Re: Contract-Style Capitalization

Subject: Re: Contract-Style Capitalization
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2005 19:57:17 -0500

David Neeley wrote:

Pox on the "writer(s)"! Query the attorney to see if there is a
specific reason for such capitalization. Unfortunately, of course,
many attorneys are atrocious writers...


My last salaried job was for a software startup. The guy who started as our outside counsel eventually came to work for us half-time as in-house counsel and then closed his private practice and came to work for us full time in a different capacity, but he was still the go-to guy for most legal matters.

He and I had a pretty good working relationship, and he ran stuff by me for editing all the time, including boilerplate documents like our standard terms and conditions, stockholder communications, etc. His natural tendency, as an attorney, was to capitalize the way Joe's guy does; but he was happy to let me lowercase all that stuff and reword for clarity. Obviously, because IANAL, he had the final say; so if there was some obscure legal meaning to a phrase and I wasn't supposed to alter it, he'd explain that to me and we'd stet it. But he was the first to admit that all that eighteenth-century capitalization-by-precedent was completely unnecessary.

Nonetheless, the only lawyer whose opinion counts is the one Joe is working with; so don't take my word for it. This is just my experience with one lawyer. YLMV.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Contract-Style Capitalization: From: Joe Malin
Re: Contract-Style Capitalization: From: David Neeley

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