MAKING SURE ALL THE AGREEMENTS ARE THE SAME. European lawyers seemed to make the signing of agreements a more formal event than American lawyers do. In addition to the sense of ceremony, the practice is for the signatories to initial each page of the agreements, in contrast with America, where, often, especially when there are a large number of parties, only execution pages are signed and the agreements are sometimes assembled later. It always seemed to me that the European practice was better, but I never heard of any problems arising from not initialing each page. Now, the Wall Street Journal (December 5) has an article by Ashby Jones about a marital-property agreement between Frank McCourt and his then wife Jamie which involved the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the course of a contested divorce, it developed that “…there were discrepancies among the original six signed copies, namely that attachments to three named Mr. McCourt as the sole owner of the Dodgers while attachments to the three others didn’t.”

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