Why I Won’t Be Writing a Book on Boilerplate

Today’s post on boilerplate reminded me that recently a publisher asked me whether I’d be interested in writing a book on contract boilerplate. I said I would not.

For one thing, I have no room in my life for preparing anything on the scale of Tina Stark’s Negotiating and Drafting Contract Boilerplate.

But more to the point, the vast majority of drafters aren’t interested in delving into nuances of caselaw. Instead, they want boilerplate language for their contracts. The best way to provide that would be by means of a document-assembly template. A comprehensive questionnaire would allow extensive customization. And annotations would explain the choices without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail.

As I noted in this 2011 post, you can use Koncision’s confidentiality-agreement template to create much state-of-the-art boilerplate. Whether I get around to doing a comprehensive boilerplate template depends on whether there’s any prospect of getting people to pay for it. That’s a puzzle that I’ll return to once the third edition of MSCD has been put to bed.

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.

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