23 Mistakes Experienced Drafters USUALLY Make

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 1.0

Live on Site: Tuesday, May 14 / Fairfax
  Wednesday, May 15 / Richmond (Glen Allen)
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 1.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 6.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Video on Site Options


Why Attend?

Learn highly practical techniques to advance your contract drafting skills from a wonderfully engaging and knowledgeable speaker.

This seminar explains 23 typical stylistic and substantive drafting errors usually found in all kinds of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, contracts for the sale of goods and services, licenses, real estate contracts, settlement agreements, employment and consulting agreements, partnership agreements, and much more. Novice and experienced drafters will learn highly practical techniques to advance their contract drafting skills to the next level. The seminar will recap some of the stylistic recommendations Ms. Espenschied has taught in Virginia before, using new examples drawn from a 2017 high-profile merger agreement. The seminar also includes brand new substantive content, including:

  • A strategy for standardizing the language you use to create specific legal consequences
  • The reasons to avoid “notwithstanding” and other treacherous terminology
  • The seven components of a basic indemnification provision
  • How to use these components to negotiate the best deal for your client even when the bargaining leverage is less than optimal
  • Negotiating strategies for key merger concepts, like thresholds, baskets, materiality scrapes, and indemnification caps
  • Recent Delaware cases on the effect of corporate seals

Last, but not least, this seminar will provide 1 hour of Ethics credit with a discussion of 8 rules of professional ethics that pertain specifically to transactional practice, including:

  • Rule 1.1—Competence
  • Rule 1.2—Scope of Representation
  • Rule 1.4—Communication
  • Rule 1.6—Confidentiality of Information
  • Rule 4.1—Truthfulness in Statements to Others
  • Rule 4.2—Communication with Persons Represented by Counsel
  • Rule 4.4—Respect for Rights of Third Persons
  • Rule 5.3—Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistance

What your Virginia colleagues have said about previous Lenné Espenschied seminars:

“Content was so practical. Presentation was engaging. Fantastic presenter. The six hours flew by. Great combo of lecture and involvement.”

“Speaker was dynamic and informative. In 15 years of CLE, she was the best! This course should be mandatory!”

“You made it simple, yet effective.”

“Really interesting take on contract drafting do’s and don’ts even for an old guy like me.”

“It pointed out mistakes I did not even realize I was making. Great content!”

Very comprehensive and clear. I’ve been drafting contracts for 25+ years and this is one of the best contracting CLEs I have taken.”

Very entertaining presentation. It could have been brutal—it was not. Excellent.

Can't Attend?
Attend one of the 6 video replays offered statewide in October.
E-mail distance_ed@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program is made available as an online or USB seminar.
E-mail publications@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.



8:00 Registration
8:30 23 Mistakes
10:00 Break
10:15 23 Mistakes (continued)
11:45 Lunch (provided at live programs only)
12:45 7 Components of Basic Indemnification Provisions
2:15 Break
2:30 Merger Concepts; Ethics for Transactional Lawyers
4:00 Adjourn



Ms. Lenne Espenschied / Saint Simons Island, GA

Lenné Eidson Espenschied practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, for 25 years, focusing on corporate and transactional representation of technology-based businesses. Now, she is a national speaker who has trained thousands of lawyers in the U.S. and Canada in the art of legal drafting through continuing legal education seminars for bar associations, law firms, and corporate legal departments. She is the author of two books published by the American Bar Association: Contract Drafting: Powerful Prose in Transactional Practice (ABA Fundamentals, 2nd Ed.  2015) and The Grammar and Writing Handbook for Lawyers (ABA Fundamentals 2011). 

After graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law magna cum laude, Ms. Espenschied began her legal practice at Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan; she also served as Senior Counsel in the legal department of Bank of America before eventually opening her own law office. Ms. Espenschied has taught commercial law, contracts, and contract drafting at Charlotte School of Law and at the University of Georgia. Her passion is helping lawyers acquire the skills they need to be successful in transactional practice.

Locations, Dates and Fees


$325 regular registration (printed materials included).
$340 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).


FAIRFAX / Tuesday, May 14
Waterford at Fair Oaks (Venue Website / Google Map)
12025 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
(703) 352-3200

RICHMOND (Glen Allen) / Wednesday, May 15
The Place at Innsbrook (Venue Website / Google Map)
4036-C Cox Road
(804) 346-2100

Click here if you wish to register three or more people from the same firm.
A 15% discount is offered on any book or seminar material purchased at the seminar site. All Virginia CLE® publications include free shipping.

Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored through 5:00 p.m. of the DAY BEFORE the seminar. 

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

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