Adams Contacts Consulting LLC

Adams Contracts Consulting LLC helps companies around the world develop clear and effective template contracts. We also help companies automate their templates, so you create contracts by answering an annotated online questionnaire. As a result, companies save time and money and reduce their risk. The foundation of our work is the expertise developed by our president, Ken Adams, who is acknowledged internationally as the leading authority on contract language.

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The other day, while researching contract provisions that refer to reliance, I saw the following in a provision waiving jury trial (excuse the all caps; bold added): EACH PARTY HERETO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT HAS BEEN INFORMED BY THE OTHER PARTIES HERETO THAT THIS SECTION 8(C) CONSTITUTES A MATERIAL INDUCEMENT UPON WHICH THEY ARE RELYING AND WILL RELY IN ENTERING INTO THIS AGREEMENT. Leaving aside other shortcomings, I wondered about the references to reliance and material…
Thanks to longtime undercover blog informant Steven H. Sholk (drat, I’ve blown his cover!), I’m pleased to bring to you today a recent opinion of the Connecticut federal district court, Tyll v. Stanley Black & Decker Life Insurance Program. It’s discussed in this blog post by the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, but go here for a PDF of the opinion. The fight was over the benefits to which a widow was entitled under…
My seminar trips aren’t like vacation. They’re not for sightseeing—if I’m not careful, a trip can consist of various forms of transportation, time in a hotel, time in a meeting room, various forms of transportation taking me home, and not a whole lot else. And usually I don’t linger—I’m not big on solo tourism, and my wife Joanne has a day job, so usually she isn’t able to drop everything and join me. On the…
As I noted in this 2017 post, there’s something compelling about disputes over a comma. A tip from reader Martin Clausen alerted me to another dispute featuring a comma. It’s described in this National Post article about a recent case before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Austin v. Bell Canada (PDF here). It involves a dispute over the rate at which, under Bell Canada’s pension plan, pension payments to Bell Canada retirees…
Recently I devoted this post to John F. Coyle’s article on governing-law provisions. I’ve now gotten my hands on his recent article Interpreting Forum Selection Clauses (here). (I call them “jurisdiction provisions.” More on that later.) In John’s words, jurisdiction provisions are “contractual provisions in which the parties agree to litigate their disputes in a specified forum.” Here’s an example: If either party brings against the other party any proceeding arising out of…
It’s time for me to remind you all of a modest but essential element in my legaltech toolbox—the Numbering Assistant, a Word add-in by PayneGroup. Why is the Numbering Assistant important to me? Because it allows me, a Word styles doofus, to quickly and easily apply to a contract either the MSCD hanging-indent scheme or the MSCD first-line-indent scheme, each offered in “Articles” and “Sections” versions. A simple way for an organization…
This recent post was about John Coyle’s great article on governing-law provisions. But I didn’t mention in that post the part of the article that endorses the notion that courts should interpret contract provisions consistent with what a majority of lawyers think they mean. Here’s how the article summarizes that notion (footnotes omitted): The Article’s second contribution to the literature is to determine whether these canons produce results that are broadly consistent with the expectations…
I’m doing what I can to advance the cause, but we’re all fortunate to have Glenn West plugging away, posting his analyses at such a rate that I have a hard time keeping up. For his collected oeuvre, go here. Today’s post is inspired by something from his archives, this 2016 post about whether a provision in which nonparties are said to release a party from all claims is in fact enforceable against those…
In 2015 I did these three posts about governing-law provisions. Well, it’s time to look at the subject again, thanks to a law-review article by John F. Coyle of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The article is entitled The Canons of Construction for Choice-of-Law Clauses; go here for a PDF. Professor Coyle is to be congratulated for writing that most rare thing, a useful law-review article about contract boilerplate. But many of you…
I love it when I write about something that doesn’t make sense, and caselaw comes along to show that not only does it not make sense, it can also lead to a messy, expensive fight. Today’s topic is the practice of having lawyers sign settlement agreements under the notation APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT. I wrote about it in this 2008 post, and here’s what MSCD 5.70 says: An unusual aspect of settlement…