Exemplify, A Research Tool for Determining What Is Market

I was recently reminded of Exemplify, “a new breed of research tool for determining market standard language and terms in transactional law practice.”

The best introduction appears to be this post by David Hobbie, aka @KMHobbie, on his Caselines blog. Here’s how David describes Exemplify:

It is a browser-based clause reference and creation tool that compares clauses you provide with clustered iterations of standard clauses created by dynamic reference to the agreements contained in EDGAR.

As such it’s comparable to kiiac, which I discuss in this June 2011 post and in this April 2012 post. (One difference is that Exemplify always looks to the SEC’s EDGAR system, where public companies file their material contracts, whereas kiiac will parse whatever sample set you point it at.)

I think that Exemplify exhibits the same limitation as kiiac: EDGAR is a vast repository of contracts of uneven quality. (That’s putting it politely.) Telling a drafter what flavor of provision is most popular on EDGAR has little to do with telling the drafter which provision makes most sense for the transaction at hand and what language, if any, is clear of the shortcomings and misconceptions that that afflict traditional contract language.

So Exemplify, like kiiac, might be of use, but generally the task of compiling clear and relevant contract language isn’t amenable to a quick technology fix.

 

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.