Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A blank to be filled out to make a complete instrument; order, technical arrangement.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. A model or skeleton of an instrument to be used in a Judicial proceeding, containing the principal necessary matters, the proper technical terms or phrases, and whatever else is necessary to make it formally correct, arranged in proper and methodical order, and capable of bsing adapted to the circumstances of the specific case.
    2. As distinguished from "substance," "form" means the legal or technical manner or order to be observed in legal instruments or juridical proceedings, or in the construction of legal documents or processes. The distinction between "form" and "substance" is often important in reference to the validity or amendment of pleadings. If the matter of the plea is bad or insufficient, irrespective of the manner of setting it forth, the defect is one of substance. If the matter of the plea is good and sufficient, but is inartificiali/ or defectively pleaded, the defect is one of form. Pierson v. Insurance Co., 7 Houst. (Del.) 307, 31 Atl. 966.
    —Common form, Solemn form. See Probate.
    —Form of the statute. The words, language, or frame of a statute, and hence the inhibition or command which it may contain; used in the phrase (in criminal pleading) "against the form of the statute in that case made and provided."
    —Forms of action. The general designation of the various species or kinds of personal actions known to the common law, such as trover, trespass, debt, assumpsit, etc. These differ in their pleadings and evidence, as well as in the circumstances to which they are respectively applicable. Truax v. Parvis, 7 Houst. (Del.) 330, 32 Atl. 227.
    —Matter of form. In pleadings, indictments, conveyances, etc., matter of form (as distinguished from matter of substance) is all that relates to the mode, form, or style of expressing the facts involved, the choice or arrangement of words, and other such particulars, without affecting the substantial validity or sufficiency of the instrument, or without going to the merits. Railway Co. v. Kurtz, 10 Ind. App. 60, 37 N. B. 303; Meath v. Mississippi Levee Com'rs, 109 U. S. 268v 3 Sup. Ct. 284, 27 L. Ed. 930; State v. Amidon, 58 Vt 524 2 Atl. 154.