The passive voice is to be avoided

In great literature, the passive voice may be used to good effect to convey immutable fate, actions of the invisible, or Kafkaesque bureaucracy.  Not so in business law.  If you won’t be submitting your contract for the Pulitzer Prize, then don’t use the passive voice when you’re writing it.  Compare “Rent payments that are not received by the 5th day of the month will incur a 5% late fee” with “If Landlord does not receive Tenant’s rent in full by the 5th day of the month, then Tenant will pay Landlord a late fee of 5% of the full amount of that month’s rent.”
Strive to be clear.  If you don’t understand your contract when you’re signing it, the jury won’t understand it when you have to sue on it.

Something is missing from our invoices

Eleven years ago when I first went into independent practice, I adopted a policy of not charging clients for routine postage or domestic long-distance tolls.  I reserved the the right to charge for postage if I had to do a mass mailing or send dozens of letters by certified mail. I intended to draw a contrast between Alterman Law Office (as the firm was then named) and the myriad of law firms that charge for client parking (we don’t), that pass through parking charges for their lawyers (we don’t), that make clients pay for dinner for lawyers who worked late (we don’t), and that bill for copying (we don’t, except for really large copying jobs), postage (we don’t, except for mass mailings), and the other nickels and dimes that take up the last page of the typical invoice from a law firm. You won’t find those sorts of charges on our invoices.

We light-heartedly describe our policy as “The post office doesn’t charge you for lawyers. Why does your lawyer charge you for postage?”

Erica Menze joins Alterman Law Group

Alterman Law Group is pleased to announce that Erica N. Menze has become an associate of the firm.

Erica focuses her practice on business and real estate transactions, and has a broad range of experience in other areas of law, including civil litigation, professional negligence, and debtor-creditor issues.

Erica was admitted to practice in Wisconsin and Oregon in 2012.  Erica graduated from Marquette University Law School, where she served on the Marquette Sports Law Review and received her Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute. Prior to law school, Erica attended St. Ambrose University, where she earned a B.A. in Management and Sports Marketing.