I’m a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and each fall semester I teach a course in—what else—contract drafting. As part of my course I hold a panel discussion, with the aim of giving my students a chance to hear someone other than Adams.
Yesterday’s class was devoted to this semester’s panel discussion, and I was lucky enough to have convinced the following friends to take part, via webcam:
- James F. Brashear, general counsel of ZixCorp
- John Gillies, director of practice support at the Canadian law firm Cassels Brock.
- Michael J. Kendall, partner at the law firm Goodwin Procter.
- Vincent R. Martorana, counsel at the law firm Reed Smith.
I’ve engaged fruitfully with each of them, in different ways, and they’ve each shown themselves to be sympathetic to what I’ve been trying to do. But I knew that they were no claque, and indeed, they provided my students with a sober assessment of what they can expect when enter the real world of contract drafting. Here’s how I’d summarize their message: Law firms and law departments are in no hurry to overhaul contract language and the contract process, but being an informed consumer of contract language can help you stay out of trouble and score modest victories.
Of course, I have decided views on all this, but whole point of this exercise was to let others speak. I’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future to sound off.
If you’d like to see the rough-and-ready video of our discussion, all 72 minutes of it, go here or click on the image below. Be warned—no one will confuse me with a talk-show host!