Simplifying Governing-Law Provisions, Part 1

Consider these two alternatives:

The laws of the State of Ohio govern …

Ohio law governs …

Any reason not to opt for the second alternative? It’s simpler, in that (1) Ohio acts as an adjective instead of forming part of a prepositional phrase and (2) it dispenses with State of.

How about saying New York law governs? Could anyone plausibly argue that that refers to the laws of the City of New York?

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.