Viewing: lawyering

Five Tips for Keeping Track of Contract Versions

It's important not to lose control when you're negotiating a contract. I'm not talking about losing your cool, but staying on top of contract versions. Here's an example from my professional youth: I was negotiating a contract for a large company during my first or second year of practice. There was a lot of back […] Read More

A Couple Tips for Young Lawyers

Ken Adams posted recent email correspondence with a young in-house lawyer who wrote asking for practice tips. Fresh out of law school and assigned to a one-man legal office in a foreign country, he’s about as isolated and self-sufficient as the Curiosity on Mars. Several seasoned commercial attorneys who are regular contributors to the discussions […] Read More

Contracting Triage

Legal triage is an everyday part of business. It’s rarely anything so dramatic as the action you see on TV hospital dramas, but businesses constantly have to decide which legal issues are critical, which are important, and which can be put off for a while — or even ignored altogether. I’ve often advised people to […] Read More

The Reading List: China Law Blog

The China Law Blog is a must read for anyone doing business in China and it's a good read for anyone doing business anywhere. It's going into its seventh year of publication—that's a long time in dog years and an eternity in blog years—yet it's still fresh and interesting. Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson co-author […] Read More

You Discover a Missing Closing Document—Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?

Pop quiz: You work for a title company. During a routine audit of your closed files you discover that a lien release is missing from a deal that closed a few years ago. Without the lien release your customer’s house remains subject to a lien granted by the residential developer who sold the lot to […] Read More

When a Document Says It Isn’t a Contract, It Isn’t a Contract

In his lesser-known recent opinion in which ostriches make an appearance, Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether a memorandum of understanding and a letter of intent formed binding contracts. As you might have guessed from this post’s title—which is a quote from the opinion—the answer was no. (In […] Read More

Document Comparison Is an Essential Part of the Contracting Process

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Groupon has been accused in a lawsuit of altering emails containing agreements with merchants after both sides had accepted the terms. The plaintiff has accused Groupon of intentionally altering contracts after the fact (“Unbeknownst to Plaintiff and the other Class members … Groupon accesses its merchant-clients’ emails containing the Merchant Agreements […] Read More

The Billable Hour Is Bad For Your Soul

The billable hour is bad for your law business. It’s also bad for your career, it’s bad for your clients, and, yes, it’s bad for your soul. From the traditional law firm perspective, billable hours are what they sell. Sure firms advertise the skill and pedigrees of their lawyers, the depth and breadth of their […] Read More

Does Minimizing the Amount of a Contract That Lawyers Write Improve Communication?

How can you increase communication and mutual understanding between contracting parties? In a comment to this post in Tim Cummins’s Commitment Matters blog, Dick Locke of the Global Procurement Group states, “The most important method is to minimize the amount of your contract that lawyers write.” I was stunned when I read that. If it’s […] Read More