Plenty of Room for Improvement: My Critique of IBM’s New Two-Page Cloud-Services Contract (Updated with PDFs Containing the Comments)

Via a regular source of my Twitter leads, @ronfriedmann, I learned of this article in Corporate Counsel by Sue Reisinger about how a team at IBM “earned international recognition for taking dozens of pages of complex contracts for cloud services and reducing them to a simple, two-page document.” Assuming that you get rid of the dead wood, make appropriate trade-offs, and don’t … Read More

Google’s Services Agreement? Lots of Room for Improvement

To entertain myself during my recent travels, I retrieved from the SEC’s EDGAR system a Google services agreement and proceeded to annotate it to show its contract-usage shortcomings. (As is usual with such reviews, I didn’t analyze the deal points.) Why Google? Because I’d heard on occasion that Google’s contracts are OK. On finishing my review, I thought that if … Read More

The Series Seed Documents: Could Be Improved

The other day I heard about the Series Seed documents for the first time. What, you ask, are the Series Seed documents? This is how they’re described on the Series Seed website: The Series Seed Documents are a standardized set of documents that can be quickly and easily deployed for a seed investment:  to help get a company financed properly, legally, … Read More

“Dear Mr. Bezos”: An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos About Suboptimal Drafting in the Washington Post Contract

Dear Mr. Bezos: I noted with interest the contract providing for your acquisition of the Washington Post. (Go here for a PDF copy.) Whereas others have considered the substantive implications, I limited myself, as usual, to the drafting. I skimmed the contract and wasn’t surprised to conclude that it leaves something to be desired. Why am I telling you this? Because … Read More

LegalZoom’s Business Contracts: Commoditizing Mediocrity

In May, LegalZoom, the provider of online legal services, declared that it intends to raise $120 million in an initial public offering. LegalZoom allows consumers to create wills and trusts, real-estate documents, the paperwork for divorces, and such. And it allows users to create a broad range of contracts and other documents required to start and operate a business. For … Read More

Rocket Lawyer? Contract Automation FAIL

I’ve seen a lot of chatter about automated contract creation offered by Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Take Rocket Lawyer—please! Report Card I took advantage of Rocket Lawyer’s week-long free-trial period to create a confidentiality agreement. I chose their confidentiality agreement because I’m intimately familiar with the issues, thanks to my work … Read More

Shortcomings in the Drafting of the Google–Motorola Merger Agreement

As you probably know, Google and Motorola Mobility recently entered into a merger agreement providing for Google’s acquisition of Motorola. (Go here for a copy.) If you’re interested in the deal terms, there are plenty of other places you could look. Me, I’m interested in the drafting—more specifically, the language and structure of the merger agreement. So I’ve prepared an outline … Read More