You get an agreement from a new vendor. You start to read it and your eyes glaze over. “In the event that….provided, however,…..including but not limited to…… For the avoidance of doubt……….” And on and on it goes. What gobbledygook.
Of course this stuff is hard to read! So is quantum physics, but that’s because quantum physics is, in fact, hard, no matter how well you write it (even for quantum physicists). Contracts, however, should be easy to read – clear declarative sentences organized into paragraphs arranged in a logical order.
Contracts are like computer programs. They set some initial conditions (names of parties, date, etc.). Then they list a series of basic directions and “if…then” statements which, if properly thought through, should cover most any eventuality governed by the agreement. That’s what computer code does.
You can run computer code on a computer processor and you will know pretty quickly if the code runs smoothly or if it hangs. The problem with contract language is that for now, there is no contract processor to run the code, except the gray matter of the reader, who may be a judge, another attorney, or just a contract party...
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