Two Issues Relating to Article Enumeration

It’s been a while since I’ve had occasion to write about layout. Here are two issues relating to enumeration in articles. Be still my beating heart. Article Zero? First, last week I gave an in-house seminar at the Beijing unit of an international consortium. As usual, my PowerPoint seminar contained examples drawn from the host’s template contracts, but at the … Read More

A Tip For All You Cross-Reference Ninjas

This post explains how to edit a cross-reference to a contract article so that the a in article is lowercase. Chris Lemens, this one’s for you! (When it comes to layout and related issues, Chris is Javert to my Jean Valjean.) Like any sane person, I use Word’s cross-reference function for the cross-references in contracts that I draft. Life’s too … Read More

Contract As Pleading?

I noticed that the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have finally acknowledged that merchants who use images and names of those agencies on parody merchandise aren’t violating any federal laws. How big of them. Go here for Public Citizen’s press release. But what’s of particular interest to pointy-headed me is the settlement agreement between the agencies and Dan … Read More

An Instance of Confused Enumeration in a Contract

Via this post on Legal Writing Prof Blog I learned of a recent opinion of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that involved an odd instance of confused enumeration in a contract. The case is Karmely v. Wertheimer (here). It’s discussed in this post on The facts are way too involved for me to get into, but here’s the … Read More

A Suggestion to Those Organizing the Upcoming Legal Design Jam

Thanks to @carolynelefant and this post on Open Law Lab, I learned of the “Law Design Jam” being held on October 11, 2013, at Stanford University. Go here for the invitation. The tagline for the event is “Legal contracts, licenses and policies are now long, dull, difficult and boring documents. Come change that!” Here’s how the event is described: A Legal Design Jam is a design-driven hackathon to … Read More

Eliminate All Cross-References?

Family! One day you’re unaware that they exist, the next day they’re hocking you relentlessly. I’m speaking of course about Joshua Stein, my newfound second cousin once removed, recently introduced to readers of this blog in this post. I was minding my business late one night when an email from Joshua invaded my inbox. Here’s the meat of it: I … Read More

Severability and Tabulation

At one of my recent European seminars I told the participants that I’m not in favor of the approach to document design that says that as soon as you have two distinct thoughts in a contract provision you should enumerate them and tabulate them. (For more about that, see this 2013 post (eighth paragraph) and this 2012 post.) But, said one of … Read More

Footnotes in Contracts?

A few days ago a reader asked me about a recommendation he saw online to the effect that it might be a good idea to use a footnote to explain why a negotiated contract provision had been written in a particular way. And another reader just asked me about using footnotes in a contract. Someone in his company had proposed … Read More

Get Rid of First-Line Indents in Paragraphs Without Enumeration?

I’ve been reading Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. It has caused me to revisit some issues. Here’s one: In samples in MSCD, the introductory clause, the recitals, the lead-in, the concluding clause, and autonomous definitions all use first-line indenting. I also use space between those paragraphs. Here’s what Typography for Lawyers has to say: A first-line indent is the most … Read More

You Might Want to Make Your Section Headings Non-Random

Thanks to Eric Goldman (@ericgoldman) I learned about a recent opinion out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. (PDF copy here.) It relates to a dispute between Corbin Bernsen, actor, and Innovative Legal Marketing. Bernsen acted as spokesperson for an ILM campaign, but it all ended in tears. What caught Eric’s eye, and mine, was … Read More