Parts of a contract

Someone wanted to know what the name of the heading of a contract is, the bit where the parties are named. In U.S. English it is the caption. I would have thought in BE it is the heading. (Later: no, it can’t be, because the headings are the headings over the various sections. I have concluded, and others on the legaltranslators list at Yahoo Groups agree, it is the ‘parties’ section in England and Wales).

Searching for evidence, I found materials by Professor Gary Neustadter of Santa Clara University School of Law, including Anatomy of a written agreement, which defines the parts (U.S.). It refers elsewhere for conditions and promises (the main part), but it deals with title, caption, recitals, definitions, and closing.

It also has some writing suggestions, e.g.:

bq. Idle Words, California Lawyer, April 2002
“Defendants” will suffice in lieu of “defendants, and each of them.” “If” will suffice in lieu of “in the event that.” “Tell,” “describe,” or “explain” is more informative than “set forth.” “Before” and “after” are more concise and less pretentious than “prior to” and “subsequent to.” In a written agreement “the parties agree” suffices in lieu of “the parties expressly agree” and there is no need to say “the parties mutually agree.” “On” suffices in lieu of “upon.” “Under the contract” suffices in lieu of “under the terms of the contract” or “under the provisions of the contract.” “Various” is ususually useless (as in “under various provisions of the contract”). “They amended the contract to correct the ambiguity” suffices in lieu of “they amended the contract in order to correct the ambiguity.” Finally, in argument, use the word “clear” or “clearly” sparingly. If something is clear, the intelligent reader knows it and if something is not clear the intelligent reader will be insulted or skeptical if you claim the contrary.

Again quoting California Lawyer, it calls those useful preposition groups like with regard to, in connection with and with respect to “tedious preposition sandwiches”.

I’m not sure how to link to the material from a higher level. I would have preferred to give a shallower link, but never mind.

Anyway, I just read on advobLAWg and Handakte WebLAWg that the Bundesgerichtshof says deep linking is allowed.

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