Contract Drafting and Disputes
A contract is the document that explains the relationship between two parties. The most important part of a contract is having one. And a written one is far better than a verbal one. If there is no written agreement at the beginning of the business relationship, the only way to define that relationship later on is by what you thought it was. 100% of the time, what you think the agreement is, is not what the other party thinks the agreement is. And that can make for a very expensive problem.
In a situation where there will be an exchange of product or services for money or other value, all essential terms should be in writing. This best protects you, your business, and your assets. The most common contracts we assist our clients with are:
- Prime Contracts. A prime contract is an agreement between an owner and a general contractor for the complete construction of a project. Whether you are using an AIA contract or have one of your own creation, you should have the contract reviewed by an attorney to make sure all essential terms are included, and to be sure you understand what you are committing to provide.
- Subcontracts. A Subcontract is an agreement between a general contractor and a subcontractor. Normally, the subcontractor is hired to perform a portion of a construction project. Over the years, subcontracts have gotten more and more one-sided in favor of the general contractor. Today, more than ever, it is important to understand what you are agreeing to when you sign a subcontract.
- Contracts with Vendors. To operate a company, you must engage in business with other companies. From the contract with the company that provides your copy machine to your IT company, all of your vendors have contracts you need to sign. Keep in mind, an invoice can be construed as a contract. Learn what you are agreeing to: send the documents over for our review, and we will explain what it means. We will also point out any provisions that are not in your best interest and suggest ways to negotiate those terms.
- Contracts for Vendors. Are you a vendor and need a contract that sets for the essential terms of the business relationship with your customers and protects your interest? Or do you have a contract you have been using for years and are not sure if it’s covering all of your bases? We will take the time to understand your business operations and create and/or correct a contract that puts forth all the essential terms and protects your interest.
- Residential Construction Contracts. There is nothing more that deserves to be protected than your home. Considering hiring a contractor to repair or build your home? In this situation, most of all, you need to understand what you are signing and ensure that your interests are protected. Send over the proposed contract and we will go through it with you, explain everything, and make suggestions to ensure you are protected.
The most important part about contract disputes is addressing them when they first arise. When the other party fails to perform as required, immediately send written notice of the default. Give the defaulting party a chance to correct the default before you take further action. A well-documented story of all the defaults is priceless.
If you receive notice that you are in default, address the issue immediately. Either cure the default or give the other party written notice of why you are not in default, based on the contract.
It is best and most cost-efficient to resolve minor issues between the parties without the need for attorney intervention. If you have tried to resolve the issue to no avail, we are here to walk you through all of your options and let you decide the course of action you feel most comfortable with. We will be up front with all risks and unknowns so you can make an informed decision.