Know These Interpretation Principles Before You Draft a Contract

contract document drafted by attorney with interpretation principles in mindWhen a contract dispute arises, there may be differing interpretations of the contract terms. A court asked to construe the disputed terms will look to statutory principles. But don’t wait for a dispute to learn these principles—be aware of them when drafting an agreement to ensure that they won’t counteract your client’s intent.  Continue reading

How to Write Effectively

When drafting any document—from a contract to a research memo—always remember: Effective documents are written in a way that the reader can easily read and understand. Here are eight techniques to make your writing as clear, and thus as effective, as possible. Continue reading

Oh, What a Difference Plain English Makes!

Any document you draft—from an email to a settlement agreement—should be written in plain, understandable language. But many attorneys still fall into the trap of using stilted, legalistic language, particularly in contracts and other transactional documents. Compare the following purchase agreement recitals and see what a difference plain English makes. Continue reading

This Is How to Count the Days in a Contract

Computing the time for performing an act under a contract may not be as straightforward as it seems—and miscalculating can have dire effects. Learn these rules on counting the days and, better yet, include a provision in the contract on how it’s to be done so that everyone can count on it. Continue reading

3 Keys to Structuring a Contract

Before you draft any of the provisions, you need to consider how you will structure the contract. In a nutshell, think about what to include, how to organize it, and ease of reading. Continue reading

How to Keep Contracts Out of Court (Part 2)

The key to keeping contracts out of the courtroom is drafting them well and making sure that they accurately capture the parties’ intent. In Part 1 of this post, we discussed five common contract drafting mistakes and how to avoid them. Here are five more. Continue reading

How to Keep Contracts Out of Court (Part 1)

The only contracts that see the inside of a courtroom are those that are poorly drafted or don’t accurately capture the parties’ intent. Here are five contract drafting mistakes and how to avoid them. Continue reading

Don’t Get Tripped Up on Contract Cross-References

When drafting a contract, it’s often necessary and useful to use cross-references to another part of the contract or a related document. This cuts down on redundancy and helps with consistency. But imprecise or problematic cross-references can make a mess of things. Here are some tips for handling internal and external cross-references. Continue reading

4 Tips for Defining Contract Terms

thinkstockphotos-616226892When drafting a contract, make sure to give attention to the defined terms portion. Defined terms are important because they allow the use of short-form references for names, terms, and concepts that are frequently repeated in an agreement, thus saving space, improving readability, and assuring consistency. They also encourage the drafter to be precise in stating important concepts and procedures. Use these four tips next time you draft a contract. Continue reading

Which Contract Form Should You Use?

152110530Deciding which form to use for your agreement will depend on several factors, including who the parties are, what they want to accomplish, their level of sophistication, and the amount of time and money they’re realistically willing to invest in the transaction. Here are five types of agreements to consider for your next client. Continue reading