Contract-Drafting Dysfunction, Meet Medical Dysfunction

Over the weekend I listened to this episode of the radio show Freakonomics, “How Many Doctors Does It Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution?” My ears pricked up when I heard Jeffrey Brenner, who is a physician and the executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, say the following:

What I think many people would be shocked to find out is that many of the things that we do in day-to-day care actually have very little evidence for them. They are habit that has been passed down from one generation to the next, but doesn’t have literature backing it up.

Hmm, sounds familiar, in that many lawyers are taken aback when I describe the contract-language dysfunction that is the result of mindless copying. If medicine—a field where we spend zillions of dollars for poor results—has this problem, no one should be astonished that we have it in contract drafting.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.