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Successful Contracts: Integrating Design and Technology

Thomas D. Barton (), Helena Haapio, Stefania Passera and James G. Hazard
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Thomas D. Barton: California Western School of Law
Helena Haapio: University of Vaasa
Stefania Passera: Helsinki University
James G. Hazard:

A chapter in Legal Tech, Smart Contracts and Blockchain, 2019, pp 63-91 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract Commercial contracts are sometimes ruefully described as “documents written by lawyersLawyers , for lawyersLawyers ,” artifacts of a negotiated exchange wrapped tightly in pages of clauses intended to insulate the agreementAgreement against litigation attacks. Yet this verbal padding decreases accessibility, functionality, and efficiency. Reforms to the classic forms and mentality surrounding contracting have recently been proposed, several of which look to insights and methods outside the legal system. This chapter describes two branches of those efforts: information designDesign and computer codificationCodification . Considered separately, each could be helpful. When combined, however, and especially when employed using the values and goals of Proactive/Preventive LawPreventive law , these methods can enhance communication, participation, and usefulness across the entire life-cycle of contracting: assessment of needs, gathering background resources, negotiation, commitment, implementation/monitoring, adjustment, and sometimes dispute resolutionDispute resolution . Although challenging to integrate, better designDesign and codificationCodification re-conceptualize contracting as a process for gathering and sharing information toward generating value and managing human and businessBusiness enterprise.

Keywords: Simplification; Codification; Design; Legal information design; Legal technology; Contract automation; Smart contracts; Proactive/preventive law (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-6086-2_3

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