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Philosophy

Brandli Law’s Approach To Legal Document Creation

Legal documents play an important role in the more formal parts of our society. They solidify agreements, define relationships, and plan for future events. Legal documents include contracts, real estate deeds, wills, parenting plans, etc. When drafting legal documents, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Goals: We draft legal documents to serve two interests: First, these documents reflect the agreement between the parties. Verbal misunderstandings happen all too easily and create friction. An important goal of legal document drafting is to clarify the intent of the parties. Second, well-drafted legal documents protect each party from the other by providing a basis for dispute resolution should a dispute arise.
  • Precision: The best legal documents are precise, leaving no room for ambiguity. Precise documents insure that the parties truly agree on the contents, and prevent future disputes caused by differing interpretations of the document. Drafting precise legal documents is a skill requiring close attention to detail.
  • Unanticipated Events: While it is easy to draft terms addressing the primary purpose of a legal document, the best documents anticipate possible events that might interfere with the client’s intent. For example, a well-drafted will should consider the possibilities that would frustrate the testator’s wishes, such as the death of a beneficiary, the birth of a new child, or the destruction of a gift before the testator’s death. At Brandli Law, we anticipate these events to help our clients determine whether the legal document should address them.
  • Concise: While it is true that a lawyer’s job is to educate the client about what he should consider putting in a legal document, some lawyers cannot resist the temptation to account for every possible eventuality. Many times, this approach is good. But, this approach could turn off the other party or result in an unwieldy document. At Brandli Law, we keep these trade-offs in mind.
  • Boilerplates: Pre-written forms can save a client money by reusing already effective documents. While we at Brandli Law leverage previous work, we believe that a good product comes first from a careful understanding of our client’s unique needs. We are not afraid to customize legal documents for our clients.
  • Negotiation: There are some negotiations where each party is trying to get as much as he or she can. Effectively negotiating in these circumstances requires skill, a steely nerve, and an unflappable approach. However, many negotiations require a softer approach that keeps in mind the client’s goal of making the deal rather than getting as much as possible. At Brandli Law, we approach each negotiation uniquely, taking into account the client’s desires and the personalities of the other parties and counsel.

At Brandli Law, we recognize that apparently logical legal documents reflect the very human desires of our clients. Although important, it is not enough for us to be sure our clients’ rights are protected. We strive to understand all of our client’s desires and to be sure they are addressed in the document drafting process and in the final product.

Brandli Law PLLC * One Front Street North, Ste. D-2 * PO Box 850, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 * (360) 378-5544