The law defines a contract as “an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and valuable consideration.” As fancy as that sounds, a contract is, at its core, simply a promise. A promise by one party that, in exchange for money, the other party will provide some sort of service, good, product, or piece of merchandise. In addition to being a promise, a contract does not have to be in writing. Although different rules apply to them, oral contracts are just as legally binding as written contracts. In our practice, we’ve been primarily involved with construction contracts. But contracts apply to all industries and transactions.
Although we have spent years helping clients litigate and resolve contract disputes, the best time to contact an attorney is BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. All terms and conditions of a contract are negotiable, so please give us a call anytime you contemplate entering into a contractual relationship with another party. It is always easier, and less expensive, to address contract issues before a dispute arises and the parties are at odds, not communicating, and fighting. Bring us your agreements before you enter them, and well will do our best to help you avoid contractual pitfalls going forward.
Working with us early in the contracting process offers you some advantages. For instance, the so-called “American Rule” states that each party is responsible for his/her own attorney’s fees. By contrast, however, this rule can be modified in many ways, including making the person who breached the agreement pay for the attorney’s fees. Furthermore, contract disputes can be litigated outside the court system by including dispute resolution language in the agreement. While this may take away one’s constitutional right to a trial by jury, it also has many advantages, including privacy, cost, speed, and subject matter expertise.
Don’t contract alone! Contact us and will work to make sure you don’t bargain away important legal rights.