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

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will provide a refreshing and entertaining approach to contract drafting by exploring what not to do and why not to do it. In addition, 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 have seen other lawyers do. However, the advent of the Information Age, combined with significant substantive and procedural law developments, suggests it's time to take a fresh look at how lawyers draft contracts.

This engaging webinar explains how we have 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 ways to draft a lousy contract, explain 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 to help attendees learn how to draft contracts to avoid disputes and maximize the odds of prevailing if a conflict is unavoidable. This webinar will benefit lawyers who draft contracts by giving them a better understanding of preventing disputes and putting their clients in the best possible position if a conflict is unavoidable.



  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 standard boilerplate provisions
  9. The benefits of plain English


This webinar will review these and other critical matters:

  • 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 functional sample boilerplate clauses in plain English
  • A comprehensive drafting checklist


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

Cohens Law

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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