The Write Stuff: Improve flow and indicate relative importance with a gerund phrase

(1) “The severance contract contains a problematic non-compete. The contract is governed by Delaware law.”
(2) “The severance contract, governed by Delaware law, contains a problematic non-compete.”

Sentence (1) suffers from the clunkiness of two short sentences that sing-song the same structure. Further, the writer gives the troublesome non-compete provision and the governing law equal importance. When a lawyer uses a gerund phrase, as in (2), the sentence flows and also makes clear that the applicability of Delaware law is of secondary importance to the non-compete difficulty.

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