Everyone knows what a contract is: an agreement, whether oral or written, binding multiple parties in a set of agreed-upon obligations, stipulations, and benefits. That much is pretty clear — but, like any given topic, over the years contracts have generated their own set of myths and misconceptions. If you or your businesses is involved in a contract dispute, the experienced attorneys at Berkowitz Klein can mediate or litigate your case.
Contracts Are Impossible To Understand
There are numerous erroneous ideas people have gotten worked into their minds when it comes to legal contracts. The biggest and broadest example is this: contracts are confusing, book-length tomes of legalese that only lawyers have any hope of actually understanding.
This is probably the most stubborn and culturally pervasive misconception about contracts. We have jokes, films, and books about the dire consequences for those unfortunate souls who miss tiny, crucial blips deliberately buried fifty pages in. Not only is this way of thinking about contracts misguided, the kind of contract envisioned in such a scenario is essentially the opposite of what you want a real-life contract to be. A contract is a friend, not an enemy. A good contract should be a simple, accessible document that can be used like a handy reference guide by all parties throughout the stages of the deal the contract addresses. If an attorney is mandatory just to understand its wording, it’s not doing you any favors.
Other Myths And Misconceptions
- Contracts use boilerplate language. They shouldn’t. Every business deal, every payment arrangement, every project is different. A contract between two roofing businesses is not going to bear much resemblance to a contract between an author and a publisher. Don’t think that because you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. You should always make sure you consent to and understand the unique provisions in each individual contract.
- Contracts only count if they’re signed. Contracts don’t need to be ink and paper. They can be verbal, and you can’t exactly sign off on invisible words floating in the air. Furthermore, even if the contract is a written agreement, an empty signature line doesn’t magically invalidate its terms. If the parties involved adhere to the terms and behave as though the contract has been signed, it could be potentially be argued that the contract was binding.
- Breaking a contract is automatically illegal. Though it would admittedly simplify matters a great deal, it’s not necessarily as black-and-white as this. Breach of contract can be pursued with litigation, and has the potential to end in bruised business relationships, damaged reputations, and costly lawsuits. But while it’s of course never a good idea to breach a contract, it is not strictly illegal.
If you or your business is suffering as a result of breach of contract or a contract dispute, contact the offices of Berkowitz Klein today. You should receive the payment, product, or service you’re entitled to. Our attorneys can help.