Monday, October 27, 2003

Of Course I Trust You, But I Like to Cut the Cards

By and large, I attempt to provide commentary concerning developments in the law rather than merely link to other sites. However, I will make an exception today because there has been a valuable dialogue between two weblogs, By No Other and Corporate Law Blog concerning provisions that should be contained in contracts that are the product of back and forth drafting by each side. Both weblogs suggest provisions to assure each of the parties to the contract that no changes have been made by the other party(ies) without being highlighted by "redline." The postings are, in chronological order, here, here, and here. By No Other's nuanced discussion of the differences between, and the uses of, representations and warranties is particularly noteworthy.

I have never put a provision in a contract such as those suggested by the authors of the weblogs (D.C. Toedt in the case of By No Other and Mike O'Sullivan in the case of Corporate Law Blog). I suspect that I will now begin to do so. Of course, there is actually a better way to assure against surreptitious contractual provisions--become the scribe of the negotiation. It may cost your client a few bucks more, but by controlling the drafting process you provide fairly strong protection against someone slipping a fast one by you.

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