Oh, What a Difference Plain English Makes!

Any document you draft—from an email to a settlement agreement—should be written in plain, understandable language. But many attorneys still fall into the trap of using stilted, legalistic language, particularly in contracts and other transactional documents. Compare the following purchase agreement recitals and see what a difference plain English makes. In setting out the parties before the recitals, agreements often use a wordy boilerplate like this: This PURCHASE AGREEMENT (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) made as of this first day of January, 2018, is by and between XYZ CORPORATION, a corporation formed and existing under the laws of the State of California and having its principal office at 123 Middle Street, Center City, California, as seller (hereinafter referred to as “Seller”), and ABC INCORPORATED, a corporation formed and existing under the laws of the State of California and having its principal office at 789 Lower…

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