When you are trying to
see what something is, there is no substitute for looking at an
example. This is particularly true with legal documents like the
ones discussed on this web site.
When you are trying to learn about something, one of the best
things to do is to compare what you are interested in with something
from the same field or of like kind and hopefully, better quality.
When you are
studying any particular legal document, whether it is an employment
contract, a Will, Articles of Incorporation, or whatever, one of the
best techniques is to get one that was done very thoroughly. It is
always easier to decide that some provision included in what you
are comparing is not needed in your situation (and can be dropped),
than it is to start with a skeletal version of the form and try to
think up what else you need to add. (My favorite illustration of
this was Roy Roger’s employment contract. It was in an old AmJur
forms book, in small type, and it was still about a quarter of an
inch thick. It went on and on and on and on.)
I always find it
easier to think about a particular legal document when I have an
example from the real world in front of me to look at. So this
section of my web site is where I have included (and will include in
the future) some pdf files that you can look at to get an idea about
what forms these papers can take.
First I am including
three different companies’ Articles of Incorporation. You will see
the Articles for The Greif Bros. Cooperage Corporation. They were
done in 1926 and filed in Delaware. There are seven articles on
about fourteen pages. Next you will see restated articles for
Claxton Acres, Inc. Those contain five articles on two pages.
Third, you will see Faley Enterprises, Inc. It is ten articles on
two pages done in 1976. None of these were drafted by me. I
include them as examples for comparison and to use to think about
the range of what can be included in any Articles of Incorporation.
Next I am including
the owners’ Deed of Dedication for National Plaza, Waterloo, Iowa.
It creates a Zero Lot Line form of ownership on a one-story building
that has eight units. I could do this because no unit is situated
over another; it is just a long one-story building with a basement
when you see it from the adjacent street. With Zero Lot Line a
conveyance of the lot conveys the unit on the lot. There is no HOA.
There is no ownership in common of so-called “common elements.”
Finally, I am
including the Declaration from Ashwood Condominium. I drafted it in
1993. Comparing this Declaration with the Deed of Dedication for
National Plaza illustrates that a condominium and a zero lot line
are two very different approaches to providing for multiple
ownership in a multi-unit building.
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