Prevent Legal Battles with Contracts

Matthew Neco is General Counsel at Docstoc. You can read more of his posts here on Docstoc at the DocstocTV profile page.

Transcribed article based on the video above.

A contract can help parties to a contractual relationship avoid costly legal disputed, by making sure that the contracts very clearly and unambiguously set forth the rights and responsibilities of each party as well as to make sure that contract itself states that the written document is the complete understanding and agreement of the parties.

In today’s day and age, with emails flying back and forth with tweets and short messaging systems, texts and instant messaging, it is too easy for parties to have a course of these conversations by electronic communication and have those result in one party saying, “Well we spoke about this, or wrote about this and these writings in tweets or emails, constitute our written agreement.” It is really good to avoid that by including within your contract a statement that says there won’t be any agreements or amendments or modifications or even waivers of breaches or violations unless it is agreed to by virtue of this contract and it is in writing and it is signed by pen on paper.

If there are going to be agreements by electronic communications that we put some sort of formal statement in those electronic communications to acknowledge that this is what the intent is. The intent is to actually have that communication constitute an agreement or an amendment or a modification or a waiver but I think it is really good to include in the contract a statement that avoids that sort of thing and the types of unintended consequences that could lead to legal fees. So when you are looking at a contract, you want to make sure that type of version is in there, if that is what you like. And if you have any questions about it or are unsure, consult with your own legal advisor.