Friday, February 17, 2006

Drafting: influential opinion that notice does not include prior

One of my readers consulted Bryan Garner, who opined that sometimes notice can or must be given after the event, and that therefore "prior" is not redundant in "prior written notice." Bryan also said he had asked transactional lawyers attending his drafting seminars, and they agreed with him.

Two thoughts:
  1. Garner is the most knowledgeable expert on legal writing in this country; when he says it, it carries tremendous weight. Draft accordingly.

  2. But asking a group of transactional lawyers whether you can cut something from a drafted document is like asking a baseball player whether he'd like to reduce his batting average. Transactional lawyers add to their documents. They never seem to cut.

On this point, see the discussion of "accretive drafting" in Working With Contracts by Charles Fox.

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