We recently asked a partner at a law firm about his experience using LexDye. You know, typical market research. How to improve the user experience, perhaps some changes to the user interface. Well, his answer was somewhat of a surprise: "I just love it. It makes the other side looks bad." Mmmmh, OK, please elaborate. . .
"Well, we run the contract drafts we get from the other side through LexDye (i.e., the LexDye Definition Tracker). The software picks up not only substantive, material errors but also lots of other drafting errors and inconsistencies. Everything from use of "Surviving Company" vs. "Surviving Corporation," missing dash in "Know How," "Stockholder" vs. "Shareholder," whatever. It would take an associate countless hours to go through the document and find all of these inconsistencies. The client would never pay for that. But with the LexDye software, the review is lightening fast. As a result, we can create a redline showing all of these changes to fix the other side's draft and send it to them. All these errors that would likely never get caught in a regular contract review without LexDye. Some may get fixed in increments during the drafting process."
Great, so this is good, right. Contract errors get fixed.
"That's only part of the story. The cool part is that this also makes the other side look bad. Their draft had lots of errors which we could pick out immediately even if the errors were not material although we do find material errors too. It makes the other side look sloppy and makes us look great in front of our client. And we don't have to be shy in pointing out the errors in the other side's draft."
"Oh, and we really don't want the other side to know about LexDye. It's our competitive advantage."
Huh? So what you are saying is that you love our software, use it to service your client and demonstrate your skills and capabilities, but you don't want other law firms to have it so you can have a competitive advantage. Wonderful, so much for word of mouth marketing.
Having reviewed many publicly filed contracts drafted and negotiated by top law firms with the LexDye Definition Tracker, we certainly understand how the LexDye software helps with drafting better contracts. We have found many errors in these SEC filed contracts, some quite embarrassing ("Security and Exchange Commission" is one of our favorite errors in a contract prepared by a large corporate law firm). But I guess we were hoping for some word of mouth across party lines. You know, some bipartisan cooperation to spread the word about LexDye.
So if you do not use LexDye and the other side finds all the errors and inconsistencies in your draft involving defined and undefined terms, they are probably using LexDye and not telling you. . .