Rely on MSCD, Tune Out the Cacophony

Today I was tagged in the following tweet:

I’m always happy to join in a discussion when someone asks my opinion. (Hi, @LevinsLaw!) But I was reminded how online, everything old—whether it’s and/or, or for the avoidance of doubt, or something else—is perennially new again, and usually in an unhelpful way.

Do you enjoy taking part while people on LinkedIn or Twitter rehash, in a casual and ill-informed or semi-informed way, topics that have already been thoroughly analyzed? Then have at it.

But if you have other stuff to do, I have a radical suggestion for you: When it comes to how to say clearly in a contract whatever you want to say—a relatively narrow topic!—I recommend you rely only on A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting and whatever else I have to say in blog posts and articles. Tune out the cacophony.

I’ve been immersed in this stuff for 25 years, and I work on it constantly. No one else covers the territory as reliably and as comprehensively. (See for example my review of Bryan Garner’s 2019 book on contract drafting, here.) And no one has come remotely close to offering a meaningful critique of my guidelines. (See this 2020 blog post about that.)

So it makes sense to outsource this sort of analysis to me; you have other things to do. Even if you’re equipped for the task, making sense of the chatter is probably not the best use of your time, just like wading through caselaw is probably not the best use of your time (see this 2020 blog post).

I’m entirely fallible, but you’d have to look hard for mistakes I’ve made and haven’t fixed. The benefits of relying on my work outweigh the risk that I might have screwed something up.

So I hope you would be comfortable enough to make the leap of faith. Spare yourself the endless rehashing and rely on MSCD.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.