Over years of practice, we all build up some bad habits. Bad habits in contract drafting, however, could cause some big problems for your business. By taking these issues into consideration, you’ll be able to break out of these habits that could cause trouble – and help prevent potential litigation.
Using Unclear Terms
The terms of a contract define what really matters. Whether it’s pricing, timelines, or definitions, everything laid out in your contracts should be well-defined and as clear as possible. Leaving these terms open to interpretation means that they’ll be open to dispute if any conflict happens, which may drag your business into an extensive legal battle to defend the terms as you originally intended. Contracts should also avoid jargon, whether they be industry-specific or legal terminology. Even if a term seems to be commonly understood by industry professionals, it’s best to clearly define in plain English every necessary term. You’d be surprised how often these terms are interpreted differently, or, come with a connotation that changes the context they’re used in.
Not Accounting For Dispute Resolution
Even though we hope everything will run smoothly, it’s always best to include specific details that dictate the method and rules around dispute resolution. This can include the method of dispute resolution, whether that be through the courts or arbitration, as well as where that resolution should be held and whether or not an offending party will be held liable for the costs of the resolution. It’s always best to have plans for dispute resolution and not need them than to need them and not have a plan in place.
Not Including Notice of Breach
Requiring notice of breach can not only provide an avenue for salvaging a deal headed south but can also provide protection to your business by creating a method by which you’ll be able to recover from the situation. These notices are often the last line of defense before taking action against another party, or a warning that they may take action against you. Either way, they provide an opportunity to salvage the deal before you’re forced into litigation, and if things don’t straighten themselves out, can be used as evidence during dispute resolution.
Failing to Consult Legal Counsel
Without consulting experienced legal counsel, you may be opening yourself up to a litany of potential risks when negotiating contracts. Not only will you be unsure of the enforceability of your terms, but you could also miss out on important legal protection that could have been available to you. By consulting with a qualified lawyer, you can have peace of mind knowing that the terms in your contracts have been vetted by a legal professional. Contact Trembly Law Firm today at (305) 985-4571 for high-quality general counsel services with experience in protecting Florida businesses.