Blog

Who Wants to Work with Me?

LegalSifter is looking to hire someone to work with me in designing our algorithms (we call them “Sifters”) and writing the advice we give users. For more information, go to Indeed or LinkedIn. To get a better sense of the kind of work I do, I suggest you read my posts on LegalSifter’s blog. But some context might also be helpful. … Read More

Pelopidas, LLC v. Keller: An Opinion Showing How Courts and Litigators Might Use “A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting”

Yesterday I learned of an opinion—hot off the presses—of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, Division One, by Judge Kelly C. Broniec. The case is Pelopidas, LLC v. Keller, No. ED 109395, 2021 WL 3501988 (Mo. Ct. App. 10 Aug. 2021) (PDF here). This opinion concerns Keller’s appeal of a lower court decision interpreting the following sentence from a … Read More

Is LegalSifter a Minimum Viable Product?

When I joined LegalSifter as chief content officer after having been on my own for fifteen years, I entered a process-driven world. I’m now part of a production line that combines technology and expertise to create software and advice. There’s lots to keep track of, so we’d be lost without our databases. This post is on LegalSifter’s blog. To read … Read More

When an Entire Provision Is Redundant

I’m used to thinking of redundancy (actual or potential) as occurring at the level of parts of speech. For example, in doublets or triplets of adjectives (null and void). Or verbs (indemnify and hold harmless). But I’m becoming more attuned to redundancy of entire provisions. (By provision, I mean a complete utterance, whether a sentence or part of a sentence.) … Read More

oneNDA Is mediocreNDA: Thoughts on a Proposed Standard Nondisclosure Agreement

oneNDA is a new initiative that “set out on a mission to standardise the NDA so that lawyers can spend less time on them and more time on more valuable work.” For more about oneNDA, go here. This week they released their “simple, plain English, open-source NDA,” also called, somewhat confusingly, oneNDA. My verdict is that it’s mediocre and doesn’t … Read More

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