Ken Adams

There Are Two Pathologies of Contract Drafting, and “Perfectionism” Isn’t One of Them

I noted with interest this post on LinkedIn by Scott Simmons, a business-development coach. Scott kicks the post off by saying, “We need to talk about perfect. The legal profession has a problem with perfectionism.” But Scott’s post isn’t actually about perfectionism. Instead, it’s about lawyers being bad at “dealing with mistakes or setbacks.” You don’t have to be a … Read More

Check Out Next Week’s “Drafting Clearer Contracts” Presentation

Next week, on Monday and Tuesday, 11 and 12 June 2024, I’m doing a Drafting Clearer Contracts online presentation, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. ET (US). Go here for more information. The fee is US$495, but if you’re a lawyer at a law firm with up to three lawyers, if you’re a contract manager, if you’re in government, if … Read More

I’ve Just Scheduled Two Series of “Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass” Starting in September and October 2024

I’ve just scheduled two series of my online course Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass, which is built around eight live hour-long sessions held once a week and supplemented by reading and quizzes. The first session of one series starts on Thursday, 12 September 2024, at noon ET (US). The first session of the second one starts on Tuesday, 15 October 2024, … Read More

Using a Term of Art in a Section Heading, Offering Detail in the Text

Last week I saw this in a contract: Subcontracting. Acme may engage employees, independent contractors, consultants, or other persons or entities (collectively, “Assistants”) to aid Acme in performing Acme’s obligations under this Agreement, so long as those Assistants abide by the terms of this Agreement, specifically Section 7 (Confidentiality) and, if required under HIPAA, the HITECH Act, or any other … Read More

Using, or Not Using, “The” in Defined-Term Parentheticals

This post nerds out on defined-term protocols. Specifically, should one use, or not use, the (or a or an) in defined-term parentheticals for defined terms that otherwise use the (or a or an)? MSCD says “include in a defined-term parenthetical the definite article the or the indefinite article a (or an), as appropriate. An article isn’t necessary unless the defined … Read More

New Public “Drafting Clearer Contracts” Presentation on 10 and 11 June 2024

I’ve just scheduled a new public Drafting Clearer Contracts presentation. It consists of two three-hour sessions on 10 and 11 June 2024 (Monday and Tuesday), starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada). (Well, it’s actually three hours and ten minutes, if you take into account a ten-minute break!) This presentation serves as an introduction to A Manual of … Read More

Misusing “Party”

Today I saw this sentence (emphasis added) from a confidentiality agreement: Recipient shall be liable for any unauthorized disclosure or use of Confidential Information by or related to any party to whom Recipient discloses Confidential Information, as if such disclosure or use were by Recipient itself. It’s relevant to something discussed at yesterday’s in-person Drafting Clearer Contracts presentation (more about … Read More

The U.S. Supreme Court Cites MSCD

In this post from last November, I noted that the U.S. Solicitor General had cited A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting in their brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving a dispute over an and, Pulsifer v. U.S. Well, two days ago the other shoe dropped: in their opinion in that case (here), the U.S. Supreme … Read More

The Big 12, Colorado, Utah, and Why You Should Steer Clear of “Agrees That”

College American football and I had been total strangers. But just today, we were introduced by longtime reader Chris Lemens, who sent me a link to this Substack post about how the Big 12 Conference (a collection of college sports teams that play competitively against each other) signed deals with the University of Colorado and the University of Utah. Uh, … Read More