• Ken Adams

Now Launching: Ken Adams’s “Boilerplate” Document Type

We’re about to launch a new LegalSifter Review document type—Boilerplate. Let me tell you about it.

Since I started working with LegalSifter three years ago (initially as an advisor), I’ve been creating new Sifters (our name for our algorithms), redoing old Sifters, and writing and revising the advice that accompanies every Sifter. It’s work that needed to be done, and I was the obvious person to do it.

But that left one important task untouched—working on our document types (or less formally, “doc types”). A doc type is a collection of Sifters—usually a few dozen—geared to a particular kind of transaction. They’re named accordingly: Mutual Nondisclosure Agreement, Consulting Agreement, and so on. You log in to LegalSifter Review, select the relevant doc type, upload a draft contract, and Sifters scour it. In a minute or two you’re presented with a report that flags relevant language, notes which Sifters found no relevant language, and offers advice.

I’ve had a hand in creating two doc types. There’s the Hotel Agreements doc type, which has seen little action, thanks to the pandemic. And with Ned Barlas, our intellectual-property advisor, I created the Sponsored Agreement doc type.

But there’s another new doc type I’m particularly invested in, namely the Boilerplate doc type. It consists of 86 Sifters that look for issues relating to the administrative and dispute-resolution provisions you find toward the back of most contracts. Some of the Boilerplate Sifters are one-offs—for example, Execution in Counterparts. Others are grouped in families—for example, Force Majeure (12 Sifters) and Indemnification (21 Sifters).

I’m excited about the Boilerplate doc type for two reasons. First, I think I’ve done more original research on basic boilerplate issues than anyone else. (Go here for a list of my work on boilerplate.)

And second, the Boilerplate doc type could make it easy for people—including you!—to try LegalSifter. You don’t have to wait for us to have a doc type for the transactions you work on: whatever the contract, it’s pretty much guaranteed to contain boilerplate. If you’d like to give the Boilerplate doc type a try, click here to send us an email.

The Boilerplate doc type is a sign of where LegalSifter Review is headed. I’m confident about how the Sifters in the Boilerplate doc type look for relevant provisions, and I’m satisfied with the advice that accompanies each Sifter.

Because the Boilerplate doc type is brand new, we’ll need to make adjustments. If you encounter a sentence that was flagged incorrectly or was missed, please let us know through the “Sifter Trainer” feature. As always, remember that we don’t offer perfection—instead, we aim to serve as a knowledgeable extra set of eyes.