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This webinar is part of the Ken Adams on Drafting Clearer Contracts: Webinar Series.

Awkward verb use makes contracts harder to read and can result in confusion. Confusion often leads to disputes. Learn how to eliminate this confusion by understanding categories of contract language.

The body of the contract contains the provisions that the parties are agreeing to, and each clause or sentence can serve a number of purposes. Each purpose requires its own category of language, and each category raises its own issues of usage.

This session will demonstrate how any given contract provision falls within one of several categories of contract language, each with its own recommended verb use. Mastering the categories is essential to control your drafting. Specific topics include:

  • Language of performance
  • Language of obligation
  • Language of discretion
  • Language of prohibition
  • Language of policy
  • Expressing conditions
  • Language of declaration
  • The use of ‘shall’ and ‘may’ in restrictive relative clauses


Course Leader

  • Kenneth A. Adams is the leading authority on contract language. His book, A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting is one of the ABA’s best-selling titles and has become an essential resource for contract drafters. He gives public and in-house seminars in the U.S., Canada and internationally, acts as a consultant and expert witness. From 2006 to 2012, Ken was a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught the school’s first course on contract drafting. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Ken practiced corporate law at major law firms in the U.S. and Europe. His website and blog are www.adamsdrafting.com.

Group Discounts

Please note that the group discount is only available when paying for members of the same organization, at the same time, and payment is made with one invoice.

Webcast Fee per Delegate

2-3 delegates: 25% off program fee
4-10 delegates: 30% off program fee
11+ delegates: 35% off program fee

Program Changes

We will make every effort to present the program as advertised, but it may be necessary to change the dates, location, speakers or content with little or no notice. In the event of program cancellation, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School’s liability is limited to reimbursement of paid fees.

Substitutions, Cancellations and Refunds

Substitution of registrants is permitted at any time. If you are unable to find a substitute, a full refund is available if a cancellation request is received in writing 2 days prior to the program date. If a cancellation request is made with less than 2 days notice, a $50 administration fee will apply. No other refund is available.


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Technical Support

In the event you experience technical difficulties, please contact opdsupport@osgoode.yorku.ca for assistance.

Program Details

Questions on program registration?
Please contact the Registration Team at osgoodepd@osgoode.yorku.ca

Questions on the program content?
Please contact the Program Lawyer:
Heather Gore Liddell at hgoreliddell@osgoode.yorku.ca

Program Details

Date & Time

November 23, 2017
12:00pm – 1:00pm EST



Fee per Delegate

Individual Session
$199 plus HST

Series (5 Sessions)
$895 plus HST

Register Now for Session 2

Printable Registration Form

Eligible CPD Credit Hours


Who Should Attend

  • Legal professionals who regularly interpret, draft or negotiate contracts
  • In-house Counsel
  • Corporate Solicitors
  • Government Counsel
  • Contract managers and administrators
  • Senior Executives and Managers
  • Paralegals
  • Law Clerks

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What past attendees have to say about this program…

“Fantastic presentation. Ken had amazing energy and was as entertaining as he was informative”
S. Kennedy,
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

“Very good practical course & good reminder of drafting points.”

“[Program allows you to] adopt a new approach to contract drafting and avoid pitfalls.” (Oct 2015)

“Ken is a good presenter and clearly very passionate about the topic.”