A contract is legally binding agreement. Contracts are the foundation of the business world. Contracts may be written or oral; may be simple or extremely complex. Examples of contracts include sales agreements, real estate purchase contracts, employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, finder’s agreements, or insurance contracts, to name a few.
Drafting a contract is the act of writing out the terms and details of the contract, in order to outline the legal obligations of the two parties, so that they fully understand the terms of the agreement and their respective duties towards one another. The overall goal of drafting a contract is to ensure that each party thoroughly understands the terms and conditions in the contract. Therefore, the person drafting the contract should use clear and simple language, as much as possible. A contract full of legal terms and concepts is often not a good idea, as it could raise questions regarding the rightful interpretation of the contract, as well as if there was a “meeting of the minds”, or mutual agreement between the two parties.
Contract review is when a person signing the contract carefully reviews the document or has their lawyer review the document. As noted above, this is to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the contract. Contract review is an important step to ensure that there are less contract disputes in the future. When a contract dispute arises, the first thing that the courts look at is the language of the contract itself. If a problem were to arise, both parties can refer to the contract and pinpoint what is expected of them.
A clearly-written and easily-understood contract can reduce confusion between the parties. However, many contracts are not written clearly, or may contain terms that are unfamiliar to non-lawyers. It is important that parties to a contract understand all terms, so it can be a good idea to hire a lawyer, like Steve Barker to evaluate and explain any unknown terms, even in short or relatively basic contracts. Further justifying the wisdom of this retention is the fact that frequently Steve can evaluate basic contracts in an hour or so, and charges for their services can be a few hundred dollars or less. Compare this to the cost of trying to resolve a dispute based upon a misunderstanding after the fact, and it is easy to see the smart course of business. Finally, Steve can discuss frankly your understanding of the contract to ensure that your anticipated course of conduct does not run afoul of some seemingly inapplicable provision, or the law of your jurisdiction in general.