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Some contracts sound like Carr the Floor Walker in Cool Hand Luke

I just told a transactions-clinic student that a consumer-contract form he was editing for a clinic client wasn’t customer-friendly and wouldn’t help make sales. The contract form reads like the soliloquy of prison trustee Carr the Floor Walker in the classic Paul Newman film Cool Hand Luke:

Them clothes got laundry numbers on ’em. You remember your number and always wear the ones that has your number. Any man forgets his number spends the night in the box.

These here spoons, you keep with ya. Any man loses his spoon spends a night in the box.

There’s no playin’ grab-ass or fightin’ in the buildin’. You got a grudge against another man, you fight him Saturday afternoon. Any man playin’ grab-ass or fightin’ in the buildin’ spends a night in the box.

[And so on and so forth]

I suggested to the student that he check to see what the client would commit to doing, and then say that in the contract; for example, the client would attempt to do X, but it couldn’t guarantee that Y would result.

See also Cut negotiation time with a balanced contract form.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • neal huffman 2014-10-30, 21:27

    D.C., that’s poignant – and so true. How long before we rid ourselves of dogmatic drivel.

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