Avoiding Bad Contract Drafting: Looking at the Big Picture, Including Structure, Language, Definitions, Terms, Consistency, and Boilerplate

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide a refreshing and entertaining approach to contract drafting by exploring what not to do and the reasons not to do it. The program will review the evolution of contract drafting and why strategies that worked in the past may be less suitable now.


Many lawyers draft contracts a certain way because that is what they were taught or what they have seen other lawyers do. However, the advent of the Information Age, combined with important developments in substantive and procedural law, suggest it's time to take a fresh look at how lawyers draft contracts.

This fun webinar explains how we reached a stage where many contracts are longer than necessary, structured in an archaic way, and filled with ambiguities, jargon, massive paragraphs, redundancies, undefined terms, and imprecise boilerplate.

Using real world examples, our expert will discuss 28 different ways to draft a bad contract, explains how to do it better, and the many benefits of changing your approach.

Listen as Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., Attorney at Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., provides practical tips that will help attendees learn how to draft contracts in a way that avoids disputes and maximizes the odds of prevailing if a dispute is unavoidable.



While exploring 28 common drafting mistakes, our expert will discuss:

  1. How we got here  (the old contract drafting model)
  2. What has changed and why our drafting must change
  3. The many problems ambiguity causes and how to avoid ambiguity
  4. Contract structure
  5. Definitions
  6. Representations
  7. Material terms
  8. "Boilerplate" and the reasons for the "boilerplate" provisions some lawyers take for granted
    1. Merger clauses
    2. Dispute resolution
    3. Non-Assignment
    4. Severability
    5. Modification
    6. Governing law
    7. Waiver
    8. Indemnity
    9. Force majeure
    10. And many other common boilerplate provisions
  9. The benefits of Plain English


This webinar will benefit lawyers that draft contracts by providing them with a better understanding of how to prevent disputes and how to put their clients in the best possible position if a dispute is unavoidable.

  • Learn the types of ambiguities and how and why to avoid ambiguity
  • Make contracts easier to understand and reduce the likelihood of disputes
  • Gain practical tips from an experienced litigator on how drafting can prevent litigation and maximize the odds of success if litigation cannot be avoided
  • The materials include many useful sample boilerplate clauses in Plain English
  • A comprehrensive drafting checklist


Cohen, Mark
Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M.


Mr. Cohen has 36 years of experience as a lawyer. His practice focuses on drafting and reviewing legal documents,...  |  Read More

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