Your divorce took a year and a lot of money to resolve after your case seemed to blow up into a big deal. It finally got under control, and the lawyers worked out a settlement agreement. You read it and understood it, and signed the document. The case was finished. A couple years later, your ex points out that the stock options part of your agreement means you have to pay all of the taxes involved when you exercise the options, and you have to hand over one-half of the value tax free. Not good. You review the agreement, and sure enough a very close reading shows that she was right. A bad situation all around.
Clearly, lawyers (and even divorce lawyers) need to know a lot about good contract drafting. Enter Ken Adams, one of my favorite speakers and authors on contract drafting. Ken is coming back to Chicago for a one-day seminar about writing better contracts. I attended his program last year and found it amazingly helpful as divorce law is a field where good drafting directly benefits clients – usually for years or decades. Most of the lawyers in attendance were business lawyers.
I’ve been trying to spread the word about Ken and his principles for years. Many divorce lawyers simply recycle the same old densely worded and often confusing form documents – we want to do better. We continually revise our agreements to make them as clear and concise as possible while complying with the law. We are presently in the process of a major rewrite of the marital settlement agreement base document we use for many divorce matters. I recommend any lawyer involved in drafting agreements of any kind attend this program and buy Ken’s book. The seminar registration page is here. His book can be purchased on Amazon. His very informative website.