Some Materials for Teaching Contract Drafting

MSCD is a reference work rather than a textbook, so it doesn’t contain any teaching materials. That has probably prevented some teachers of contract drafting from using it as a course book. I’ve contemplated making available online a complete set of teaching materials, but that will have to wait. In the meantime, though, I can make available some items. Templates … Read More

Yet More on Rhetorical Emphasis

Today I encountered another form of rhetorical emphasis to add to those noted in MSCD 13.37–38 and in my previous post on the subject. This is from a software license agreement: Licensor shall NOT indemnify, defend or hold Licensee harmless from and against any loss, cost, damage, liability, or expense (including reasonable legal fees) suffered or incurred by Licensee in … Read More

“Shall”—This Time It’s Personal

Recently someone from the plain-English camp chided me for disagreeing with “the more progressive view” that one should avoid shall in contract drafting. Such potshots are, I suppose, inevitable if you publish enough, and they’re best ignored. But what good is a blog if one can’t occasionally use it to set matters straight? So here goes: My critic says, in … Read More

Who’s More Open to Change, Law Firms or Legal Departments?

Last week I held an all-day seminar for a group of lawyers from a big company. A good time was had by all—they asked plenty of questions and apparently came away thinking that my approach had real merit. Given that I recently posted an item suggesting how law-firm associates might navigate obstacles to change in drafting, this seminar got me … Read More

“Guaranty” or “Guarantee”?

Today, for the heck of it, I investigated the difference between guaranty and guarantee. Here’s what Bryan Garner says in A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (1995): The distinction in BrE once was that the former [guarantee] is the verb, the latter [guaranty] the noun. Yet guarantee is now commonly used as both n. & v.t. in both AmE and … Read More

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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 and ‘Successors … Read More