Entering into a new business relationship is the keystone of our economy. An intricate part of most business dealings today involves a signed and legally binding contract. In fact, because contracts have now become a necessary tool in most business dealings today, many people mistakenly use pre-fabricated forms, instead of seeking the help of an experienced business or contract attorney, who can draft the contract to the specific needs of the parties. And, if you believe a pre-fabricated contract form will protect you in all of your business dealings, you will be mistaken, as these generic form documents do not take into account the intricacies of your business and the parties involved. Only a qualified business attorney, who sits down with you, or the parties of the contract, to investigate the actual intent and duties of the parties, can draft a legally binding document that will protect you and your business dealings and offer you maximum protection.
The days of verbal agreements and a handshake are pretty much over and many states will not honor a handshake as a contract, as the Statute of Frauds takes over and a written contract is usually required. While there are cases in which these types of arrangements may hold up in court, those are very limited situations and additional evidence of a contract is required in order to win your case in a contract dispute, such as the showing of emails and financial transactions, etc. All agreements must be in writing if you hope to protect your interests. See Statute of Frauds. A legally binding contract will allow you the protections that you need A qualified business or commercial contract attorney can help you draft a legally binding document that will protect your interests and your transactions taking place and also apply damages if needed and limit your liability.
All business contracts should contain specific clauses outlining damages in case of a breach and the dispute resolution practices for your company and state. It should also set jurisdiction and venue. In most cases, there are separate clauses drafted to ensure these requirements are met and it should also set up possible ways to seek resolution of disputes, such as an option in the contract that includes mediation or arbitration, before the filing of a formal lawsuit. This helps ensure that any future disputes which may arise, will be settled in the most cost effective manner possible. Your business attorneys can effectively draft these clauses, so that you are protected and so that it will help prevent extended court battles and litigation costs.
Choice of Venue
As stated above, an important clause to include in all contracts is the choice of venue clause. This clause determines where a lawsuit can be filed should the situation arise. Why is this clause important for deterring legal action? By setting the venue in advance you are predetermining that all future legal action will be conducted in your local court system, thus forcing anyone who files suit to do so in your home jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of your choice. If you set venue to your home town, and if your business associates are located across the country, you will effectively force them to come to you to mediate and litigate.
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For more information or to have one of our business and contract legal representatives contact you, visit our website at Goldstein & Scopellite, PC or call us at 214-351-9100. Thank you