Using Paired Sets of Parentheses to Express Alternative Arrangements

If you need to express that two different arrangements apply in different circumstances, it may be that the most convenient way to express those different circumstances is by using paired sets of parentheses.

Here’s an example, which I’ve included in a draft article:

Total Disability” means that due to sickness or accidental bodily injury, (1) the member is unable to perform substantially all of the duties of his occupation (applies only during the first 12 consecutive months of that disability) and (2) the member is able to perform none of the duties of his occupation and is able to perform duties of none of the other occupations for which he is reasonably qualified by education, training, or experience (applies thereafter), with disability being determined by a doctor in each case.

I’m open to improvements.

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.