Do I Ignore What Courts Might Say? What the Other Side Might Say?

In case it’s of interest, below is my response to feedback I received from someone who attended one of my recent international seminars. The first issue discussed is one I also addressed in this recent post. I’m pleased that you found the seminar worthwhile, but of course what particularly caught my eye was your final comment: Appreciate your crusade for … Read More

Notes from the Road: Hamburg

I’ve just left Hamburg after a three-day visit. Some thoughts: I held public seminars on Monday and Tuesday at the offices of ECE Projektmanagement, the shopping-center developer. My host was the exceedingly gracious Joachim Kämpf, of ECE’s legal department. He’s a veteran of one of my 2012 Geneva seminars. Last Sunday, Joachim gave me a walking tour of downtown Hamburg. As … Read More

Kicking the Tires of WestlawNext

Last week I was at West’s headquarters in Eagan, Minnesota, with a dozen or so journalists and bloggers, attending a series of presentations on WestlawNext, the next generation of Westlaw. After some five years of development, it’s being launched today. Others who were in Eagan with me have already offered their thoughts on WestlawNext. I now do so. And I … Read More


Ken Adams’s Drafting Clearer Contracts presentation is a uniquely rigorous overview of issues relating to contract language and layout and is based on his book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. (For information about the book, go here.) Ken has done hundreds of in-person Drafting Clearer Contracts presentations around the world, both public and in-house (for government agencies, companies, and … Read More

Part 1 of the “Drafting Clearer Contracts” Webcast Series Launched

Yesterday saw the first broadcast, in a “live” session, of part 1 of my new webcast series “Drafting Clearer Contracts.” The topic was the front and back of the contract. Because I had prerecorded the webcast, the broadcast was a zero-stress affair. Consistent with the live format, I was on hand afterwards to reply in writing to questions submitted. As … Read More

Notes on a Week in Calgary

I’m at the tail end of a productive week spent in Calgary. Last Thursday I gave a seminar for Petro-Canada and its outside counsel, Fraser Milner Casgrain. On Friday I gave a lunchtime presentation for the Canadian Bar Association Alberta. And today, I gave a seminar for the law department of Enbridge Pipelines. Based on preliminary feedback, those who attended … Read More

Prospects for Change

A couple of recent posts (this one and this one) prompted some gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes by commenters frustrated at the pushback they encounter when they use clear, efficient, and modern contract language. So I thought it might be worthwhile for me to elaborate on something I offered in this comment. Here goes: I’m optimistic about the … Read More

“Shall” Versus “Will” in Business Contracts—An Exchange of Emails

[Updated March 2, 2015: For my most recent take on this subject, see this article.] I’ve previously written in this blog about why I recommend that one use shall in a disciplined manner rather than throw it under a bus. Discussion of this topic features prominently in chapter 2 of MSCD, as well as in my October 2007 NYLJ article. … Read More