Jason Steed Reviews MSCD4

Jason Steed is a Twitter personality who moonlights as an appellate lawyer. (Kidding!) Go here for his positive review of the fourth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting.

Jason’s review prompted a few thoughts. For the heck of it, here they are:

  • Regarding what’s different about the fourth edition, the simplest metric is that it has a little under 100 pages of new material. It’s a big upgrade.
  • Jason is one of the many  who don’t always agree with me. *shakes head ruefully* But for now I’m sticking with my recommendation that you not use contractions. Contract language is limited and stylized. Using contractions in contracts would suggest that contract language is more unbuttoned than it really is.
  • And I think I’m OK with how the fourth edition handles punctuation. Jason might have missed some of it: check out the index entries for punctuation, comma, colon, etc. That said, I didn’t go crazy. I like to think I’ve made my bones as a comma guy (see for example this article), but nerding out in a law-review article is different from providing practical guidance in a reference work.

Jason said this was the first book review he’s written in ten years. That’s consistent with book reviews being out of fashion. Heck, law books themselves might be out of fashion. Nevertheless, book reviews by thoughtful people are useful, so I’m glad that Jason felt it worth his while to do this review.

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.