Whether you are a business owner or an individual who needs to sign a legal contract, it is always a good idea to seek legal advice before finalizing any paperwork. If you are looking for ways on how to avoid legal contract disputes, our law firm can help you. If you have already signed a contract and are in need of help resolving a dispute contact us immediately to set up a no-cost consultation with our team.
Contract Dispute Prevention Tip #1: Be Specific About the Time for Performance
A well-written contract establishes a timeframe within which the work (the performance) is to be completed. Specific time-for-performance stipulations in a contract can entitle parties to be discharged from the contract. Construction projects are prime breeding ground for performance-timing issues. As many people who have managed a home renovation project have experienced, construction projects often run behind schedule. Sometimes there are good reasons, such as the contract specifying the paneling in the kitchen to be constructed from a specific type of wood… which just happens to have been plagued by locusts. On the other hand, suppose your contract simply states that the project will begin “soon.” You might interpret the word to mean in the next few weeks, but the construction company might interpret it to mean within the next few months. For this reason, it is very important that contracts include exact dates for performance, not general and vague time periods.
Contract Dispute Prevention Tip #2: Establish the Level of Quality Expected
How do you measure the required quality level for the product or services that are being provided? For instance, suppose you are preparing a contract to purchase a fleet of “good quality” delivery cars for your business. In 1986, the Hyundai’s first model of car in the United States was the Excel. Its advertisement for a $4,995 car stated: “Our new 3-door. It looks like a million but costs $955,005 less.” However, the quality problems were such that David Letterman joked that one of the top pranks to play in a space station at night would be to “paste a ‘Hyundai’ logo on the main control panel. In 2009, however, Hyundai was the fastest growing automaker in the world. In addition, a 2010 Consumer Reports reliability survey ranked Hyundai as the fourth best auto maker. In short, you would probably not be very happy if you had a 1986 contract to purchase a fleet of Hyundais given the level of quality that the company felt was acceptable at that time. Thus, it is very important for a contract to specify a required quality and who determines when that quality level has been met. Today, many Hyundai cars now come with extensive manufacturer warranties. In other words, Hyundai, the manufacturer, takes direct responsibility to rectify certain problems that arise during a specific period of time.
Contract Dispute Prevention Tip #3: Write Provisions for Early Termination
Sometimes an individual or a company cannot afford to continue a contract. Rather than waiting for the relationship to sour and for there to be a breach of contract, it can be helpful for the contract to contain an escape clause. For instance, suppose that new technology arises so that the type of work provided for in the contract is no longer needed. If the purchaser breaches the contract, that could lead to litigation. One way to mitigate the fallout from such an event is to include an “early termination provision” in the contract. This type of provision allows either party to leave the contract in exchange for either a certain percentage of the amount of money that would have been paid over the entire contract or compensation for an estimated amount of money that reflects how much profit the other party would have made if the contract had been completed.
The morale in all of this is that, even during the excitement of a new business relationship, the parties should not forget to create a contract that is clear and deals with potential problems that may arise. As an attorney that specializes in the litigation that comes from these problems, a lot of trouble and expense can be avoided by considering these issues when the contract is being written. A review by an attorney, with the purpose of preventing future possible litigation, is strongly advised and money well spent.
Do you need an attorney who knows how to avoid legal contract disputes? Attorney Lanease Fuller is here for you. Reach out to our team today to learn more about dispute resolution and how to avoid getting into a bad contract.
Experienced Personal Business Attorney in Houston, Texas
Attorney Fuller is a seasoned attorney with nearly three decades of experience representing a wide range of clients. This includes individuals who have suffered an injury due to another’s actions, individuals facing criminal charges, those who have been arrested for DWI, individuals who have found themselves in a civil litigation dispute, and those looking for legal guidance in business.
After filling out a client intake form, Attorney Lanease D. Fuller will take appropriate action in your case to help you get the results you are looking for. This includes but not limited to gathering evidence, going to trial, and earning a settlement that is appropriate for your specific situation. Reach out to us today to take the first step towards settling your case.
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