Today’s issue of the New York Law Journal contains my article “Making Sense of ‘Shall.'” Click here to go to the PDF reprint. And click here to access it for free—at least for the time being—on the NYLJ’s website. My thanks to those who were kind enough to review drafts of this article.
The topic of shall came up during my panel discussion with Richard Wydick and Bryan Garner at this summer’s ABA annual meeting, and that’s what prompted me to write this article. I’m glad that I did—use of shall is at the dark heart of contract drafting, and in this article I approach the topic more rigorously than I have previously.
1 thought on “New Adams NYLJ Article on “Shall””
My sense over the years has been that business people are just a hair more comfortable with “will,” because it seems to have a less-imperious, more-collaborative feel to it than shall or must.
Perhaps “will” is technically incorrect, but it wouldn’t be the first time language had evolved to suit the perceived needs of its users. (On a related note, I’ve given up hope that people will come to their senses and stop using “impact” as a verb. And hearing someone talk about the “attendees” at a meeting is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.)