Do you understand what your lawyer just said? No? Can your lawyer explain to you those complicated terms in the contract they just drafted for you? No?
Well, if you can’t understand your lawyer and your lawyer can’t explain to you what they mean, then I think there is a huge problem. Maybe the “lawyer talk” is too complicated and maybe only lawyers are the ones who should understand them. Definitely not: I think we all deserve to understand.
Our firm believes in understanding what you are signing, and if you can’t understand what we have drafted for you, then we need to fix our drafting policies.
Ever heard of K.I.S.S.”? I don’t mean that awesome band from the 70’s (oops, how old am I anyways), but the acronym for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. I remember, especially in college, professors reminding us all the time to K.I.S.S. I find myself muttering it under my breath when I’m drafting and reviewing just to remind myself. In our office, the drafting is done so that everyone can understand what it is that is being said. We strive for plain English in everything that we do. Of course, there are those legal terms that we just can’t get away from, and those standard terms in contracts that must be there, but for the most part, they should be understood.
So if you have to repeatedly ask your lawyer what it is that is meant by something, maybe they need to re-think their drafting practices.
Christine Allan, Law Clerk