Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Company is an "It"

In speech, we often refer to a company as "they."  This makes sense, at least to some degree, because a company is run by people, and any company act is the result of decisions made by those people.  However, for legal writing purposes, a company is an "it" and acts individually as an "it," not collectively as "they."  Thus, for example, you should not say, "Citigroup laid off some of their employees this week."  Citigroup is a corporation and, therefore, laid off some of its* employees.  The sentences below offer more correct examples:

The judge found INS Insurance Company breached its duty to act in good faith toward its insured.

The company argued the defendant was an independent contractor because it paid the defendant by the job rather than by the hour.

A corporation many not represent itself in litigation; it must hire counsel.  

*More to come in the future on the it's/its distinction

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