06/06/16 How to Use the Phrase ‘FORCE AND EFFECT’

e-legal lesson

The phrase force and effect is widely used in contracts, in no force and

[or or] effect and the same force and effect but mostly in full force and effect.
If Doe does not sign and return this agreement by February 15, 2015, the offer of Severance Benefits will be deemed withdrawn and this agreement will be of no force and effect.
… each of the obligations in the Credit Agreement and the other Loan Documents is hereby reaffirmed with the same force and effect as if each were separately stated herein and made as of the date hereof;
… the obligations of the Borrower under this section 3 will remain in full force and effect until…

Nevertheless, force is redundant – draters would be better off omitting it from the phrase.
Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage suggests that “the emphasis gained by force and effect may justify use of the phrase more likely in drafting (contracts and statutes) than in judicial opinions.” But that, according to Kenneth Adams, misconstrues the nature of contract language – it doesn’t serve to persuade anyone of anything, so that sort of emphasis has no place in a contract.