“I Don’t Always Agree With You …”

Every so often someone says to me, in connection with MSCD, “I don’t always agree with you.” My ears prick up when I hear that. It suggests to me three possibilities:

  • The speaker has spotted flaws in my analysis.
  • The speaker misguidedly regards contract drafting as a craft, with the drafter being free to select at will from an array of different but equally valid usages.
  • The speaker recognizes that drafters should aim for efficiency, but inertia results in the speaker sticking to traditional usages without adequately considering the alternatives.

If you say you disagree with me regarding a given usage but you don’t show me why I’m wrong, I have to assume that you fall under category two or three. So if you think my analysis of a given issue is flawed, please let me have the gory details—therein lies progress.

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.