Contracts are often complex and difficult to understand for non legal people.Put in other words, the objective and intent of specific clauses in a contract can be achieved by writing in simple language without the need to make it complex.
In this article, Tim Cummins of IACCM present a compelling case for redesigning your contracts.
Why Complex Language and formalistic styles:
The arguments for this approach are mostly based on tradition. This is the form and format that is familiar to lawyers and hence to judges. Therefore our approach to contracting is driven by the belief that the overwhelming purpose of a contract is legal in nature and that ease of interpretation by legal experts is of paramount importance.
Importance of Clarity in Contracts
The importance of clarity and precision cannot be doubted. There are innumerable instances where contract documents lack precision or create ambiguity and doubt, leading to protracted claims, disputes, even litigation. An interesting example came to my attention just this week, in a case where the parties had failed to define the term 'new' (see Reliable Contracting Grp., LLC v. Dep't of Veteran Affairs for details).
Does Critical Documents Needs to be Complex?
To provide a parallel, look at the world of engineering design and drawings. Like contracts, these are critical documents, prepared using traditional methods and formulas and the preserve of experts in their creation. But increasingly, this is not the case. The introduction of methods such as BIM (Building Information Management) is taking engineering and construction into the age of virtual reality, where designs are being programmed and where stakeholders and users can 'walk through' their planned structure. What is especially interesting is that the process of programming demands far greater precision than is ever achieved through traditional methods. A computer program does not allow omissions or inconsistencies.
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