Once Upon a Transaction: Narrative Techniques and Drafting

35 Pages Posted: 19 May 2016

See all articles by Susan Chesler

Susan Chesler

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Karen J. Sneddon

Mercer Law School

Date Written: May 01, 2016

Abstract

A granddaughter joins the family business as a partner. An entrepreneur licenses his newest product. Two parties decide to settle a dispute. A charitable idea materializes as a private foundation. A parent's belief in the power of education is perpetuated by a trust agreement. Each of these events forms a narrative. A transaction is more than the scratch of pens across signature pages or the click of keys to email an executed document. A transaction is itself a story. These stories, made with provisions and clauses, result in the formation of contracts, agreements, and wills. Conceptualizing transactions as narratives benefits the negotiation, drafting, implementation, interpretation, and, ultimately, enforceability of the transactional document.

This article showcases the use of narrative techniques applicable to the drafting of transactional documents. Tethered to the fundamental principles of good drafting, the article will highlight the use of stock stories, plot and narrative movement, character, point of view, narrative setting, themes, and motifs across a spectrum of transactional documents.

Keywords: narrative, legal writing, contract drafting, will drafting

Suggested Citation

Chesler, Susan and Sneddon, Karen J., Once Upon a Transaction: Narrative Techniques and Drafting (May 01, 2016). Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 68, No. 2, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2780996

Susan Chesler

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

Karen J. Sneddon (Contact Author)

Mercer Law School ( email )

1021 Georgia Ave
Macon, GA 31207-0001
United States

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