Friday, December 21, 2007

"Would You Like to Supersize Your Contract?"

"You must have a form for that?" Business attorneys often hear that question from prospective clients when discussing a document they would like to have prepared. It may be an agreement relative to formation of an entity, a commercial contract, or an agreement for the purchase and sale of a business. Too often parties believe the lawyer has a "boilerplate" agreement into which the lawyer simply needs to fill-in the names of the parties and the dates.

Part of the value of hiring a seasoned business attorney is, indeed, to benefit from the prior experiences and work performed by the attorney in similar matters. Additionally, there is the benefit of efficiency and economy with an attorney who does not have to "re-invent the wheel" when working on a business agreement. Each commercial relationship, however, has its own dynamic and unique concerns which should be properly and specifically addressed in the governing contract. The provisions of the contract to address such issues cannot be "cut and pasted" from one agreement to another.

Your business attorney should take the time to ask you about the parties involved, the specific goals of the business relationship or transaction, standards and guidelines for performance by each party, timing concerns, and any unique issues that may arise in performance of the contract. These are matters that are unique to each contract. If these questions are not asked and, therefore, not addressed in the agreement, in the event a dispute should arise the agreement will provide little guidance in resolving the dispute.

A little extra time in the preparation and drafting of a business contract may save much time and many dollars in avoiding or resolving a subsequent dispute between the parties. There are no contract "Value Meals" to order.

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