Posted by Steve E on April 28, 2005
In Reply to: Written consent posted by Lewis on April 28, 2005
: : : : : Can someone please tell me the proper way to say the following...
: : : : : "You may not use the company logo without the EXPRESS WRITTEN consent of the CEO..." or "You may not use the company logo without the EXPRESSED WRITTEN consent of the CEO..." (Thank you)
: : : : Neither is very good. "Express consent" covers it all. You could also say, "Expressly stated consent." "Express written consent" and "Expressly written consent" are possible, but reduplicative, and sound awkward for that reason. Go with the first, "Express consent." It's unambiguous and will hold up in court. SS
: : : I omitted one alternative. You can just say "written consent," which covers it just fine, and is much superior to "express written consent" or any other combination of express and written. SS
: : When I was a child, back in the 60's thru early 70's, baseball announcers would say at the beginning of each game that you could not reproduce "the pictures, descriptions, and accounts of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball", and they'd emphasize "written", which means oral consent is not good enough.
: 'express' should be redundant, but as some people might try to argue that there was an implied agreement, it gets included. the 'written' part is to ensure there are no arguments based upon two people disagreeing about what was agreed.
: it would be better to say 'the logo must not be used without specific written permission signed by the CEO' - no room for misunderstanding and explains what is required in black and white.
: the problem stems from the legal principle that terms of agreement may be either 'express' or 'implied' [as well as 'incorporated'].
: it is a good principle, but can lead to problems.
In legal writing it is important to remember the intent of the statement. In the example given, I am sure, that the CEO wanted the consent granted before the use of the logo because the CEO wanted to know in advance as to any risk, liability, damage, etc. that the use of the logo could potentially cause. If consent is sought after it is used any possible damage could already have been done. If I were writing this I would absolutely use "prior written consent" to cover the intent: must obtain consent; must be before the fact and must be in writing. All bases are then covered.