“Frontloading”—A New Term is Unleashed on an Unsuspecting Planet

Way back in this August 2006 post I described how select information is often pulled out of the body of a commercial contract and placed at the top. In my post I expressed reservations about this practice, but the commenters set me straight.

I referred to this practice as “the box,” given that the abstracted information is often presented in tabular form. But as terms go, that one’s rather feeble. Today I was preparing seminar materials for a client that engages in this practice, and I came up with what I think is a better term—”frontloading.” It isn’t tied to how the information is presented. And a verb is more useful than a noun. (If you need a noun form, just refer to “frontloaded information.”)

While I acknowledge that frontloading can serve a useful purpose, I still think you need to be judicious, as frontloading can result in a bunch of extraneous information being dumped at the top of a contract.

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.

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