MSCD5: The Countdown Begins!

Well, friends, last night I submitted to the American Bar Association the manuscript for the fifth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. If all goes well, it will appear sometime before the end of the year.

The fifth edition is about 10% longer. I’ve revised and expanded many topics, and I’ve added new topics.

Consider chapter 6 (Defined Terms), just because I recently finished working on it. I’ve added the following new sections:

  • “Be Consistent in Creating and Using Defined Terms”
  • “Where to Create a Defined Term” (it’s where I’ve moved discussion of defining terms in a definition section versus defining them on-site)
  • “Mistakes in Using Defined Terms” (it’s where I put new material plus some material that had been elsewhere)
  • “Ensuring That the Value of Defined Terms Exceeds Their Cost”

And everywhere in that chapter I’ve added new material and tidied up the prose. The result is that the chapter covers more, in more detail, and more effectively. And that goes for the book as a whole.

I think it’s safe to say that with the fourth edition, MSCD became a mature work. But each new edition of MSCD has been a big step up from the previous edition, and that holds true with the fifth edition.

I have a lot to say about the fifth edition—this is the first of I don’t know how many blog posts, each of which will have a title beginning with MSCD5. And there will be swag!

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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