Much of my practice involves negotiating contracts, mostly by swapping contract proposals via e-mail. Here are some easy and straightforward practices that make negotiating contracts via e-mail more efficient. If you have ever negotiated a contract with a lawyer who does not follow these practices, you know about the inefficiencies and frustrating delays that result.
- Use Track Changes in MS Word
- Accept (blackline) proposed revisions that are acceptable
- Use Comments
- Work only off the most recent proposed contract version
- Work with Word versions
- Minimize the number of contract revisers
- Become friends with Shauna Kelly
- Treat contract amendments just like original contracts
- When negotiations via e-mail bog down, pick up the phone.