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Symbolic Logic: A Razor-Edged Tool for Drafting and Interpreting Legal Documents, 66 Yale Law Journal 833 (1957)


A LARGE amount of the litigation based on written instruments-whether
statute, contract, will, conveyance or regulation--can be traced to the draftsman's
failure to convey his meaning clearly. Frequently, of course, certain
items may purposely be left ambiguous, but often the question in issue is due
to an inadvertent ambiguity that could have been avoided had the draftsman
clearly expressed what he intended to say. In this Article it is suggested that
a new approach to drafting, using certain elementary notions of symbolic logic,
can go a long way towards eliminating such inadvertent ambiguity. This new
approach makes available to draftsmen a technique that achieves some of the
clarity, precision and efficiency of analysis that symbolic logic provides. In
addition, it can be a valuable aid in moving towards a more comprehensive
and systematic method of interpretation, as well as drafting.

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symbolic logic, litigation, drafting