Copy
October, 2014
Volume 1, Issue 2
 
View this email in your browser
The Fine Print: Musings of

an Information Technology Lawyer

 
 
MANY LAWYERS WRITE CONTRACTS.

I WRITE CONTRACTS IN PLAIN ENGLISH.

I SPECIALIZE IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSACTIONS.

I HAVE OTHER CORPORATE LAW EXPERTISE TOO.
Tweet
Forward
Share
  Chadwick C. Busk
Chad's Background........ 
 
 For 34 years, as in-house counsel, I handled the legal aspects of all IT deals for a major West Michigan retailer.

I write contracts in Plain English, i.e., with no legal jargon.
I'm a 1974 Hope College graduate (magna cum laude) and a 1977 graduate of Notre Dame Law School.
I retired from my in-house position in June, 2014, to focus on advising/documenting IT deals.
I also have expertise advising/documenting other commercial deals.  
PLAIN ENGLISH QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“The criticism is not just that legalese and officialese are often silly and always unnecessary, but that they don't work. They frustrate, irritate, confuse, and defeat readers.”


― Professor Joseph Kimble, Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please (Carolina Academic Press, 2012)

........................................
Follow Me on Twitter
Follow Me on Twitter
I'm on LinkedIn
I'm on LinkedIn
Focus on: IT Statements of Work from the Customer's View
 

For the October issue of this newsletter, we focus on a subject that the parties to an IT transaction involving the vendor's services should carefully consider: the Statement of Work ("SOW"). To highlight SOWs from an IT customer's view, I prepared the PowerPoint presentation available here.

And because of Microsoft's new MIX technology, I narrated the presentation! To activate my narration, be sure to click on the speaker icon at the top right of each slide. 

The deck includes a discussion of the following:
  • What is a SOW to an IT contract?
  • Why is it important?
  • Typical elements of a SOW
  • Customer issues in negotiating a SOW
  • If you have questions about the presentation
If you are wondering why I decided to focus on SOWs from a customer's (and not a vendor's) perspective, it's because most vendors already know how to draft a SOW that favors them, but most IT customers lack insight into what vendor-drafted SOW provisions may come back to haunt them. 

 


PRACTICE TIP!
In drafting SOWs,  it's vital for the IT customer to work closely with its lawyer. I've seen IT projects run into problems where the customer's lawyer did not review a SOW drafted by a business person. Effective SOWs are the product of continued collaboration between the customer's business and legal folks. And don't rely on SOWs drafted by vendors - IT customers should never sign a vendor's form document without consulting a qualified lawyer! 


 

RANT OF THE DAY:

On Contracts Written in Two Columns:

Many IT vendors love to write their form contracts in two columns. This is a red flag for customers for several reasons: 
  • The usual font used is 8 points - or lower! It's difficult to comprehend a contract written in a tiny font. 
  • The margins are usually a lot smaller than normal. Again, this impairs the document's readability. 
  • The primary reason to write a contract in two columns is to discourage the other side from negotiating it.  
  • IT customers should never sign a vendor document written in two columns. Insist that the document be reformatted in one-column with at least a 11-point font and .8" margins all around. 

Please visit my website for more articles and more about my areas of expertise. 

Let me know if there are any legal topics related to commercial or IT contracts that you would like me to discuss in future newsletters. 

 

And please consider sharing this newsletter with your colleagues! 

DISCLAIMER AND CONTACT INFORMATION:

Copyright © 2014 BUSKLAW PLC. All rights reserved.


Nothing in this newsletter can be construed to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with the reader. If you would like to find out more about me or my services, please email me or call me at 616-951-3947. 


My email address is: 
busklaw@charter.net

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences