Not sure where else to put this as I did not see a StackExchange for legal questions. Will gladly remove if someone can suggest a more appropriate place.

We are submitting a proposal in response to a government RFP. My client thinks that any and all uses of ensure, assure, or insure, (unless specifically about insurance) in any document (not just the specific proposal we are doing today) should be avoided as it exposes them to legal liability.

So on a resume we can't say, "Mr. Jones utilized cutting edge technology to ensure optimal placement of gizmos".

It is true that if we represent that we can do the work and then fail we will have some legal liability. But I don't believe the liability attaches in our proposal, it would be when we sign a contract.

ETA: The done thing here is to use "make sure" in place of these words. Which would be legally identical, wouldn't it? Is it plausible that one could avoid liability by using "make sure" instead of "ensure"?

  • 2
    You can assure yourself you won't be held legally accountable if you ensure any instances of these words are removed; if you don't, you should probably insure your bottom line. Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


This highly depends on jurisdiction and the exact situation. You don't need the internet: you need a lawyer to review documentation you're submitting.

That being said: An RFP is not going to be legally binding in most conditions, though if you cannot ensure placement of gizmos you may want to avoid saying you can.

  • another thing is, would you hire someone who did not at least say that they can do the job?
    – Vidro3
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 18:38

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