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The Contract Certainty Blog

The Contract Certainty Blog

The Contract Certainty Blog

Microsoft Stacks and Stumbles with OOXML

Guess what? There's a standards war going on. Not quite as scary as the war on terror. But a war that will decide which format we all use for "office" documents, and how much choice we have over the tools used to write those documents. What a novel idea. Choice in the office tools market. You mean there's something other than Word?

Missing Clause Costs Firm $35M

This is all happening because I didn’t write, “I’ll charge you 1.5 percent” – John O’Quinn

What’s the value of a clause? About $35 million if your name is John O’Quinn. His firm failed to include a clause authorizing the deduction of “general expenses” from settlement payouts in a breast implant class action. And this month, an aribtration panel ordered the firm to pay $35.7M in damages to the clients who were overcharged. Expensive mistake.

One Size Doesn't Fit All

According to the latest IACCM newsletter, someone at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Groningen has made an amazing discovery: a 'one size fits all' approach to standard contract terms will often lead to sub-optimal results in key strategic relationships. That's what they found when they had a look at high tech alliances and the contracts used to set them up.

The Problem With Black Box Document Assembly

One of the favorite excuses for not using a document generation system is that users don't trust it. It's too much of a black box. The system makes you answer a bunch of questions. You wait... The system spits out a document. And that's that.

Version 5 is Alive

Exari Version 5 is alive. And boy has technology improved in the 21 years since Short Circuit hit the silver screen…

Do Lawyers Need More Money?

The world’s first law firm IPO happened this month, when Melbourne-based personal injury firm Slater & Gordon listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. And unlike the earlier attempt by Integrated Legal Holdings, this float went off without a hitch. Indeed it went off with a pop. Shares were up 40% on their issue price by the end of the first day, and have gone up considerably since then.

Sexy Documents?

Hard to believe, I know. But the conclusion of Roberta Gelb in a recent Law.com article, Beware the Hidden Costs of Bad Formatting is that document formatting is not sexy. That said, it may save you money. Possibly lots of money, if Roberta's sums are to be believed.

The Power of Groups

As a fresh faced law school graduate, one of my first tasks at the firm I joined was to incorporate a company. From what I recall, the process involved:

  1. Writing people's names and addresses over and over again in a whole bunch of documents (application forms; directors' consents; meeting minutes; share certificates; notices, and numerous other templates) and crossing out sections of documents that weren't applicable.