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In addition to misleading a third party, backdating may also be impermissible where it contravenes applicable rules or legislation.

For example, in the Ontario Securities Commission found that RIM engaged in improper backdating practices when certain high ranked individuals backdated options to a price that was "in the money".

Sometimes you will want the effective date to be different from the date of signing, either earlier (i.e., backdating) or later (i.e., predating).

Either is acceptable, provided that both you and the other party intended it.

In the following passive example the receiver of the action comes before the actor. Regulations lend themselves to this style, especially procedures, how-to instructions, and lists of duties. A regulation of continuing effect speaks as of the time you apply it, not as of the time you draft it or when it becomes effective.

Passive: The regulation [receiver] was written [verb] by the drafter [actor]. Directness avoids the passive voice: SAY: Sign all copies. This style results in procedures that are shorter, crisper, and easier to understand. For this reason, you should draft regulations in the present tense.

To be clear, having a later effective date does not mean that the contract will not be binding until that later date.

The contract is binding when both parties have accepted the contract.

It's better to express even a negative in positive form. DON'T SAY: All persons except those 18 years or older must... However, you may use an exception if it avoids a long and cumbersome list or elaborate description. SAY: Each state except Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona must ration...However, it is impermissible where the parties backdate either to unconscionably interfere with the rights of third parties (including the government's right to tax such parties) or where it contravenes applicable rules or legislation.With a pair of newly introduced tools to encourage corporate social responsibility, the federal government is seeking to expand its reach when it comes to controlling the way Canadian businesses operate abroad.It is common for two parties, particularly in the commercial context, to enter into a contract at one time, but agree to have the contract come into effect at an earlier time. Courts respect the parties' decision to backdate since giving effect to backdating provisions respects the parties' intentions as well as their freedom of contract., 1968 (the date the contract was delivered to the insured).The Court considered the construction of the whole policy and held that the exclusion clause took effect on the backdated date chosen by the parties.Active: The drafter [actor] wrote [verb] the regulation [receiver]. By drafting in the present tense, you avoid complicated and awkward verb forms.Passive constructions are confusing when used in regulations. DON'T SAY: The fine for driving without a license shall be .00. If you can accurately express an idea either positively or negatively, express it positively.Home | Previous | Next Principles of Clear Writing 1. The active voice eliminates confusion by forcing you to name the actor in a sentence.This construction makes clear to the reader who is to perform the duty.Let’s take a look at the different possibilities, and what you need to know to understand the all-important “when” of an agreement.If a contract does not specify its effective date, it goes into effect on the date it was signed by the person to whom the contract was offered for a signature.

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