Bad Drafting

Random Drafter Shoots Self in Foot Randomly

From this post on D.C. Toedt’s blog I learned about Miller v. Honkamp Krueger Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 20-3061, 2021 WL 3729047 (8th Cir. Aug. 24, 2021) (PDF here). It’s of interest as an instance of a drafter making an odd mistake. In 2006 Miller entered into an employment agreement with HKFS. Among other things, it said that “for a … Read More

Working Around Drafting Glitches Instead of Fixing Them

Yesterday I found this on EDGAR: It’s commonplace for contracts to contain instances of notice in writing or written notice and the like even though the notices provision says that all notices must be in writing. Whoever created the highlighted language was aware of that but decided that instead of, or in addition to, encouraging drafters to use search-and-replace to … Read More

Section 13.1(e) of AstraZeneca’s Contract with the European Commission: Statements of Fact or Future Facts?

You might well be aware of the dispute between AstraZeneca (AZ) and the European Commission (EU) over supplies of AZ’s COVID-19 vaccine. (Go here for an account from the Guardian.) The EU has made the contract available the public (here). AZ’s obligation to use “Best Reasonable Efforts” has attracted attention, but no one is suggesting we’re dealing with the fatuous … Read More

Don’t Make Another Contract Part of Your Contract

Today’s bit of advice: Don’t make some other contract part of your contract. That was prompted by this item by the Canadian law firm Bennett Jones. It involves a case before the British Columbia Supreme Court in which a general contractor wanted to refer the dispute to arbitration. The subcontract didn’t contain an arbitration provision, but the prime contract did. And … Read More

Is English Contract Drafting Better than American Contract Drafting?

Recently Mark Anderson and I found ourselves back-to-back, brandishing longswords and together battling nonsense in skirmishes that broke out on different platforms (go here for an entry point). But it would be no fun if that were to prevent me from riffing on something Mark says. In one of his posts in that exchange (here), Mark says this: Resistance to … Read More

Failing to Tell the Story

I’m in the habit of dividing the task of contract drafting into the what-to-say part and the how-to-say-it part. That’s a little too simple, as the how-to-say-it part can unexpectedly affect the what-to-say part if you’re not careful. But it’s also a little too simple because the how-to-say-it part itself is made up of two parts. There’s command of the … Read More

IACCM Says My Work “Doesn’t Go to the Level That Modern Society Requires and Increasingly Demands.” Discuss

Updated 11 May 2019: This discussion continued across various platforms. Mark Anderson did this post; that prompted this post by Tim Cummins; I responded to Tim’s post with this LinkedIn comment; that prompted a back and forth between Sally Hughes and Mark Anderson. Mark joined me in concluding that further discussion would be a waste of time, but not before … Read More

Paying a Price for Following the Herd in Selecting Contract Usages (Featuring “Promises to Pay”)

Unless you’re unlucky enough to be riding the copy-and-paste train, contract drafting involves making choices. Lots of them. When I redo a company’s template, it can feel like I’m in a slow-motion version of a first-shooter video game, facing in not-so-quick succession an endless barrage of decisions. I addressed just one such decision in a recent tweet: Anyone want to … Read More

London Calling: 8 Reasons Why You Might Want to Attend My 5 November 2018 “Drafting Clearer Contracts” Seminar

On 5 November I’ll be doing a day-long “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminar in London for UCL Faculty of Laws. (For more information, go here.) I can think of eight reasons why you might want to attend: English contract drafting is dysfunctional. Generally, the prose of contracts leaves a lot to be desired, and no amount of Savile Row swagger can … Read More