the Zealous

06 Dec 22

Consider the following not uncommon scenario: in the payments section of the contract you are negotiating, overdue interest is charged at five percent.  A higher rate is better for your client, and the client wants ten percent, so you redline accordingly. Client ultimately concedes and is willing to accept five. However, the draft from opposing counsel contains the following text:

Overdue interest is chargeable at the rate of five percent (10%).

19 Nov 22

The obligation to return or destroy confidential information upon request (or at contract termination) is ubiquitous in confidentiality agreements. But in this era of distributed network computing and cloud storage, when nothing can ever be completely deleted everywhere, compliance with such a clause is illusory.

10 Nov 22

Consider the following scenario. Your startup client, a developer of a popular app recommendation engine, is running low on cash, and further investment is not in the cards. The shareholders decide it’s time to sell.

Excitement ensues as a massive personal technology lifestyle company takes an interest. After completion of due diligence, however, enthusiasm wanes. Soon the discussion focuses on a potential “acqui-hire,” meaning, a purchase of the company, not to exploit the company’s technology or market share, but simply to hire away the top engineering talent—with a commensurately lower valuation.

Too low for the shareholders, in fact, so they instruct you to terminate negotiations. The story doesn’t end there, however. The suitor turns around and hires away the startup’s top engineering and marketing talent.