Monday, March 01, 2010
It took me an hour to sign all these documents, and there wasn't even a deal to go along with them. Just a giant pile of paper so that various of our overseas subsidiaries can open a few bank accounts and move some money around. All important, but I am sure it could have been done with a lot less paper a couple of generations ago. Each crisis or lost lawsuit or generic f*ckup demands a documentary solution, and lawyers helpfully supply new words to solve the old problem, like a new layer of roofing installed on top of the old one. But the old words never go away, and the papers only get longer.
Like the roofing analogy. Interesting, though, there is a limit to the number of roofs that can be applied. After three all the layers come off before a new one is installed.
Our system puts such a premium on doing things that an elected representative is driven to create new rules to solve old problems. And the laws pile up.
I think sometimes that laws should sunset after 30 years. As a face saving gesture it would at least allow some lawmakers to claim, periodically, that they are against murder, and in the process get their 15 minutes of fame without doing too much harm.
You read each page of that conscientiously before signing, didn't you?
Of course not. Only trial lawyers and journalists think that executives read what they sign. Everybody else knows that the signature is my statement that I did my best to hire good people to review or prepare our contracts and have put in place processes that are sufficient to guard the interests of our stockholders in commercial transactions.
The erect writing instrument may be a subliminal signal, but sometimes a pen is just a pen…
Looks like you’re using a black pen. A blue pen is SOP to signify that the document is an original, although as color copying becomes more ubiquitous it probably doesn’t matter any more.
Those were just the originals to be stored off-site in a secure location. Now to make one copy for each subsidiary, in-house counsel, your banks, and the departments affected. Do you own stock in Boise Cascade?
You also need to buy a high-speed scanner and software that allows you to sort and retrieve these documents on your network. For a mere $100K plus $10K per year it all can be yours.
Marketing has booked a nice room for the closing party