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Simplicity is Key

With contracts, agreements, and all legal documents, simplicity is vital. People tend to overcomplicate documents because they believe the more words, the better. I think that some lawyers get paid by the word and pack them into every agreement just to make the client think they are doing their job. But all those extra words cause confusion.

A judge who, on a daily basis, read hundreds of pages of legal briefs, memos, and motions, told me that the key to any persuasive written argument is to get your point across in the fewest number of words. Extra words mean extra time and that extra time can make the judge ‘zone out’ while reading the brief. The same holds for contracts. A contract or agreement should contain just enough language to protect the parties and get the point across about obligations.

Every agreement should provide information about the parties’ intent and obligations. You should clean out language that does not apply and try not to get too specific. Recently, I have read agreements that have specific COVID-19 language. If the timeline is short, then that is fine. However, if the agreement will take place over the years, the specificity of COVID-19 language might be too limiting. Instead, there should be language about epidemics, government orders that affect the business, or shutdowns.

When I draft an agreement or contract, I make sure to convey the parties’ obligations in a streamlined manner. If you have an agreement you want ‘cleaned’ up, feel free to reach out to me, and I would be happy to get you a modernized document.

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