In a recent ABA Journal piece "Shall We Abandon Shall?" legal writing überlord Bryan Garner tells us not to use the word "shall" in contracts. Why? "Shall is a chameleon-hued word." Mr. Garner, a favorite of Justice Antonin Scalia, turns to another Justice to back up his point:
As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remarked in a majority opinion: “though shall generally means must, legal writers sometimes use, or misuse, shall to mean should, will or even may.”
I'm with Prof. Brian Quinn, writing in M &A Law Prof Blog: "I'll stop using 'shall' in drafting when I stop using it in conversation! Oh wait, I don't use shall in normal conversation."