New Article on Copyright and Contract Drafting

The New York Law Journal recently published my article “Copyright and the Contract Drafter.” (Click here for the text of the article.) If the subject matter sounds familiar, that’s probably because this article consists of a mash-up of my two blog items on the subject. (Here and here.) This is the first time I’ve recycled something I’ve written for my blog, and it surely won’t be the last time. … [Read more...]

The Sept.–Oct. 2006 Issue of “Business Law Today”

A couple of items caught my eye in the most recent issue of “Business Law Today.” One is an article by Susan J. Irion entitled “The New Classroom—Learning How to Draft Contracts in the Real World.” It discusses how law firms are using training in contract drafting to sharpen the skills of their business lawyers, and how law schools are introducing contract-drafting concepts. Susan is director … [Read more...]

Officer Titles

MSCD contains a section on overuse of initial capitals (13.28–34). Here’s what I say in MSCD 13.30 regarding titles: Drafters invariably use initial capitals when referring to officer titles (The certificate must be signed by the President of Acme), but authorities on general English usage recommend that one only do so when the title is followed by a name (President James Roe), which is … [Read more...]

Speaking Truth to Law Firms!

Earlier this year, I published an article suggesting why law firms might want to think about bringing in an outside speaker—presumably moi!—to speak about contract drafting. (Go here for a copy of that article.) But when I speak at law firms, I make a point of discussing some potential obstacles to associates’ changing the way they draft. This issue is fresh in my mind, because earlier this … [Read more...]

Getting Rid of the “Successors and Assigns” Provision

[Update June 17, 2013: Go here for the June 15, 2013 post about my article It's Time to Get Rid of the "Successors and Assigns" Provision.] [Update April 12, 2013: For more recent posts about the "successors and assigns" provision, see "The 'Successors and Assigns' and Successor Liability" (here) and "The Illinois Appellate Court's Problematic Take on the Traditional Recital of Consideration … [Read more...]

On Beginning a New Semester

Last Thursday I taught my first class of the new semester. It prompted the following unconnected thoughts. *** I was reminded how pleased I am to be teaching at Penn Law. Why? Because the facilities are excellent and the students are smart and eager to learn. I went to Penn Law. When I graduated, I ever expected to return, let alone as a teacher. By some quirk of nurture or nature, I was … [Read more...]

“Form and Substance”

Form and substance? I don’t think so. In contracts, the phrase is used exclusively in references to documents to be delivered, as in an opinion of counsel in form and substance satisfactory to the Buyer. As with most “doublets,” the suspicion is that it mainly serves to add a rhetorical flourish, an easy gravitas. On closer examination, that turns out to be the case. I recall once whittling … [Read more...]

Document Assembly—Changing Talk into Action

Dennis Kennedy recently mentioned on his web site a new article on document assembly. It’s by Darryl R. Mountain, it’s called Disrupting Conventional Law Firm Business Models Using Document Assembly, and it can be found in the International Journal of Law and Information Technology. (A pdf version is available here.) It’s a thoughtful article, but I’m not the intended audience—I’m already … [Read more...]

AdamsDrafting Seminars in Geneva, Switzerland

I’m pleased to announce that between November 20 and December 4, 2006, I’ll be holding in Geneva, Switzerland, a series of seminars on contract drafting. I’m fortunate to have as my sponsors ACC Europe (the European chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel) and Hogan & Hartson. On November 20, 22, 24, 27 and 29 and December 1, 2006, I’ll be presenting Drafting Contracts in English, an … [Read more...]