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Boilerplate Anatomy

I want to tell you a story

Resources: commercial imperative | Verbiage | Look, I tried | The ultimate client

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A legal eagle’s nugatory attempt at design.


The legal eagle’s opportunity to tell a bit of a story, using the juridical version of “once upon a time”: basically, an integrated passage (that, if it doesn’t start with “once upon a time” or “whereas” or “background” is sometimes called a “preamble”) which leads you into the meat of contract — or in a perfect world, would do, but the juridical magisterium being what it is — an imperfect fiefdom designed for the pleasure of pedants — it will lead you instead into a thicket of tedious preliminaries.

Thus, having been primed with this tantalising backdrop, expect to spend your next half-hour hacking through a dense undergrowth of definitions, matters of interpretation, construction, hierarchy of documents and superfluous extemporisations on singulars, plurals, masculine, feminine and neuter, and the socio-economic power structures implicit in gendered legal language[1] before you get there, by which time you will be tired, hungry, scratched, possibly injured, desperately needing a pee and really wanting to go home.

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  1. Ok: not really that likely yet, but we are heading that way.