Do I Need a Lawyer for Contacts?
Looking at a stereotypical contract is often a study in frustration and how many times one can read the same sentence before losing it. Because of this feeling, people too often rush this part of it or use sample contracts and just think the document says what the parties think it does. Prospective clients call our office and ask questions related to operating agreements, business deals, and employment and often our first question is, what does the contract say?
To get to the point where you are entering into an agreement with someone, you have spent a lot of time and money. You probably will have more time and money to invest after the agreement is signed. The agreement is critical to protect that investment.
In its simplest form, a well-drafted contract outlines the rights and obligations of each party. However, it can do so much more. A well-drafted contract can create with mere words a system of complex interactions. A well-drafted contract is an understanding that can accomplish so much more than words and a hand-shake can accomplish; it is the visual proof that all parties are literally on the same page and know the others are as well.
A sample contract found from the internet cannot do this nor can it be done effectively with a form contract. A well-drafted contract will require a discussion with a contract attorney who understands business relationships and business necessities, who understands the risks and rewards of business dealings, and who can draft a contract and can effectively negotiate the terms when needed. Every business deal is different, even if just by a little. To be effective, the contract needs to be tailored to your needs.
Another important feature of a well-drafted contract is that it needs to be easily understood. A contract is a tool, a road-map, a reference guide that shows everyone where they are or need to be. So-called “legalese” is not helpful in contracts and, whether purposefully or not, simply serves to confuse the parties. Confusion in a contract leads to misunderstandings, frustrations, and last possible excuses why one or both parties fail to follow the terms of the contract. That of course, can lead to disputes and litigation.
Joshua Neally has served as In-house counsel for a large company with a wide variety of contractual needs, in addition to advising on and drafting contracts for clients on a range of topics. These contracts include: Employment contracts, including confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements, operating agreements for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), purchase contracts, vendor or joint venture agreements, service agreements (customer), purchase agreements, and contractor relationships.
Call Neally Law at 417-520-1221 to discuss your contract needs