Legal evolution

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Here’s how evolution works in a legal context. Lawyers are like genes. They are mindless replicating engines. It is what they do: they spawn. They combine to create contracts. The contracts have variations in them. Good contracts that are fit for a given purpose will replicate more easily than bad ones that are not. They will evolve, not towards a perfect golden mean, but away from the imperfect, gerrymandered place in which we find ourselves today, and into the imperfect, gerrymandered one we’ll be in tomorrow. Can’t wait. Can you?

The contract is a phenotype; a vehicle for replicating its genes, the selfish lawyers. The contract is not a replicator in itself. The best kind of contract will generate lots of little places for lawyers to secrete themselves away, snuggling into the toasty folds of flannel; laying elaborate nests of relative clauses; secreting their sticky roe on its boilerplate; fecundly feeding on all those juicy words.

The lawyers will contribute to their host, spewing out without limitations, for the avoidances of doubt — each of which other little attorneys can leap into and munch away on — all the time chewing up and recycling the words that no one else — other than another legal replicator — will ever read or understand, much less, once they are written and filed, care about.

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