We have been buried in contracts the last couple of weeks around Artist Garden Entertainment. Everything from artist management contracts to booking contracts. While I do enjoy the challenge of interpreting contracts, there is always a bit of language that only attorneys can understand. I have come to the conclusion that some of the language is intentionally used soley for the sake of job security for attorneys. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not attorney bashing as I think a great attorney is one of the most valuable assets to any business. However, I do think the legal system goes a little overboard with this cryptic language. I also find it amazing at how important a comma can be in the interpretation of a contract. All that being said, I have some advice for navigating the artist manager contract negotiation in an economical way. Treat your contract negotiation in the same manner as a non-contested divorce. The two parties involved should attempt to negotiate as many of the major issues as possible without the attorneys. This method is gauranteed to save you a great deal of money! Once the major terms are negotiated, then you should have your attorney write up the initial draft. Before getting the other party’s attorney involved, look over the draft together again to see if there are any major issues that can be resolved outside of the attorneys. Once you feel comfortable with the initial draft then volley to the other attorney with the pretense that you have both agreed on the major issues and the contract just needs tweaking. If either attorney has concerns, you should definitely listen but remember that time is precious as the cash meter is running.