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Force Majeure
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If you were involved in any serious, time constrained performance-based projects in 2020, you may have become familiar with the term "Force Majeure." Formerly obscure fine print buried deep within a contract, force majeure took on meaning for some in 2020. Law dictionaries describe force majeure as "unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract." Starting about March, 2020 was loaded with events that would fit this description.

You can be sure this generation of lawyers and project managers will pay attention to these words going forward.

Another word that was had novel uses in 2020 was "pandemic." I know of several cases where insurance companies, formerly throwing in coverage for "pandemics" just to make their policies look better have now stricken the word from their businesses.

What is the lesson learned here? All words in your contracts have meaning and purpose. Don't include something that you have no intention to fulfill.

Jim Thompson is CEO of Paperitalo Publications.


Get Jim Thompson's "Monograph on Purchasing." Available here.


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