Why Bother with Anything Other Than “This Agreement”?

Today I saw a contract that referred to itself throughout as “this CRADA.”

Besides the fact that “CRADA” (standing for “cooperative research and development agreement”) has to be one of the least appealing acronyms, why bother using anything other than “this agreement”? Assuming that the full reference is used in the title and once in the introductory clause, readers don’t have to be reminded at every turn what kind of contract they’re reading. Similarly, nothing is gained by using throughout a contract “this confidentiality agreement” or “this NDA.”

Yes, “CRADA” and “NDA” are shorter than “agreement,” but that economy is more than offset by the alphabet-soup quality of initialisms, not to mention the annoying all-capitals.

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.