Author Archives: Matt Johnston

Slide Deck for Building Better Contracts

Here is the slide deck from my latest presentation for the Maryland Small Business Development Center on the subject of Building Better Contracts. I tend to look first to the relationship between the contract parties before I start looking at the transaction details.

If you would like to schedule me to come speak to your group about contracts or other small business legal issues, please contact me.

 

20180215 Updated Business Contracts

Audience Analysis for Contract Drafting

Never let anyone tell you that a contract is so different from other written communications that you should not do an audience¬†analysis before drafting the contract. The contract communicates ideas and before communicating ideas you should have a solid understanding of who receives the ideas contained in the document. Be sure to drop by my… Continue Reading

The Proliferation of Non-Disclosure Agreements

The proliferation of crappy non-disclosure agreements is driving me nuts. Aside from the clear lack of trust between humans that has driven the growth of this usually meaningless document, most are a waste of time, energy, and legal fees. The overuse of NDAs has gotten so bad, I channeled my inner Dennis Miller and had… Continue Reading

Writing Contracts Requires Imagination

When your lawyers lack imagination, it could cost you $5.5 million. Cognitive psychologist and author Steven Pinker wrote that writing requires imagination. Writers, according to Pinker, have to imagine interacting with their audience without the benefit of direct feedback, such as verbal response, facial expression, or body language. Even text messages have a level of… Continue Reading