Telling Tales: The Transactional Lawyer as Storyteller

26 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2018

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: December 12, 2018

Abstract

Transactional documents, whether employment contracts or lease agreements, encapsulate the wishes, hopes, and fears of the transacting parties. The documents share a series of events, identify the key actors in the event, and anticipate particular outcomes. In other words, the transactional documents are narratives. The transactional lawyer is thus more than a transactional intermediary. The transactional lawyer is the narrative agent or storyteller. Equating a transactional lawyer to Aesop, the Brothers Grimm, and Scheherazade may appear to be an ill-fitting comparison. Yet, the comparison is surprisingly apt. Transactional lawyers weave together provisions and clauses to craft documents that will promote, guide, and control the relationship of those parties.

This article shares five strategies to demonstrate how narratology can be used by transactional lawyers to draft documents that more effectively tell their client’s stories.

Suggested Citation

Chesler, Susan and Sneddon, Karen J., Telling Tales: The Transactional Lawyer as Storyteller (December 12, 2018). Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD, Vol. 15, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3300289

Susan Chesler (Contact Author)

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

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

Karen J. Sneddon

Mercer Law School ( email )

1021 Georgia Ave
Macon, GA 31207-0001
United States

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