I’m pleased that in cooperation with Melbourne Law School (in particular senior lecturer Andrew Godwin), I’ll again be giving my “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminar in Australia. It will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday, 12 March 2013, and in Sydney on Thursday, 14 March 2013. Go here for information about the Melbourne seminar; go here for information about the Sydney seminar. (At the bottom of each of those pages is a link to register.)
What I said here in connection with my 2012 trip to Australia is still pertinent:
Apparently, U.S. contract drafting isn’t highly regarded in Australia—what a shock!—so Australian lawyers might well ask themselves why they should care what I have to say.
I offer four reasons why it’s not presumptuous of me to be going to Australia:
- First, those familiar with my stuff would likely be surprised to have anyone think of me as some sort of ambassador for mainstream U.S. drafting. Instead, the message of much of what I do is that mainstream U.S. drafting is dysfunctional. Heck, I say as much in the title to this article. And for just one example of my take on U.S. drafting, check out my critique of the Google–Motorola Mobility merger agreement (here).
- Second, I aim to have the recommendations in my book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting apply to the drafting of contracts in English anywhere in the world. For more on that, see this blog post.
- Third, I’ve seen no sign that my expertise would be superfluous in Australia. For example, I have on my bookshelves what I gather are the best-known Australian texts on contract drafting, but they overlap little with MSCD.
- Fourth, although my review of an assortment of contracts drafted by some of the better-known Australian law firms suggests that they’re free of the more ludicrous shortcomings of U.S. drafting, that still leaves much to discuss.
My Australian seminars will be geared to how Australians draft. We won’t be spending time discussing, for example, why you shouldn’t include WITNESSETH in your contracts. As a result, we’ll have extra time to devote to more subtle issues.
To get a sense of the sort of things we’ll be discussing at my 2013 seminars in Australia, go here for my blog post “Reflections on Australian Contract Drafting,” written shortly after this year’s trip.
Also, I’ll be retooling the seminar to reflect new materials in the forthcoming third edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. Every participant will receive a copy of the third edition at no extra charge.