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Contract Law And Litigation

The distinction between litigation and traditional work, made at many firms, is often artificial.  As an experienced Boulder contract lawyer, I know that contract litigation is almost always the result of poor drafting, an insufficient investigation, an incomplete negotiation or some combination of those.  Often the dispute could have been avoided had  the parties realized the importance of proper drafting of the contract and any related legal documents.

I know people will rely on each document I draft.  I believe all contracts (and all legal documents) should be clear, concise, and to the extent possible written in plain English.

A good contract should:

  • Define its terms
  • Eliminate ambiguities
  • Minimize “Legalese”
  • Plan for “what if” contingencies
  • Use short sentences
  • Avoid passive voice
  • Address all issues
  • Avoid repetition
  • Be internally consistent in form and substance

Read Mark Cohen’s Plain English – The Basics
“Simply brilliant.”  Steven Pinker, Harvard University.  Read Mark’s Satircal Article – How To Draft a Bad Contract and Contract Drafting Checklist 

Contract lawyers understand that contract law requires precision, and it is not possible (or wise) to condense every legal document down to a few pages.  The point is that too many lawyers fail to recognize that the quality of a legal document does not necessarily increase in proportion to its length.  Most contracts we review are filled with archaic terms, redundancies, awkward phrases, ambiguities, and worthless boilerplate. This increases the likelihood of misunderstandings and decreases the productivity of everyone associated with the transaction.

I also know that good drafting takes time, and clients may not want to incur that expense when a  template or form has met their needs for years.  However, an ambiguity in a contract,  or an omission, may go unnoticed for years and then, when the circumstances are right or the law has changed, suddenly lead to a costly legal dispute that could have easily been avoided by hiring qualified counsel.

I can improve any document – email your document to for some comments and a FREE ESTIMATE.

I am an experienced Colorado contract law attorney and I take drafting seriously.  I draft, negotiate, and review contracts and legal documents of all kinds for  clients across Colorado and even for some overseas clients.  Today’s technology makes my proximity to the client less relevant and enables me to serve as virtual counsel or online general counsel for clients across Colorado and overseas.

I am an accomplished writer. I understand that words matter. I researched and wrote six articles published in the prestigious American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts series.  I also wrote several articles published in The Colorado Lawyer.  I am a member of the Board of Editors of The Colorado Lawyer. My non-legal writings have appeared in magazines such as Inside Kung Fu and Camping & RV.  I wrote two mysteries published by Mysterious Press (Time/Warner), one of which was a Book Sense® mystery pick and finalist for the Colorado Book Award. 

I did graduate work in philosophy and logic, and studied General Semantics, an educational discipline that focuses on helping people avoid traps built into natural language and “common sense” assumptions. I am a member of the Institute for General Semantics.  Most importantly, when it comes to drafting legal documents, I have litigated and tried many contract disputes and understand how the time invested in preparing a well-written document reduces the likelihood of costly disputes in the future and improves the client’s chances of success in litigation if a dispute does arise.

I also served as a Legal Advisor to TermScout, a Denver-based legal-tech company that helps companies understand the legal terms they are asked to agree to so they can make better decisions about what terms to accept. You can learn more about TermScout at  I also founded The Plain English Institute, a nonprofit that promotes plain English over Legalese.  I now serve as the column editor for the Contract Law column in The Colorado Lawyer magazine.

Contract Litigation

My goal is to draft legal documents that prevent misunderstandings and protect my clients.  If a dispute arises I work hard to help our clients find practical, cost-effective solutions. When contract litigation is unavoidable, my ability to bridge the gap between the law of contracts and the art of trial advocacy serves my clients well.  In 2012, I won a 4.2 million dollar award in a case filed on behalf of a Fort Collins software developer against a competitor and a former employee that included claims for breach of contract and interference with contract; that judgment included nearly two million dollars in punitive damages.


The varieties of contract disputes are many.  They include:

  • Commercial litigation and
  • UCC disputes
  • Collections Lawyers
  • Lease disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Non-competition agreement disputes
  • Confidentiality disputes
  • Employment contract litigation
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Real estate litigation

When representing a party in a contract dispute the diligent attorney should also consider non-contract claims that may arise out of the same facts — business tort claims, fraud claims, equitable claims, and statutory claims.  I understand the interplay between these types of claims and traditional breach of contract claims.

Although lawyers would prefer that clients enter into unambiguous written contracts, oral contracts and promises may be enforceable in some circumstances.  A contracts litigator should be familiar with the various statutes of frauds, and the exceptions to them such as the full performance and partial performance exceptions, and should also be familiar with alternative equitable claims based on promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment.

I have clients in Denver, Boulder, and across Colorado.  Denver Contract Lawyers.  Colorado Contract Lawyers.  I am an experienced Boulder collections lawyer.