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Contract drafting is a vital function at companies and law firms. But traditionally, contract drafting has consisted of recycling contract language of questionable quality and relevance. This seminar will show you that there’s another way—that clearer drafting can save you time and money, help you become more competitive, and reduce the risk of contract disputes.

This seminar is an overview of the building blocks of contract language and common sources of confusion. It’s based on Ken Adams’s book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (ABA 4th ed. 2017). Rather than simply lecturing, Mr. Adams encourages participation through questions, discussion, and a drafting exercise.

This seminar is appropriate for all levels of seniority—senior lawyers and contracts professionals will likely be surprised by much of what Mr. Adams has to say, and those who are more junior will gain a solid grounding in the subject.

For in-depth information on topics that will be covered, click here.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Anyone who is required to draft, review, or negotiate contracts, including lawyers at law firms, lawyers at companies, and contract-management professionals, whether in industry or government.

Because the focus is not on what to say in a contract, but how to say clearly and effectively whatever you want to say, this seminar would be appropriate for all industries.


WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND
  • To improve your and your team’s contract drafting skills through interactive learning
  • To save you and your company time in drafting and negotiating
  • To reduce the risk of potential disputes/lawsuits
  • To learn ways of expressing contract terms free of redundancies, ambiguities and other problems that afflict traditional contract language

TESTIMONIALS FROM KEN ADAMS' CONTRACT DRAFTING SEMINARS


“The exercises that we worked through together were a valuable part of the seminar. Ken is a great speaker—he kept the room engaged and made the seminar interesting. I know that I’ll be implementing most of the drafting suggestions in my day-to-day work as a corporate associate. Thank you for a great seminar. Well done!”

“This was by far one of the most useful professional development programs I have attended in years. I highly recommend it to lawyers of all levels of experience.”

“An excellent presentation. Quite eye opening—it eliminated some of the myths of archaic drafting. That was very helpful.”

“This is the most useful CLE I have ever attended. Ken Adams’s Manual of Style for Contract Drafting will be an essential resource for me now.”
Dates and Locations

This course will be scheduled soon. Please enter your information below to receive a notification when the class is scheduled.

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DAILY SCHEDULE
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Orlando, FL
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
La Jolla Government Contracts Week

Introduction

  • Why traditional contract language doesn’t work
  • “Active drafting” instead of “passive drafting”
  • The characteristics of optimal contract language

The front and back of the contract

  • What to include, what to omit
  • Avoiding the old-fashioned stuff
  • What date to give a contract

Categories of contract language

  • Using verb structures to establish the foundation for your contract
  • Applying a rigorous framework instead of improvising
  • The role of shall
  • Discussion: how to fix some examples

Layout

  • Using an efficient enumeration scheme
  • Making your contracts easier to read

Using defined terms

  • The role of defined terms
  • The two kinds of definition
  • Using defined terms effectively

Ambiguity and vagueness

  • The different ways that contract language can be confusing
  • How ambiguity is different from vagueness
  • The different kinds of ambiguity and how to avoid them

Selected usages

  • How to avoid risk and confusion when using efforts provisions
  • What does indemnify and hold harmless mean?
  • Do you need to say represents and warrants?

Drafting as writing

  • Some general principles of writing that apply to contracts

Drafting exercise

  • Analyzing and revising extracts of a traditional contract
Kenneth A. Adams

Kenneth A. Adams is a consultant, writer, and speaker on contract drafting.

Through his company, Adams Contracts Consulting LLC, Mr. Adams helps companies improve their contracts and their contract process. He gives “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminars internationally, for the public and for companies, law firms, and government agencies. He also acts as an expert in contract disputes.

Mr. Adams writes extensively on contract drafting. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, a groundbreaking guide to the building blocks of contract language. It has been a best-seller for the American Bar Association since it was published 2004; the fourth edition was published in October 2017. He’s also author of The Structure of M&A Contracts (Thomson Reuters 2011). In 2015, the ABA Journal named Mr. Adams’s blog to the hall of fame of the “Blawg 100”—its list of the hundred best law blogs.

Mr. Adams has taught as an adjunct professor at U.S. law schools. And he’s a pioneer in online contract automation.

As part of its “Legal Rebels” project, in 2009 the ABA Journal, the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, named Mr. Adams one of its initial group of 50 leading innovators in the legal profession. And in 2014, the Legal Writing Institute awarded its Golden Pen Award to Mr. Adams, “to recognize his exemplary work in contract drafting.”

A U.S. citizen, Mr. Adams was raised in Africa and Europe; he received his secondary and college education in England. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1989, he practiced as a transactional lawyer with major U.S. law firms in New York and Geneva, Switzerland. He currently resides in Garden City, New York.

For Mr. Adams’s blog and information on his seminars and his writing, go to www.adamsdrafting.com. For information on his consulting, go to www.adamscontracts.com. He can be reached at kadams@adamsdrafting.com

MEET YOUR CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT REQUIREMENTS
SEE INDIVIDUAL COURSES FOR AVAILABLE CREDITS
Certificates of Completion are provided to all seminar participants who attend Federal Publications Seminars courses following the event, upon request.
NCMA: CONTRACT MANAGER CERTIFICATION
All Federal Publications Seminars courses meet the course requirements of the National Contract Management Association’s certification programs. We are a proud Education Partner of the NCMA.
CPE: CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
Federal Publications Seminars is part of West Professional Development, which is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.
CPE HOURS
This Program is eligible for: 6.0 (CPE) hours of credit
Program Level: NA
Program Prerequisite: NA
Advance Preparation: NA
Method: NA
CLP: CONTINUOUS LEARNING POINTS
APPROVED FOR CLP BY
DEFENSE ACQUISITION UNIVERSITY
Defense Acquisition Workforce members must acquire 80 Continuous Learning Points (CLP) every two years from the date of entry into the acquisition workforce for as long as the member remains in an acquisition position per DoD Instruction 5000.66. We will provide you with documentation of points awarded for completing the event.
CLP HOURS
This Program is eligible for: 6.0 (CLP) hours of credit
CLE: CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
States have widely varying regulations regarding MCLE credit. LegalEdcenter is an approved provider in AL, AK, AR, CA, GA, IL, ME, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and WV. Credit may be applied for in other jurisdictions on request and in accordance with state MCLE rules.
** Please note that because some states are changing their policy on CLE reporting, you will need to fill out the request for credit from Federal Publications Seminars within 10 business days, or we may not be able to issue credits for the program.
CLE HOURS
This Program is eligible for: 5.0 (60 minutes),
100
Basic or fundamental subject matter is covered. Courses are geared to general knowledge or can be taken as a refresher.
200
Specific topics or issues within a topic area are covered. Students should be familiar with terms of art and general concepts concerning the course topic.
300
Workshops and class discussions cover specific subject matter in-depth, and participation is strongly encouraged. Attendees should have at least 2-3 years' experience in the area of study.
400
Courses build upon students' knowledge and experience, and cover complex issues within the subject matter. Should have 4-5 years' mastery of subject for in-depth analysis.
500
Masters-level programs designed for professionals with 5+ years' experience. Courses cover in-depth and technical analysis on specific subjects and updates on current issues.
Register Now for:
Drafting Clearer Contracts for Government Contractors
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