The drafting gods are toying with me! I despatched the writer the ultimate manuscript of the fifth version of A Handbook of Type for Contract Drafting. The following day, I noticed one thing I haven’t seen earlier than that deserves to seem in MSCD5: the phrase Finish of Settlement.
After I noticed it in a single contract, I in fact went on EDGAR, which has round a thousand contracts that use the phrase: it’s not commonplace, however it’s actual. I noticed it in numerous contexts.
It happens on the finish of the physique of the contract, typically with the notation Signature web page follows or some variant:
It happens on the finish of a contract with out attachments (both after the signatures or, if the signatures are on the entrance, after the final provision):
It happens on the finish of the contract however earlier than the primary attachment:
It happens on the finish of an attachment, however not the ultimate attachment:
It happens after the ultimate attachment:
So what to make of Finish of Settlement? First, let’s contemplate the completely different contexts:
- Placing it on the finish of the physique of the contract and earlier than the signatures is pointless. When you assume readers could be confused by an expanse of clean area on the web page earlier than the signatures, use simply Signature web page follows.
- Placing it on the finish of a contract with out attachments would inform the reader that they’ve reached the top of the contract. That might be pointless if the signatures are on the finish of the contract, as readers would perceive that the signatures sign the top of the contract, however it might need some utility if the signatures are on the entrance of the contract. It will additionally inform the reader that there are not any attachments, besides it could possibly be understood as which means that the reader has reached the top of the primary a part of the contract (see choice 3).
- Placing it on the finish of the primary a part of a contract in a contract with attachments would inform the reader that they’ve reached the top of the primary a part of the contract. But when the reader has entry to a file or a print copy with the attachments, that may be pointless. If the reader doesn’t have entry to the attachments, it could possibly be deceptive, because the reader would possibly perceive the notation as which means that there are not any attachments.
- Placing it on the finish of an attachment that isn’t the final attachment would inform the reader solely that they’ve reached the top of that attachment. It appears odd to single out a person attachment in that approach.
- Placing it on the finish of the final attachment (both on the backside of the final web page of the final attachment or by itself on the subsequent web page) would inform the reader that they’ve reached the top of all attachments. However that wouldn’t assist the reader who is worried about whether or not they have all of the pages.
So choice 2 and 5 would appear the least unlikely, however I don’t discover them compelling sufficient.
Relating to choice 2, I’d choose having signatures on the finish to sign the top of the contract. In any other case, you may use the page-numbering conference Web page X of Y to reassure readers that they’ve reached the top of the contract.
Relating to choice 5, the page-numbering conference Web page X of Y is way more helpful than Finish of Settlement, because it tells the reader not solely after they’ve reached the top of the attachments but additionally whether or not any pages are lacking.
So I say the heck with Finish of Settlement.
I tweeted about this. Right here’s considered one of a number of amusing replies:
Provided that the very first line says “Starting of Settlement”
— MAdams (@murder_he_twote) August 16, 2022
And right here’s a bonus! In my rooting round, I encountered the notation Finish of Article X positioned on the finish of every article:
That’s pointless: having article 2 begin is sufficient to let you know that you just’ve reached the top of article 1. Right here’s a tweet in response to the notion of utilizing Finish of Article X:
I’m prepared for [End of sentence].
— Poutinho (@rhh) August 16, 2022
The broader message of this submit is that it seems I’ll preserve discovering new stuff.
Oh, and the manuscript of the fifth version? It’s not going to the compositor till the day after tomorrow, so I’ve time so as to add a bit on Finish of Settlement. I’m relying on the drafting gods to put off now!