The opinion in Johnson & Johnson v. Guidant Corp. (the case I discuss in my post “‘Willful’—It’s Ambiguous”) contains the following statement:
The relevant language in the no-solicitation clause defines the term “Representatives,” with some circularity, as “any investment banker, financial advisor, attorney, accountant or other advisor, agent or representative.”
This reflects a common misconception. In fact, there’s nothing circular about including the word “representative” in the definition of “Representatives.” This is what MSCD 6.4 has to say on the subject:
It has been suggested that you should not use in a definition the term being defined. It is true that you should not use in a lexical definition the term being defined—it would be unhelpful for a dictionary definition of chair to include the word chair. In contracts, however, repeating the defined term in the definition is commonplace and permits the drafter to replace a cumbersome phrase with something more succinct, often a truncated version of that phrase. An example: “Trademark” means a registered trademark or service mark or any trademark or service mark that is the subject of any application, registration, or renewal.