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Sometimes it’s good to know whom you’re debating ….

Hacker News links to a funny story about a Microsoft conference speaker who found out, too late, just who the audience member was that he was debating. See also the HN comments.

The story reminded me of an analogous experience I had some years ago. A client asked me to help negotiate a software license agreement drafted by the other side’s lawyer. I saw that the other lawyer had selectively copied clauses from a set of model software license pro­vi­sions developed by an ABA committee. On the negotiation conference call, I mentioned that the other lawyer had left out certain language that had been included in the model provisions so that they would be a reasonable compromise. My client was amused at the other lawyer’s discomfort when he connected the dots and realized I had been the chairman of the model-provisions drafting committee.

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