Fundamental Principles for Drafting Documents

September 10th 2015

Frequently lawyers have to draft legal documents for a matter that they are handling for a client. This matter may be litigious. In this case the document may be, for example, a pleading, an affidavit or terms of settlement. These documents tell it as it is. The matter may also be non litigious (that is, a transaction), and involve drafting a document such as a transfer, a contract, a
will, a waiver and or an authority. These documents create rights and liabilities and are often the means of effecting the transaction.

This article uses transactions to illustrate how to draft a document because documents tend to be at the core of transactions. This happens, for example, with contracts, transfers, wills and permissions because, as indicated above, the relevant document expresses the parties’ intentions to effect the transaction and commonly also gives those intentions legal effect.