On Demand

Avoiding Bad Contracts: Re-Thinking The Way Lawyers Draft Contracts

1h 30m

Created on October 05, 2020





Much of the litigation arising out of consensual transactions are the result of a poorly drafted document – a "Bad Contract."  This fun program provides a fresh look at contract drafting from the perspective of an experienced litigator and expert on plain English. 

Many contracts today are lengthy and complex, and this increases the likelihood of misunderstandings that can lead to disputes. In this program, seasoned practitioner Mark Cohen will explain how American law reached a stage where many contracts are unnecessarily long, structured archaically, and filled with ambiguities, jargon, massive paragraphs, redundancies, undefined terms, and imprecise boilerplate that is often cut and pasted from other documents without careful analysis. 

Using real-world examples, Mark will show participants dozens of ways to draft a "Bad Contract." This program provides practical tips that help participants learn how to draft contracts in a way that avoids disputes and maximizes the odds of prevailing if a dispute is unavoidable.  

The materials include many useful sample boilerplate clauses in plain English and a comprehensive drafting checklist.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain why so many contracts today are long and complex, and why that increases the likelihood of disputes
  2. Explore the three types of ambiguities and how and to avoid them
  3. Examine why any ambiguity in a contract will increase the cost of litigation and make it more difficult to win summary judgment
  4. Review real-world examples of what not to do when drafting contracts and why not to do it
  5. Help lawyers understand the practical benefits to them and their clients of reducing jargon and using a plain English approach

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