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Contractual Pitfalls of Ancillary Documents, Attachments, and Exhibits: Resolving Inconsistencies

Drafting Cross Reference and Incorporation by Reference Provisions: Definitions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE 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 Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide practical guidance to counsel on the legal pitfalls of contract supplements, such as attachments, exhibits, cross references, and incorporation by reference. The panel will provide examples of how to draft enforceable provisions and discuss cases addressing these issues.


In commercial contracts, it is commonplace for parties to assume that unless the agreement explicitly provides for incorporation, schedules, exhibits, and other ancillary attached documents, they do not constitute part of that contract. Incorporation by reference provisions are often poorly drafted and result in extrinsic materials being incorporated into the agreement and given equal weight with provisions directly contained in the contract.

Further, in increasingly digital and electronic transactions, more companies are providing their standard terms and conditions of sale or purchase online for review by suppliers and customers. While incorporating online terms by reference can create consistency of terms across contracts and purchase orders--and provide counterparties with easy access to such terms--this practice raises issues of enforceability, especially where online terms are modified with little or no notice to the counterparty.

In Affinity Internet Inc. v. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Inc. (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006), the court noted that the doctrine of incorporation "requires that there must be some expression in the incorporating document ... of an intention to be bound by the collateral document ... [and a] mere reference to another document is not sufficient to incorporate that other document into a contract, particularly where the incorporation document makes no specific reference that it is 'subject to' the collateral document."

Listen as our authoritative panel of transactional practitioners guides counsel on the legal pitfalls of contract supplements--including attachments, exhibits, cross-references, and incorporations by reference--and provides examples of how to draft enforceable provisions to avoid contracting traps.



  1. Overview
  2. Attachments
  3. Exhibits
  4. Cross references
  5. Incorporations by reference


The panel will review these and other noteworthy issues:

  • What are the best practices for incorporating ancillary documents, attachments, schedules, and exhibits?
  • How have courts interpreted these provisions?
  • What strategies should attorneys consider when drafting these clauses?
  • Which types of provisions present the most significant challenges for businesses and their counsel?
  • What pitfalls should attorneys watch out for when using various ancillary documents?
  • How can incorporation by reference provisions result in unintended consequences?
  • What special rules govern online terms and conditions?


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

Everett-Garcia, Jessica
Jessica L. Everett-Garcia

Perkins Coie

Ms. Everett-Garcia has 20 years of experience representing a wide variety of clients in business litigation matters,...  |  Read More

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