalog. Searching MNCAT Discovery for formbooks is best done in the advanced search screen. You can search multiple keywords at once and you can limit the search to the law library. General keyword searches that can be used are: (1) Minnesota (2) federal (3) forms (4) drafting and (5) a specialized area of law such as contract, property, bankruptcy, or tax. By using two or three of these terms you should find multiple formbooks available on your topic.

For example a search including the following terms will yield several relevant sources:

General Keyword: Minnesota
And General Keyword: Forms
And General Keyword: Contracts
(Changing Minnesota to federal or United States will also yield relevant sources.)

The law library also has series and/or sets of formbooks. Try a MNCAT Discovery Catalog search for these series using the Keyword search. The two main series are Minnesota Legal Forms or Minnesota Practice Series.

Continuing legal education program material (CLE) will often provide forms. Try a keyword search for legal education and a specific topic of law. For example:

General Keyword: legal education
And General Keyword: real estate
And General Keyword: forms

Finally, always feel free to ask a reference librarian for a good place to find forms.

Transactional Forms


American Jurisprudence Legal Forms 2d (1971-current).  Reference KF170.A542 (Also on Westlaw in the AMJUR-LF database).  Includes unnumbered General index volumes and separately numbered Federal Tax Guide to Legal Forms volumes (in binders).  Kept up to date by pocket parts and revised volumes.

Nichols, Clark Asahel.  Nichols Cyclopedia of Legal Forms Annotated (1936-current).Reference KF170.N5 (Also on Westlaw in the NICHOLS-LF database.)  Kept up to date by pocket parts and revised volumes.

Rabkin, Jacob and Mark H. Johnson.  Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis (1948-current).  Loose-leaf Services KF6286.R33.  (Also in the LexisNexis database CLFTA).  Includes unnumbered index volumes.
West’s Legal Forms 2d (1981-current)  Reference KF1384.A65 W47.  (Also on Westlaw in the WEST-LF database).  This set is organized by area of practice and updated by pocket parts and revised volumes.  The index volume also includes a detailed table of contents for all volumes.

Pleading Forms


American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms Annotated, Rev. ed. (1956-current)  Reference KF8836.A45 (Also on Westlaw in the AMJUR-PP database).  Kept up to date by pocket parts and revised volumes.
Nichols Cyclopedia of Federal Procedure Forms, 3rd ed.  (1951-current)  KF8840.C93 1951.  Kept up to date by pocket parts and revised volumes.
Federal Local Court Forms, 3d ed.  (2002-current)  KF8836.H58.  (Also on Westlaw in FEDFRMS database).  Contains court forms arranged by federal district court and by circuit.  
Federal Procedural Forms, Lawyers Edition.  (1975-current)  Reference KF8836.F4 (Also on Westlaw in the FEDPROF database).  This set is arranged alphabetically by subject and contains cross references to keynumbers, ALR, and the Federal Procedure treatise.  It is updated by pocket parts and revised volumes and has an index that has tables to the Constitution, statutes, and regulations.  A Litigation Management Manual is also included.
Frumer, Louis R. et al.  Bender’s Federal Practice Forms.  (1951-current)  Reference KF8836.F78.  (Also on LexisNexis in the FDPRAC database).  Includes annotations and cross references to Moore’s Federal Practice.
Moore, James W. et al.  Moore’s ManualFederal Practice Forms.  (1964-current) Reserve KF8840.M62.  
Simpson, R.W.  The Amicus Brief: How to Write It and Use It Effectively. (1998).  KF8748.S536 1998.
West’s Federal Forms.  (1952-current)  Reference KF8836.W4  (Also on Westlaw in the FEDFORMS database).  There are separate volumes for U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court, bankruptcy and admiralty courts.  Includes unnumbered index and table of statutes and court rules volumes.  Kept up to date by pocket parts, revised volumes, and interim pamphlets.

Alternative Dispute Resolution


Grenig, Jay E. Alternative Dispute Resolution, 3rd ed.  (2005-Current).  KF(9084.G74 2005.  (Also on WESTLAW in the ADR database.

Business Enterprises


Bauch, Walter G.  Minnesota 302A Corporations: An Annotated Document.  (2007)  KF209.M54x 2007 no.33.

Black,Bert.  Minnesota Corporations Practice Manual.  (1986-1995)  KFM5613.B62x 1986.

Distributor, Sales Representative & Sales Agreements.  (2004).  KF209.M54x 2004 no. 27.

Drafting and Filing Business Documents.  (1996)  KF209.M54x 1996 no.1286.  
Shriver, Ernest P. Organizational Documents for LLCs:An Annotated Document  (2007)  KF209.M54x 2007 no. 32.

Geier, Mark R.  Buy/Sell & Share Purchase Agreement.  (2004).  KF209.M54x 2004 no. 22.
McEllistrem, Thomas E.  Articles, Bylaws & Minutes: Minnesota 302A Corporations.  (2001).  KF209.M54x 2001 no. 30.

Matheson, John H. and Philip S. Garon.  Corporation Law and Practice, 2nd ed.  (2004-current).  Reserve KFM5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volumes 18-19 of the Minnesota Practice Series.

Minnesota Secretary of State has a variety of business forms available on the web: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=86

Plunkett, J. Patrick.  Annotated Form of Mission Statement, Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws for a Nonprofit Corporation.  (2000)  KF209.M54x 2000 no. 1625.

Criminal Law


Mattox, Rick E.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Criminal Law.  (1981-1995).  KFM5975.A65 M257.

West’s Federal Forms, 3d ed.  (1952-Current)  KF8836.W4.  Volumes 5 and 5A.

Debtor & Creditor


Baillie, James L., ed.  Debtor Creditor Formbook, 8th ed. (1999) Reserve KF209.M54x 1999 no. 156.

Miller, Thomas F.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Creditors’ Remedies.  (1981-1995).  Reserve KF5620.A65 M55.

West’s Federal Forms, 3d ed.  (1952-current).  KF8836.W4.  Volumes 6, 6A, and 6B cover bankruptcy.

Zlimen, Allan J. Minnesota Collections.  (1979-2002).  Reserve KFM5567.C6 Z55

Discovery & Witness Examination


Bender’s Forms of Discovery.  (1963-1994)  KF8900.A3 B4.  (Also on LexisNexis in the BFDISC database).

Sandler, Paul Mark and James K. Archibald.  Model Witness Examinations, 2nd ed.  (2003).  KF8900.S26 2003.

Family Law


Haugh, William E., Jr.  Minnesota Dissolution of Marriage.  (1979-1996).  KFM5500.H38.

Practitioner’s Guide to an Efficient Family Law Practice, 5th ed.  (2008).  Reserve KFM5494.Z9 K57x 2008.

McLean, Daniels W.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Family Law.  (1981-1999).  KFM5494.A65.M35.
Minnesota Family Law Practice Manual, 3rd ed.  (2001-current).  Reserve KFM5494.D38x.

Rice, Larry.  The Complete Guide to Divorce Practice:  Forms and Procedures for the Lawyer, 3rd ed.  (2005).  KF533.R52 2005.

Silberberg, Amy M.  Minnesota Adoption Law and Practice: With Forms and Statutes.  (1999-2003).  KFM5504.5.S55 1999.

Stroemer, Christine L.  Drafting Marital Termination Agreements.  (2000).  KF209.M54x 2000 no.1587.
Swaden, Martin L. and Linda A. Olup.  Family Law, 3rd ed.  (2008-current).  Reserve KFM5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volume 14 of the Minnesota Practice Series, kept up to date with pocket parts.

Yerigan, Debra E.  Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Civil Contempt Motion Papers.  (2007).  Reserve KF209.M54x 2007 no. 79.

Intellectual Property


Brunsvold, Brian G. and Dennis P. O’Reilley.  Drafting Patent License Agreements, 5th ed.  (2004).  KF3145.M35 2004.

Classen, H. Ward.  A Practical Guide to Software Licensing for Licensees and Licensors: Analyses and Model Forms, 2nd ed. (2007).  KF3024.C6 C56 2007.

Comstock, Rebecca A.  Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Agreement.  (2001).  KF209.M54x 2001 no. 27.
Epstein, Michael, ed.  Drafting License Agreements, 4th ed.  (2002-current).  KF2979.D6922.

Hildreth, Ronald B.  Patent Law: a Practitioner’s Guide, 3rd ed.  (1998-current).  KF3114.H552x.

Holmes, Mark S.  Patent Licensing: Strategy, Negotiation, Forms.  (2000-current).  KF3145.H65x.  

Nguyen, Xuan-Thao N. Intellectual Property, Software, and Information Licensing: Law and Practice.  (2006).  KF3145.N458 2006.

Quittmeyer, Peter C., et al.  Computer Software Agreements: Forms and Commentary, 3rd ed.  (1998-current).  KF905.C6.Q58x.

Minnesota Civil Practice & Procedure


Cause of Action Manual, 3rd ed.  (1999).  Reserve KFM5933.C38x 1999.

Haydock, Roger S., et al.  Civil Practice Forms.  (1995-current).  Reserve KFM5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volumes 15 and 16 of the Minnesota Practice Series and kept up to date with pocket parts.

Herr, David F.  Elements of an Action.  (2007/2008-current).  Reserve KFM 5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volume 28 of the Minnesota Practice Series.

Herr, David F.  General Rules of Practice Annotated.  (1992-current).  Reserve KFM5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volume 3A of the Minnesota Practice Series.

McFarland, Douglas D. and William J. Keppel.  Minnesota Civil Practice, 3rd ed.  (1999-current).  Reserve KFM5930.M3 1999.  Kept up to date with pocket parts. 

Minnesota Motions in Limine.  (2007/2008-current).  Reserve KFM5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volume 29 of the Minnesota Practice Series.  CD-ROM contains forms.

Pirsig, Maynard E.  Pirsig on Minnesota Pleading, 5th ed.  (1987-current).  Reserve KFM5935.P57x 1987.  Updated by pamphlet supplements.

Personal Injury


Hauer, Robert.  Practitioner’s Guide to Minnesota Personal Injury Forms, 2nd ed.  (1990).  KFM5597.P3 P47x 1990.

Stoneking, Gary E.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Personal Injury.  (1981-1995).  Reserve KFM5597.P3 S86.

Real Estate


Carruthers, Andrea M.  Commercial Leases.  (2004).  KF209.M54x 2004 no.24.

Miller, John Michael.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Commercial Real Estate.  (1981-1997).  Reserve KFM5517.3.A65 M54.

Roer, Kathleen M.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Residential Real Estate.  (1982-1993).  Reserve KFM5526.A65 R64.

Shumaker, Gordon W. and Clinton R. McLagan.  Minnesota Real Estate.  (1981-2000).  KFM5526.S58 1981.

Silverman, Robert J.  Commercial Real Estate Purchase Agreement.  (1997).  KF209.M54x 1997 no. 1327.

Tax & Pension


Casey, Laurence F. Federal Tax Practice: A Treatise of the Laws and Procedures Governing the Assessment and Litigation of Federal Tax Liabilities.  (1997-current).  KF6310.C3.  (Also on Westlaw in the CASEY database).

Minnesota Tax Forms: Package XM. (1987-current).  Older editions at KFM5879.A65 M56x; current edition in Library Reference Office. Also Forms are available for download from the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue’s website:  www.taxes.state.mn.us/taxes/current_forms.shtml

Other state tax forms are available from the Federation of Tax Administrators website at http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/

Qualified Pension and Profit-Sharing Plans. 1998-current). Includes a CD-ROM with forms.  KF3512.P49.

Tax Management IRS Forms.  (1988-2000).  KF6366.T38x 1988.

United States Internal Revenue Service official forms are available for download by form number or by subject at http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html?portlet=3

Wills & Estates


Bates, James D.  Minnesota Legal Forms—Probate.  (1981-2002).  Reserve KFM5544.A65 B37.

Drafting Wills and Trust Agreements, 6th ed.  (2008-current).  Reserve KF209.M54x 2008 no. 50.

Fundamentals of Probate Practice.  (1998).  KF209.M54x 1998 no. 1478.

Minnesota Estate Administration Deskbook.  (2007-current).  Reserve KF209.M54x 2007 no. 12.  Includes a CD-ROM with forms.

Minnesota Probate Deskbook.  (2002-current).  Reserve KFM5480.M53 & Library Reference Office.  Volume 24 of the Minnesota Practice Series.

Neumeyer, Susan L.  Minnesota Wills and Estate Planning.  (1993).  KFM5540.N48.

Page, William Herbert. Page on the Law of Wills, Rev. ed.  (1960-current).  KF755.P3 1960.  Updated by pocket parts and revised volumes.

Probate by the Numbers.  (2007).  Reserve KF209.M54x 2007 no. 111.

Links verified 5/20/2008