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Plain English Consulting and The Plain English Institute

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

–Albert Einstein

Mark Cohen’s HOW TO DRAFT A BAD CONTRACT is “Simply Brilliant.”

–Steven Pinker, Harvard University

A gifted writer and editor with a unique talent for cutting excess words and simplifying complex concepts, one of Mark’s passions is the use of plain English over “Legalese.”  Plain English is writing that is clear, concise, and easily understood by the target audience.

Mark 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


Mark also founded a nonprofit, The Plain English Institute.  PEI promotes plain English over Legalese.  Documents that meet The Plain English Institute’s certification standards are eligible to display the prestigious Plain English Certified seal on each PEI approved document. 

“Plain English lowers costs, improves productivity, increases credibility and reduces misunderstandings.”

The distinction between litigation and transactional work is often artificial.  Business litigation, contract litigation, real estate litigation, and intellectual property litigation are almost always the result of poor drafting, insufficient investigation, or an incomplete negotiation. Usually the document contained an ambiguous provision, failed to define a term, contained inconsistent provisions, or simply failed to address an important issue.


A self-proclaimed Word Nerd, Mark frequently puts his skills to work for businesses, organizations and other lawyers, helping them create, organize and edit legal documents. Mark can improve any document – email your document to for some comments and a FREE ESTIMATE.

See The Difference:

  • Passive sentences – 17%
  • Flesch Reading Ease Scale – 35.1
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade Level – 13.8
  • 1251 words
  • Words per sentence – 23.3
  • Passive sentences – 6%
  • Flesch Reading Ease Scale – 47.4
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade Level – 11
  • 950 words
  • Words per sentence – 19.7

Read Mark’s Satirical Article (PDF opens in new window)- How to Draft a Bad Contract

Mark’s legal publications include six articles published in the prestigious American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts series and several published in The Colorado Lawyer.  His non-legal articles have appeared in magazines ranging from Inside Kung-Fu to Camping & RV.  His first mystery, The Fractal Murders, was a BookSense Top Ten Mystery and a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.  His second mystery, Bluetick Revenge, won praise from authors such as Kinky Friedman, Stephen White, and Margaret Coel. (For a full list of publications, visit Mark Cohen).
Mark has served on the Board of The Colorado Lawyer since 2009 and served as the chairperson during 2012-2013.  He studied logic at the graduate level for one year and is a member of the Institute of General Semantics

“Mark Cohen is a gifted writer and editor with an unmatched talent for cutting excess words, eliminating jargon, and simplifying complex concepts.  InterNACHI is proud to be at the forefront of the plain English movement. Our 12,000 members love the plain English agreements Mark created for them to use with their clients, and the clients appreciate documents that are concise and easy to understand.”

–Nick Gromicko, Founder, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors