Read Between the Lines

2019-06-15T19:47:03+00:00 By |Tags: , , |

Negotiated agreements are often categorised, neatly numbered, and suggest completeness. Behind this picture of order lies another story: what did the parties exclude and why? The written terms of an agreement imply finality. Most agreements stack pages upon pages of clauses that address a broad array of topics. The sheer multitude of factors to consider can make interpreting real motives very difficult. Let's consider a simplified hypothetical where Holly proposes draft terms for the sharing of a car. In these terms Holly includes: "1. The car shall reside at Holly's house in the mornings, and at Joe's house in the afternoons. Each party must return after their period of use. 2. The car shall be cleaned once a day. 3. No food shall be consumed in the car." Have a think about what Holly might be trying to accomplish with each of these terms? When Holly shares a simple first [...]

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