Here’s the original (now replaced) cover to the latest issue of MaxPlanckForschung, the flagship journal of the Max Planck Institute:

Max Planck China

 As MPF later explained,

The cover of the most recent German-language edition of MaxPlanckForschung (3/2008) depicts a Chinese text which had been chosen by our editorial office in order to symbolically illustrate the magazine’s focus on "China". …

Prior to publication, the editorial office had consulted a German sinologist for a translation of the relevant text. The sinologist concluded that the text in question depicted classical Chinese characters in a non-controversial context. To our sincere regret, however, it has now emerged that the text contains deeper levels of meaning, which are not immediately accessible to a non-native speaker.

Contracts are a lot like a foreign language. There’s a whole body of interpretation — i.e. case law — of which non-lawyers are generally unaware. There are also numerous known unknowns and unknown unknowns with regard to the interpretation of a specific contract in a given factual scenario. That is, there are times when an MBA who has done a lot of contracts will, like a German sinologist, not suffice.

Language Log has a long explanation of the deeper meaning here. I’ve posted their rough translation below the fold.


Continue Reading Why Should Companies Have Lawyers Review Contracts? An Example from the Max Planck Institute

Is this really something he wants to admit?

Last week, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) squared off in a debate with Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford. But on Lunsford’s podium a GOP operative had placed a small voice recorder, presumably to pick up some off-mic comments Lunsford might make — apparently a violation of the debate