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    FIFTY TIPS FOR WRITING THE 21ST CENTURY CONTRACT T
    二十一世紀寫好合同的五十招
    作者:James.Martin
    譯者:胡清平
    Welcome to the 21st Century. Where practicing law requires us to don the garb of computers and the Internet. And where litigation is as costly as ever. Lawyer bills running $10,000 a month are not unusual in a hotly contested breach of contract lawsuit. With every word, phrase and sentence carrying the potential for winning or losing, the stakes are high. Simple logic, therefore, directs us to cautious and thoughtful drafting.

    Drafting contracts is actually one of the simple pleasures of practicing law. Just 3 years ago at this Convention I presented 50 tips for contract writing. This article updates those tips in the context of our new tools and abilities. Following these tips could result in your writing a contract so clear no one will want to litigate it, saving your client from the trials and tribulations of litigation, truly a good reason to write the contract that stays out of court.

    These tips apply to writing all kinds of agreements: office leases, real estate contracts, sales agreements, employment contracts, equipment leases, prenuptial agreements. They even apply to stipulations and settlements in litigation, where you want an agreement so clear that it avoids future litigation. Wherever clarity and simplicity are important, these tips will guide you there. The Appendix provides a few sample forms to illustrate these tips.

    Before You Write the First Word

    1. Ask your client to list the deal points. This can be in the form of a list, outline or narration. Doing this will help the client focus on the terms of the agreement.

    2. Engage your client in "what if" scenarios. A good contract will anticipate many possible factual situations and express the parties' understanding in case those facts arise. Talking to your client about this will generate many issues you may not otherwise consider.

    3. Ask your client for a similar contract. Frequently, clients have had similar transactions in the past or they have access to contracts for similar transactions.

    4. Search your office computer or the Internet for a similar form. Many times you can find a similar form on your computer. It may be one you prepared for another client or one you negotiated with another lawyer. Just remember to find and replace the old client's name. Starting with an existing form saves time and avoids the errors of typing.

    5. Obtain forms in books or CD-ROM. Typical forms of contracts can be found in form books, such as West's Legal Forms (a nationwide set) and Florida Jur Forms, as well as in treatises and Florida Bar CLE publications. These can be used as the starting point for drafting the contract or as checklists of typical provisions and wording to include in the contract. Many treatises and form books now come with forms on disk or CD-ROM.

    6. Don't let your client sign a letter of intent without this wording. Sometimes clients are anxious to sign something to show good faith before the contract is prepared. A properly worded letter of intent is useful at such times. Just be sure that the letter of intent clearly states that it is not a contract, but that it is merely an outline of possible terms for discussion purposes. See Appendix C.

    Writing that First Word

    7. Start with a simple, generic contract form. The form in Appendix A is such a form. It provides a solid starting point for the structure of the contract. Like a house, a contract must have a good, solid foundation.

    8. State the correct legal names of the parties in the first paragraph. As obvious as this is, it is one of the most common problems in contracts. For individuals, include full first and last name, and middle initials if available, and other identifying information, if appropriate, such as Jr., M.D., etc. For corporations, check with the Secretary of State where incorporated.

    9. Identify the parties by nicknames. Giving each party a nickname in the first paragraph will make the contract easier to read. For example, James W. Martin would be nicknamed "Martin."

    10. Be careful when using legal terms for nicknames. Do not use "Contractor" as a nickname unless that party is legally a contractor. Do not use "Agent" unless you intend for that party to be an agent, and if you do, then you better specify the scope of authority and other agency issues to avoid future disagreements.

    11. Include a blank for the date in the first paragraph. Putting the date in the first paragraph makes it easy to find after the contract is signed. It also makes it easy to describe the contract in other documents in a precise way, such as the "December 20, 2000, Contract for Sale of Real Estate."

    12. Include to provide background. Recitals are the "whereas" clauses that precede the body of a contract. They provide a simple way to bring the contract's reader (party, judge or jury) up to speed on what the contract is about, who the parties are, why they are signing a contract, etc. The first paragraph in the body of the contract can incorporate the recitals by reference and state that they are true and correct. This will avoid a later argument as to whether or not the recitals are a legally binding part of the contract.

    13. Outline the contract by writing out and underlining paragraph headings in their logical order. The paragraphs should flow in logical, organized fashion. It is not necessary to write them all at once; you can write them as you think of them. Try to group related concepts in the same paragraphs or in adjacent paragraphs. For example, write an employment contract's initial paragraph headings like this:
    Recitals.
    Employment.
    Duties.
    Term.
    Compensation.

    14. Complete each paragraph by writing the contract terms that apply to that paragraph. This is simple. You learned this in elementary school. Just explain in words what the parties agree to do or not do paragraph by paragraph.

    15. Keep a pad at hand to remember clauses to add. It is normal to think of additional clauses, wording and issues while writing a contract. Jot these down on a pad as you write; they are easily forgotten. Also keep your client's outline and other forms in front of you as you write, and check off items as you write them.

    16. Repeat yourself only when repetition is necessary to improve clarity. Ambiguity is created by saying the same thing more than once; it is almost impossible to say it twice without creating ambiguity. Only if the concept is a difficult one should you write it in more than one way. In addition, if you use an example to clarify a difficult concept or formula, be sure that all possible meanings are considered and that the example is accurate and consistent with the concept as worded.

    What to Watch Out for When Writing

    17. Title it "Contract." Do not leave this one to chance. If your client wants a contract, call it a contract. A judge now sitting on the federal bench once ruled that a document entitled "Proposal" was not a contract even though signed by both parties. The lesson learned is, "Say what you mean." If you intend the document to be a legally binding contract, use the word "Contract" in the title.

    18. Write in short sentences. Short sentences are easier to understand than long ones.

    19. Write in active tense, rather than passive. Active tense sentences are shorter and use words more efficiently, and their meaning is more apparent. Example of active: "Sellers shall sell the Property to Buyer." Example of passive: "The Property shall be sold to Buyer by Seller."

    20. Don't use the word "biweekly." It has two meanings: twice a week and every other week. The same applies to "bimonthly." Instead, write "every other week" or "twice a week."

    21. Don't say things like "active termites and organisms". Avoid ambiguity by writing either "active termites and active organisms" or "organisms and active termites." When adding a modifier like "active" before a compound of nouns like "termites and organisms", be sure to clarify whether you intend the modifier to apply to both nouns or just the first one. If you intend it to apply to both, use parallel construction and write the modifier in front of each noun. If you intend it to apply to just one noun, place that one noun at the end of the list and the modifier directly in front of it.

    22. Don't say "Lessor" and "Lessee." These are bad nicknames for a lease because they are easily reversed or mistyped. Use "Landlord" and "Tenant" instead. The same applies to lienor and lienee, mortgagor and mortgagee, grantor and grantee, licensor and licensee, party A and party B. This is where you can use your creativity to come up with a different nickname for a party, as long as you use it consistently throughout the contract.

    23. Watch out when using "herein." Does "wherever used herein" mean anywhere in the contract or anywhere in the paragraph? Clarify this ambiguity if it matters.

    24. Write numbers as both words and numerals: ten (10). This will reduce the chance for errors.

    25. When you write "including" consider adding "but not limited to." Unless you intend the list to be all-inclusive, you had better clarify your intent that it is merely an example.

    26. Don't rely on the rules of grammar. The rules of grammar that you learned in school are not universal. The judge or jury interpreting the meaning of your contract may have learned different rules. Write the contract so that no matter what rules they learned, the contract is clear and unambiguous. Follow this test for clear writing: Remove all periods and commas, then read it. Choosing the right words and placing them in the right place makes the writing clear without punctuation.

    27. Don't be creative with words. Contract writing is not creative writing and is not meant to provoke reflective thoughts or controversies about nuances of meaning. Contract writing is clear, direct and precise. Therefore, use common words and common meanings. Write for the common man and the common woman.

    28. Be consistent in using words. If you refer to the subject matter of a sales contract as "goods" use that term throughout the contract; do not alternately call them "goods" and "items." Maintaining consistency is more important than avoiding repetition. Don't worry about putting the reader to sleep; worry about the opposing lawyer a year from now hunting for ambiguities to get your contract into court.

    29. Be consistent in grammar and punctuation. The rules of grammar and punctuation you learned may differ from others, but you had better be consistent in your use of them. Be aware of such things as where you put ending quote marks, whether you place commas after years and states, and similar variations in style.

    30. Consider including choice of law, venue selection, and attorneys fee clauses. If your contract gets litigated, you might as well give your client some "ammunition" for the fight. Examples of these clauses appear in Appendices A and C.

    Write for the Judge and Jury

    31. Assume the reader is a knowledgeable layman. If your writing is so clear that a layman could understand it, then it is less likely it will end up in court.

    32. Define a word by capitalizing it and putting it in quotes. Capitalizing a word indicates that you intend it to have a special meaning. The following are two sample clauses for defining terms:
    Wherever used in this contract, the word "Goods" shall mean the goods that Buyer has agreed to purchase from Seller under this contract.Buyer hereby agrees to purchase from Seller ten (10) frying pans, hereinafter called the "Goods."

    33. Define words when first used. Instead of writing a section of definitions at the beginning or end of a contract, consider defining terms and concepts as they first appear in the contract. This will make it easier for the reader to follow.

    34. Explain technical terms and concepts. Remember that the parties might understand technical jargon, but the judge and jury who interpret and apply the contract do not. Therefore, explain the contract's terms and concepts within the contract itself. Let the contract speak for itself from within its four corners.

    Keep Your Client Informed While You Write

    35. All contracts should come with a cover letter. This gives you a place to instruct your client on how to use and sign the contract.

    36. Tell your client the ideas that come as you write. Many ideas will occur to you as you write: things that could go wrong with the deal, things that might happen in the future, things that happened in the past, ways to structure things better. Write these in your letter to the client.

    37. Inform your client of the risks. Writing a letter to the client as you write the contract is the perfect way to inform the client of the risks and rewards of entering into the contract. Frequently, problems do not become apparent until time is spent trying to word a contract.

    What To Do After the First Draft Is Written

    38. Check spelling, paragraph numbering, and cross references both manually and with your word processor's spelling and grammar checker. This almost goes without saying today, especially since Microsoft Word now checks your spelling and grammar as you type. (Unfortunately it also changes "per stirpes" to "per stupid" if you fail to watch it closely.) And now there are even computer programs that check contract documents for undefined terms. DealProof is packaged with Corel WordPerfect for law offices, and DocProofReader is available for download for MS Word 97 and 2000.

    39. Let your secretary or paralegal read it. Not only will your staff frequently find spelling and grammar errors missed by your word processor's spell checker, but they will find inconsistencies and confusing areas that you missed when drafting.

    40. Stamp "Draft #1 6/22/2000" on it. This may be the first of many drafts, so avoid confusion early by numbering and dating all drafts at the top of the first page. It is also a good idea to write "DRAFT" across the face of each page to preclude the possibility of an impatient client signing a draft rather than waiting for the final version.

    41. Let your client read it. Letting the client in on reading the first draft assures that your drafting will stay in tune with the client's wishes.

    42. Save the drafts as multiple files on your computer. If you save the first draft on your computer as two files, you will have one file identified as the first draft and the other identified as the current version. This can be done by naming the current version "contract" and the first draft as "contract.d1." Then, subsequent versions can be named "contract.d2", "contract.d3," etc., where the "d" in the extension indicates draft. (Of course, if you're not using WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, as I do, you can use long file names to show the contract name, draft number and draft date, such as "Contract Smith Jones draft 2 datd 6 22 2000.")

    43. Compare the current version to prior versions. If you save draft versions, it is very easy to compare one version to another using the word processor's compare feature or using the CompareRite computer program. When you compare "contract.d1" to "contract.d2", save the comparison as "contract.c21" and print it to show the client what changes were made.

    How to Print and Sign the Final Draft

    44. Print the contract on 24 pound bond paper instead of 20 pound copier paper. Using a heavy bond paper will make it easy to tell the original contract from copies. It will also last longer.

    45. Print on pages using the same paper, and if pages are changed, reprint the document using the same paper. This will avoid an argument that pages were substituted after the contract was signed.

    46. Sign the contract in blue ink, not black ink. This, too, will make it easier to differentiate the signed original contract from photocopies.

    47. Initial every page of the contract. Having each party initial each page of the contract will make it less likely that anyone could claim a page was changed after the contract was signed.

    48. Identify the parties and witnesses who sign by providing blank lines below their signature lines for their printed names and addresses. This will make it easier to find the witnesses if the contract is contested. And remember to include two witnesses for commercial leases.

    49. Be sure that corporate officers include their titles, the corporation name and the word "as." Failure to do this can result in personal liability of the officer. The proper way to sign in a representative capacity is as follows:
    ABC Corporation, a Florida corporation
    By:____________________________________
    John Jones, as its President

    50. Add a notary clause that complies with the notary law. The notary acknowledgement in Appendix B is such a clause.

    Concluding Advice

    If these 50 tips don't keep your contracts out of court, try mastering Strunk & White's Elements of Style*. I hear it's real handy in appellate work.
    新世紀的到來,要求我們在法律實踐中應該多用電腦和互聯網,不過,訴訟成本還是那么地高,面對日益競爭激烈的違約訴訟,律師每月開出1萬美元的賬單也是常有的事。合同中的每一個字,每一個詞,每一句話,都意味著潛在的輸或贏,換句話說,押在這上面下的賭注也很大,所以,在起草合同時要把握兩條原則:小心謹慎和深思熟慮。

    然而,起草合同的確又是法律實踐中一件有意思的事兒。大約三年前,也是在這樣一個會議上,我提出了合同起草的50招。本文在那些招數的基礎上,結合一些新的工具和技能,推出了下面這個新版本,但愿它們能幫助你起草無可挑剔的合同,讓你的客戶免受訴訟的困擾。

    這些招數適用于各種合同,比如,辦公租賃合同、不動產合同、買賣合同、勞動合同、設備租賃合同、婚前協議。同樣,如果你不想讓你在訴訟中所起草的和解條款與協議再起爭議的話,也可以參考一下這些招數。另外,通過了解這些招數,你就會明白,起草合同,清晰、簡明是多么地重要。本文的附錄提供了一些簡單的法律文書范本-----這將有助于你理解這些招數。

    第一部分:在動筆之前

    1.要求你的客戶列出合同交易的要點,也可以說是合同的清單、目錄或概述。這一招首先幫助你的客戶弄清合同的重點所在。

    2.讓你的客戶提供一些假設可能發生的情況。好的合同不僅能夠預見到許多可能發生的情況,而且還能清楚地描述出發生這些情況后合同雙方的立場。和客戶聊這些情況將有助于你發現一些你可能沒有考慮到的問題。

    3.請求你的客戶提供類似的合同。通常情況下,客戶都保留著過去的交易記錄或者是類似合同。

    4.在辦公室的電腦中或是在因特網上搜索類似的合同范本。通常你會在你的電腦上找到你想要的東西,這些類似的合同范本要么是你給其他客戶準備的,要么是你和其他的律師共同協商起草的。使用這些舊合同可以為你節省時間和避免打印錯誤,不過,用這些合同范本時別忘了替換掉老客戶的名字。

    5.從書中或者是光盤上獲取合同范本。典型的合同范本在一些范例書中都可能找到:比如,西方法律文書(全國版)佛羅里達州文書期刊,另外,在有些論文和佛羅里達州律師協會的法律繼續教育出版物中也可以找到一些。起草合同時,你可以把這些范本當做原始資料,利用其中某些典型的條款和措詞。更為方便的是,許多論文和書中的合同范本都有電子文本儲存在磁盤或光盤中。

    6.如果沒有特別申明,不要讓你的客戶在意向書上簽字。有時候,在合同未準備好之前,客戶為了表示誠意,往往急于簽署某些東西,當然,在這種情況下,如果客戶急于簽署的是有特別申明的意向書,這也是可以的,但一定要注明:本意向書并非合同,只是雙方為了更好地溝通協商,而擬定的對未來條款的概述。類似意向書的范例見附錄C。

    第二部分:開始起草合同

    7.從簡單、典型的合同入手。附錄A就是一個簡單、典型的合同,它提供了一個合同的基本支架。像房子一樣,一個合同必須有一個牢固的根基。

    8.在合同的第一段要寫清楚雙方的名稱。,這是個簡單而又不得不引起重視的問題。如果是個人,要寫清姓和名,中間有大寫字母和其他身份信息的,也要注明,例如:jr.,M.D,等等;如果是公司,為避免弄錯,寫名稱時可以到公司注冊地的相應機構去核對一下。

    9.確定合同雙方的別稱(簡稱)。為便于閱讀,一般要在合同的第一段為雙方弄一個別稱,如:將詹姆士.馬丁簡寫為"馬丁"。

    10.使用法定術語作為雙方當事人的別稱時,要小心。除非一方當事人在法定上就是承包人,否則不要將"承包人"作為其別稱。同樣,除非你想讓一方當事人成為法定上的代理人,否則不要稱其為"代理人",如果堅持要用,最好明確一下代理范圍并找到其他可以避免將來爭執的方案。

    11.在合同的第一段要為書寫簽約時間留下空格。把簽約時間放在第一段,當合同簽署后,你就能夠很容易地找到它,而且,這樣做還可以給你在其他相關文件中準確地描述這個合同提供幫助,范例如:不動產買賣合同,訂立于2000年12月20日

    12.書寫引述語。引述語是指那些放在合同主體前面的"鑒于"條款。書寫此類條款的目的是為了讓讀者(通常指合同雙方,法官,陪審團)很快地了解到合同的主要內容是什么,合同雙方是誰,以及他們為什么簽訂合同,等等。當然,合同主體的第一段也可以加上引述語并陳述其是真實準確的,如果這樣做了,合同雙方將來就不會爭執:引述語作為合同的一部分是否具有法律效力?

    13.按邏輯順序列出合同段落的標題詞.合同的段落是按一定的邏輯順序組織起來的,當然,你并不需要一下子列出所有段落的標題詞,想到多少就寫多少,不過,這些標題詞要力求總結出每個段落或相關段落的內容。比如:撰寫勞動合同時列出的標題詞就像下面這些:
    引述語
    聘用
    職責
    期限
    賠償

    14.在撰寫每一段時要注意內容集中,不要東拉西扯,是的,這很簡單,你可能上小學時就學過,但我還是要提醒你,要集中火力,一段一段地分別說明合同雙方同意做什么,不同意做什么。

    15.放一個便箋簿在手邊,以便記下需要添加的條款。在書寫合同的同時,你可能隨時會想到一些需要添加條款、措詞和問題,要盡快記在便箋簿上,因為他們太容易忘了。另外,你最好將客戶列出的要點和一些類似的合同范本也放在眼前,以便在書寫過程中隨時查對。

    16.除非是為了更清晰地說明問題,否則不要在合同中重復陳述某個內容。將一個事實來回地說很容易讓人模棱兩可。如果你將一個概念重復地解釋,那理解起來就更有困難。另外,如果你想通過一個例子來闡明一個難以理解的概念或規則時,一定要考慮到其所有的含義、這個例子的準確性以及它和概念的相符性。

    第三部分:撰寫時的注意事項

    17.標題上注明"合同"兩字。不要為碰運氣而忽略這個。如果你的客戶需要合同,就要注明是合同。一個仍在聯邦法院里任職的法官就曾經裁定:有雙方簽字,但標有"建議書"的文件并非合同。這給我們的教訓就是,你怎么想,就應該怎么說。如果你想讓你的文件成為具有法律效力的合同,就要在標題中注明"合同"字樣。

    18.寫短句子,因為短句子比長句子讓人更容易理解。

    19.用主動語態而不用被動語態。相對而言,主動語態的句子更簡短,措詞更精練,表達更明白。還是讓我們來來看一個例子吧,主動語態的句子:賣方將把此物賣給買方;被動語態的句子:此物將被賣方賣給買方。

    20.不要用“雙周”之類的詞,因為這有可能產生歧義----是兩周還是每隔一周?類似的詞還有"雙月",所以最好這樣寫:"兩周"或"每隔一周"。

    21.不要說"活動著的白蟻和有機體"之類的話,為了避免模棱兩可,最好這樣寫:“活動著的白蟻和活動著的有機體”或是“白蟻和活動著的有機體”。當一組名詞(如"白蟻和有機體")前有一個修飾語(如"活動著的")時,你一定要弄清楚這個修飾語是修飾兩個名詞還是僅僅修飾第一個名詞。如果是修飾兩個詞,可以用排比的手法分別在這兩個詞之前加上修飾語,如果你只想修飾一個名詞,那么你就應該把這個詞放在這組詞的最后,然后在它的前面加上修飾語。

    22.不要說“出租人”和“承租人”。這對一個租賃合同來說是些不好的別稱,因為他們容易被顛倒或者出現打印錯誤??梢杂?ldquo;房東”和“房客”來代替他們。同樣,在合同中也不要說留置權人和留置人,抵押權人和抵押人,保證人和被保證人,許可人和被許可人,當事人A和當事人B......到底怎么說,這就要看你駕馭語言的能力了,不過,要把握的一條原則,即在整個合同中,對合同一方只能用一個別稱。

    23.使用術語“本文(herein,也可譯為”“在這里”)時要當心。為了避免含糊不清,使用“本文”時最好特別申明一下“本文”是指整個合同,還是指其所在的某一段落。

    24.寫數目時要文字和阿拉伯數字并用,如:拾(10)。這將減少一些不經意的錯誤。

    25.如果你想用"包括"這個詞,就要考慮在其后加上"但不限于....."的分句。除非你能夠列出所有被包括的項,否則最好用"但不限于...."的分句,來說明你只是想舉個例子。

    26.不要依賴于語法規則。那些你在學校里得到的語法規則并不是放之四海而皆準的東西,因為有權力來解釋此合同的法官或陪審團成員學的語法規則可能和你學的不一樣,但不管學的是什么規則,撰寫合同都要遵循一個基本原則:簡潔、明確。檢測你寫的東西是否達到這個要求有個好辦法,那就是去掉所有的句號和逗號,然后去讀它。在沒有標點符號的情況下,選擇正確的詞語放在正確的位置上,這將使你寫出來的東西更簡明,更流暢。

    27.不要創造詞語。合同文書不是創造性的作品,也就不能因為意思的細微差別而引起思考或爭論。合同文書應該是清晰、直接而準確的。因此,要使用普通的詞語,表達普通的意思,為普通人撰寫合同。

    28.用詞一致。在一份銷售合同中,如果你想用“貨物”來指整個合同的標的物,就不要時而稱它們為“貨物”,時而又改稱它們為“產品”。保持用詞一致性比避免重復更加重要。不要擔心這會讓讀者打瞌睡;你應該提防的是對方律師會因為含糊不清的合同而將你告上法庭。

    29.在文法和標點符號上保持一致。你可能學過許多不同類的文法和標點符號規則,但在使用它們時最好保持一致。要特別注意句末的引號、時間和地點之后的逗號以及文風的相似性。

    30.可以在合同中加入準據法、審判地、律師費等條款。有了這些條款,一旦合同引起訴訟,你就已經為了你的客戶打這場訴訟戰準備了一些“彈藥”。類似的條款見附錄A和B。

    第四部分:要為法官和陪審團考慮

    31.要假設合同的讀者是一個受過教育的外行,如果你書寫的合同簡明得連一個外行都能理解,那么即使到了法庭上,,你也不用害怕。

    32.強調一個合同術語可以這樣做:加上雙引號并將其開頭的字母大寫。將一個詞語的開頭字母大寫表明你想讓它有一個特別的意思。下面有兩個定義術語的例子:
    一.本合同中使用的“貨物”("Goods")是指買方已經同意向賣方購買的貨物;
    二.本合同中買方同意向賣方購買的拾(10)只平底鍋,即下文中的“貨物”("Goods")。

    33.第一次使用某個術語時就要下定義。定義合同術語不是在合同的開頭,也不是在合同的結尾,而是在這個術語第一次出現的時候,這樣做,有利于讀者更好地理解合同。

    34.勤于解釋合同中的術語和概念。要記住合同雙方的當事人可能會理解合同中某些專用術語,但法官和陪審團卻可能一無所知。所以撰寫合同時要讓合同自己為自己釋義。

    第五部分:書寫時要常和你的客戶溝通

    35.所有的合同都應該有一封說明書---用來告訴你的客戶如何使用和簽署合同。

    36.告訴客戶你在撰寫過程中的一些想法。比如:哪些事情可能會隨著交易變得很遭,哪些事可能會在將來發生,哪些事情已經發生了,哪些可以讓事情朝好的方向發展的方法.....你最好在給客戶的說明書中都將這些都寫上。

    37.告訴客戶合同的風險所在。在撰寫合同時,你最好向客戶說訂立合同需要承擔的風險和能夠得到的利益。通常情況下,只要你花時間來起草合同,你就會發現真正的風險在哪里。

    第六部分:完成初稿后做什么

    38.核實合同的拼寫情況、段落序號以及上下文的注解,你可以自己手動來做,也可以用文字編輯軟件中的拼寫和語法檢查功能來完成,特別是自從有了微軟的word軟件后,做這樣的工作你似乎不要費多少精力(但機器有時也不可靠,如果你不看仔細,它就會把"per stirpes"改變為 "per stupid")?,F在,這類專業的軟件甚至可以幫你檢測到合同中沒有釋義的術語,如:Corel公司專門為法律辦公開發的文字處理軟件包中的DealProof軟件,還有可供word97和word2000下載安裝的DocProofReader軟件。

    39.讓你的秘書或者助手閱讀你草擬的合同。你的同事不僅能通過文字處理軟件來幫你檢查到你沒有查到的拼寫和語法錯誤,而且他們還能發現你起草時沒有察覺到的矛盾和混淆之處。

    40.在合同上注明“第一稿于200年6月22日”,第一稿完成后,可能還要草擬幾個版本,為了避免他們之間相互混淆,最好在每份草稿首頁的頂部注上序號和起草時間。另外,在每一個版本的封面上注明“草稿”字樣,也能夠避免你那急躁的客戶不等到最后的定稿文本就急于簽字。

    41讓你的客戶讀你草擬的合同。你的客戶讀第一稿,可以確保你的起草的東西和客戶的愿望相符。

    42.在電腦中將草擬的合同多保存幾個復件。如果你將第一稿合同存了兩份在電腦中,那么其中的一份可以用來存檔,另一份則可以用來繼續修改。用來存檔的文件可以命名為"合同.草1"。用來修改的文件可以命名為"合同"。以此類推,以后修改的版本就命名為"合同.草2","合同.草3",等等。帶"草"字的擴展名表示此合同是草擬版本。(當然,你可能不經常用DOS下的WordPerfect 5.1軟件,我是經常用的,你也可以用一個較長的文件名來清楚地表達出草擬合同的名稱、編號及起草時間,范例如:"史密斯.瓊斯于2000年6月22日草擬的第二版合同"。)

    43.將當前的草擬版本和以前的版本進行比較。如果你存了很多合同的草擬版本,那么你就可以很容易地用文字處理軟件或者是CompareRite軟件來比較分析兩個合同版本。當你用軟件比較"合同.草1"和"合同.草2"兩個版本時,最好將軟件的分析結果打印出來送給客戶看,讓他知道變化在哪里。

    第七部分:怎樣打印和簽署最后的定稿合同。

    44.用24磅的銅板紙而不是用20磅的復印紙來打印合同。用厚一點的紙不僅復印副本很容易,而且,它被保存的時間也要長一些。

    45.打印整個合同要用同樣的紙,如果打印過程中紙發生了改變,一定要用同樣的紙再打印一次。這樣做,對方就不會說合同在簽署后被偷換了。

    46. 最好用藍墨水而不是用黑墨水來簽署合同,因為藍墨水可以很容易地讓人區別出哪個是合同正本,哪個是影印副本。

    47.讓雙方在每頁合同上簽字,這樣做可以避免有人懷疑合同簽署后被更改過。

    48.在合同簽名欄的下方留下一些空白行,以便合同雙方和見證人填寫他們的名字和地址。這樣,一旦合同引起糾紛,就能很容易地找到證人。要記住,一般的商業租賃需要兩個見證人。

    49.簽名者如果是公司官員,一定要寫上他們的職務和其所在公司的名稱。不這樣做就可能導致這個官員個人承擔責任。簽約代表簽名的正確方法如下:
    ABC公司,佛羅里州分公司
    簽約代表:________________
    公司總裁:史密斯.瓊斯

    50.根據公證法增加公證條款,類似的范例見附錄B

    最后的忠告

    如果這50招都不能讓你起草的合同免于訴訟,那你就去掌握斯創得.懷特先生的《設計原理》吧,我聽說它對應付上訴非常有幫助。
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