“Including With Limitation”?

Reader Jason recently posted the following comment to my April 2007 post on including without limitation:

I just ran across an instance of including with limitation XXX.

I couldn’t determine if with limitation meant:

  1. only;
  2. that XXX is included, but with limitations on what parts of XXX are included; or
  3. things that are limited, and XXX is one example of such things.

Here’s an including with limitation example I grabbed from public files: “Tenant shall cause drawings and specifications to be prepared for, and shall cause to be performed, the construction of the alterations or additions in accordance with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations of all duly constituted authorities, including, with limitation, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, all regulations issued thereunder and the Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities issued pursuant thereto, as the same are in effect on the date hereof and may be hereafter modified, amended or supplemented.”

Not sure if you’ve run across this, but it seems that there are a fair number of examples of including with limitation on Edgar.

I’m delighted that Jason pointed out including with limitation. It’s hardly common—it occurs in five contracts filed last month on Edgar as material contracts, whereas including without limitation occurs in more than 3,000 contracts filed during the same period.

I have no idea what including with limitation might mean; I can only assume it’s a mistake. But I don’t think it’s a typo—it’s more likely that those who use it are under the impression that including with limitation has some clear meaning. If you think that it in fact does have a clear meaning that I’m missing, please let me know.

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.