What Is a Conformed Copy of a Legal Document?

A conformed copy of a legal document is the actual copy of a document that has been filed in court. Lawyers often have one or two copies of the same document, but a conformed copy has the court clerk’s stamp and signature on it.

Lawyers frequently send documents to opposing counsel in order to further their negotiations. The documents sent between lawyers may be in letter form, or legal document form, but unless the document is a conformed copy, it is not a court document. Conformed copies are required so that lawyers will know that the document has actually been filed with the court and is not just a proposed filing for purposes of negotiation. Some conformed copies of documents are also certified. That is, they have an additional court clerk’s stamp on them along with a second court signature. Usually this certification stamp is on the back of a document and guarantees that the document is an original court document or court copy of the document. When copying or handling a certified document, do not remove the staples from it. The certification may be determined to be null and void if the document has been dismantled or if the staple has been removed even for purposes of photocopying. All certified copies are conformed copies.