A few books on contract drafting have been published in the last couple of years:
- Butt, Peter & Castle, Richard, Modern Legal Drafting: A Guide to Using Clearer Language (2d ed. 2006).
- Darmstadter, Howard, Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof (2d ed. 2008).
- Haggard, Thomas R., and Kuney, George W., Legal Drafting in a Nutshell (3d ed. 2007).
- Kuney, George W., The Elements of Contract Drafting: With Questions and Clauses for Consideration (2006) (intended for students).
- Stark, Tina L., Drafting Contracts: How and Why Lawyers Do What They Do (2007) (intended for students).
A confession: I’m not a great reader of books on contract drafting. Other authors have a different analytical approach, and I’m too lazy to figure out how my scheme relates to theirs. As of yet, I’ve only skimmed these books.
An observation: In a review of a book on drafting published a few years ago, the reviewer said that it was an excellent book that anyone who drafts or interprets contracts should keep at hand. I’m sure that at least some reviewers will say the same about at least some of the above books. So I see the bookshelf of the contract drafter starting to groan under the accumulating weight of worthy offerings. But the busy practitioner’s life is made easier if he or she can consult just one book for authoritative guidance on a given subject. When it comes to the language and structure of contracts, consulting a number of different works on a given subject is just going to eat up time and perpetuate the notion that contract drafting is best considered a craft rather than a commodity. So practitioners should aspire to having only one basic guide to contract drafting on their bookshelf. The marketplace will decide whether any book fits the bill.