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Count Words, Not Pages

Excuse me if I quote my own tweet: Let's start using number of words, instead of number of pages, to say how long a contract is. Reading 1,500 words won't go any faster because it's on 3 pages instead of 4. In fact, it might take longer, if you use gimmicks like shrinking the font to fit it on one … Read More

Rely on MSCD, Tune Out the Cacophony

Today I was tagged in the following tweet: Think the objection is primarily an aesthetic one. Can't resist tagging @AdamsDrafting in on this. — Levins Solicitors (@LevinsLaw) July 23, 2021 I’m always happy to join in a discussion when someone asks my opinion. (Hi, @LevinsLaw!) But I was reminded how online, everything old—whether it’s and/or, or for the avoidance of … Read More

Overcoming the Structural Advantages of Lawyers in Doing Contracts Work

In this recent article and this recent blog post, I argue that nothing prevents nonlawyers from handling deals and wrangling contract language—that what matters is competence, not which hat you wear. But to assess realistically the prospects of nonlawyers in the world of contracts, you have to recognize two factors that favor lawyers. Law School as a Credential First, lawyers … Read More

Check Out the New “Masterclass” Testimonials

I’ve long used anonymous testimonials, with the thought that attaching someone’s name to a testimonial is meaningless unless it’s a name that many would recognize. But with my redesigned website, that has changed. Now testimonials are linked to the person’s LinkedIn or Twitter profile and features their profile photo. I think that makes testimonials much more meaningful. I’ve now completed … Read More

The Role of Lawyers in Disaggregated Contracts Work: A Response to Susskind and Eisenberg

Future-of-law commentator Richard Susskind has written with Neville Eisenberg, a partner in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, this article in the current issue of The Practice. It’s entitled Vertically Integrated Legal Service, and it reflects a vision of the future of legal services that, when it comes to handling contracts, is at odds with my experience and what LegalSifter is doing. … Read More

“A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting” Mentioned in a Job Posting?

Yesterday Andrew Kinsey tagged me in this tweet: Just saw a job posting with these requirements. @AdamsDrafting has influence, I see. pic.twitter.com/RAeEBfvuyf — Andrew Kinsey (@KinseyAndrew) July 6, 2021 As I reported in this 2017 post, a reader told me how they had said in a job interview that they were a big fan of A Manual of Style for … Read More

Beware Overuse of the “Acting as Independent Contractor” Provision

I’d like to report overuse of the “acting as independent contractor” provision. Here’s the version that makes sense: The parties intend that the Consultant will be an independent contractor. It makes it clear that the parties intend that an individual who is providing services to a company won’t be an employee of the company. (It uses language of intention because … Read More

You Know Ambiguity, Now Meet the Reader Miscue

You all know about ambiguity; I’ve done untold dozens of posts about ambiguity; go here to see a bunch of them. Ambiguity is what gives rise to alternative possible meanings. A reader miscue is different. It’s what happens when the reader starts going down the road to ambiguity, realizes that something is amiss, and backtracks. MSCD contains a few scattered … Read More

More Industry-Wide Elegant Variation: Amendments in Writing

Last year I wrote in this blog post about “elegant variation” across the contracts universe in how one says you have to keep confidential information to yourself. In the same spirit, consider these different ways of requiring that amendments be in writing: [To be effective,] Any amendment to this agreement must be in writing. An amendment of this agreement will … Read More

Another English “Endeavours” Opinion

Thanks to this blog post by Mark Anderson, I learned of a new English court opinion on endeavours provisions in a case before the Technology and Construction Court. O frabjous day! (Not really.) The opinion in question is CIS General Insurance Ltd v IBM United Kingdom Ltd [2021] EWHC 347 (TCC) (here). At issue was whether someone had taken “all … Read More