June 29, 2004

Contracts: Are Fewer Physical Pages Better?

From a paper I co-authored for an American Corporate Counsel Association panel discussion:

16. The fewer physical pages a contract has, the more aesthetically acceptable it will be to your management and to the other side. This is true even if you crowd in a lot of text with a small font. (Micro-soft’s contracts are usually done in 9-point Times Roman, a fairly small font.)

Any thoughts? If you had to review a contract, would you rather read 5 or 6 pages of fairly dense type? Or a dozen pages of a more-open layout?

June 29, 2004 in Tips for New In-House Counsel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Series: Pointers for New In-House Counsel
(from an ACCA paper)

I've done a lot of bar-association CLE presentations [continuing legal education] over the years. One of my favorites was at the 2001 annual meeting of the American Corporate Counsel Association (now the Association of Corporate Counsel). My friend Bob Robinson and I did a panel discussion on "Ten Things I'm Glad I Knew -- or Wish I'd Known -- My First Year as General Counsel." Based on audience feedback results, in 2002 we were invited back to reprise the panel as one of the "Best of the 2001 Meeting," which we did with colleague (Ms.) Randy Segal..

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Bob and I prepared a paper to be published as part of the course materials. It actually contained 250 pointers, not just the 10 mentioned in the presentation title. An edited version of the 2001 paper was also published as the lead article in the November-December 2001 issue of the ACCA Docket. (The ACCA Docket is a must-read resource for in-house counsel; it's accessible on-line to ACCA members only.) The 2002 version of the paper grew to more than 300 pointers.

Bob's and my original intent was to post the paper on the Web an open-source document to which other lawyers could contribute over time. Unfortunately we, meaning I, never actually made that happen; mea maxima culpa. To try to remedy that failing, I've just uploaded the 2002 version of the paper here for downloading. It's in a Rich Text Format document, which should be readable by all major word processors. In addition, I'll be periodically posting exceprts from the paper as blog entries; comments are invited.

June 29, 2004 in Tips for New In-House Counsel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack