The Drafter’s Fear of the Missing Provision: Malaysia Airlines’ Insurance Coverage

Although the way I’ve chosen to earn my living has its challenges (like any other), there’s one aspect of law-firm life that I don’t miss: the sense of panic that would come over me on realizing that I might have left something out of a draft contract or made some other drafting mistake. It could strike at any time, and the fight-or-flight hormones would immediately take over. …

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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.

3 thoughts on “The Drafter’s Fear of the Missing Provision: Malaysia Airlines’ Insurance Coverage”

  1. I haven’t come across any external lawyer who admits to drafting insurance contracts. They seem to be more of a self-perpetuating mystery than most types of contracts. It wouldn’t surprise me if no lawyer was involved in writing the contract.

  2. It does bear mentioning that while automation can help one to avoid the error on any one particular job, it is only as good as the automation that underlies it. If the automation itself has the error (and programmers know that “if” is never the right word to use for whether there’s a bug in a program – where, when found, and how bad the damage is before it can be debugged are the correct issues), then the mistake is compounded via every document that gets through that triggers the bug before the bug is found. Which goes back to the basic notion that at the end of the day, we’re each responsible for our work, and can’t blame the machine (or our employees we delegate to do the work) for failures that occur on our watch. We need to at a minimum do some degree of proofing and thinking before the work goes out (bearing in mind the other difference between programming and contract drafting – the only debugger I’m aware of is a court of law where your work is being torn apart by an opposing counsel). Being kept up at night is apparently the price we pay for the price we’re paid to do our jobs.


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