Legal Dopers - help me with Exhibit A

My company sends out numerous contracts that have supporting attached documents. They are labeled “Exhibit A.” I think it is supposed to be Exhibit “A.” Which is correct?

Here is a sentence I wrote today:

In general, I’ve seen the sequential identifier for exhibits only without quotation marks. If I saw it appearing as

I would think it a little amateurish. I would probably roll my eyes and start doing mocking finger quotes (“you know, it’s Exhibit 3F, but only in a manner of speaking”) if such a thing were littered through the memorandum/brief/agreement, etc.

I’m sure this is just a matter of local practice, not a right or wrong way of doing things. In my jurisdiction (Saskatchewan), the practice is to put quote marks around the letter: Exhibit “A”, Exhibit “B”, and so on.

Fairly certain I’ve never seen quotation marks on exhibits in my (relatively short) practice doing transactional work. Quotation marks are used almost exclusively for defining terms, e.g., that certain Agreement of Lease (the “Lease”), dated as of April 1, 1914, between Louie Landlord, as landlord (the “Landlord”) and Tammy Tenant, as tenant (the “Tenant”). References to Exhibits may be underlined, depending on the style of the document and the drafter’s idiosyncrasies, but not quotated.

That said, I seem to recall seeing little stickers for exhibits being introduced as evidence in court that had the word EXHIBIT in tiny little letters at the top and under that, a gigantic A with tiny quotation marks on either side. I think I saw this in some mock trial thing in law school, but am not certain; I think I noticed it because it was silly looking.

I agree that it is likely a matter of local practice. In my jurisdiction, local practice means that contracts tend to have schedules; it is affidavits that have exhibits.

Regardless, since a contract is an agreement between private parties, I doubt that there is any jurisdiction that legislates or regulates the form of a contract; in the way that Rules of Civil Procedure (or similar) regulate the form of court documents. I cannot see a well-written contract being declared completely or partially void for misplaced quotation marks when used in Exhibit “A” (or “Exhibit A”).

Agreed that its likely a matter of local practice. Here it would be Exhibit “A.” For instance: "The buyer must pay the seller within thirty days of delivery as set forth in the contract attached hereto as Exhibit ‘A’ incorporated as if fully set forth herein.

Personally, I think the quotes make things easier when citing paragraphs and sections in an exhibit as it goes one step further to clarify the difference between section A of the contract from Exhibit “A” in a citation.

I figured it would be exhibit eh.

Here they would say “Doc XYZ, dated 01-01-2012 is attached herewith and marked as Annex “A””/

Oh, heck, we’ve got schedules too! Schedules and exhibits! Schedules tend to be sets of data; exhibits tend to be forms of ancillary documents. If you’ve got a really extravagant contract, you might have annexes and appendices too. And then sometimes your exhibits have their own little baby exhibits and schedules…

Bottom line, in contract drafting, I think you can pretty much call things whatever you want so long as it’s consistent and clear. (In bad contract drafting you don’t even need to follow that rule.) Courts may have local rules about this kind of thing, but it’d be getting mighty particular–local custom seems more likely to dictate things.

All, thanks for your replies. I guess it really does come down to local practice. I agree with **Kimmy_Gibbler **that Exhibit “A” has what he/she called a “mocking finger quote” air to it. (and don’t forget its relative - Today only: Bananas on “sale”) - but it is what my company has done in the past, so I was surprised when the change rolled out. The change came at the same time as a truly staggering quantity of flagrantly illiterate/innumerate changes in our other documentation, so I couldn’t help but be suspicious.