Issues When a Lawyer is Not Involved in the Drafting Process
There are many dangers that come from writing your own contracts without the input of a contract lawyer. One of the functions of a contract is to prevent future disputes between the two sides. This requires that the contract use precise language to describe the duties and responsibilities of both parties.
When people create their own contracts they often do not realize how vague their language is. One common contractual term is “timely”. If timely is not defined in the contract, this one word can lead to expensive litigation.One side may feel that a delivery within 30 days is timely while the other side may face economic ruin because it understood timely to mean within a week. This vague term could land the two parties in court facing an uncertain outcome.
Another danger of DIY contracts is that they often fail to adequately address issues that might come up. Most businesses write contracts as if nothing will ever go wrong between the two parties because the deal is too important. But, contract lawyers have seen enough deals go bad that they draft contracts to address common issues in commercial relationships. When something bad happens down the road and the parties have not addressed it in their contract it can paralyze the business relationship.
Another issue with self-drafted contracts is that they may not be enforceable at all. A contract lawyer will ensure that all of the essential elements for an enforceable agreement are present in the document. Many businesses want to save money on legal costs and instead try and draft their own contracts only to find out that the costs of contract dispute litigation over poorly worded clauses costs much more than having a professional write the contract in the first place.
The Importance of an Outside Perspective
In addition to their legal skills, contract lawyers are also detailed oriented and excellent problem solvers. Having a lawyer prepare your legal documents gives you an outside perspective on your business dealings. Sometimes businesses are too close to the negotiations to notice potential problems with the structure of the deal.
Lawyers are not only able to give you feedback on any potential pitfalls of the deal, but they can also make suggestions on ways to fix the problems. Sometimes, just the way a concept is worded, by a lawyer, in the contract can turn a potential liability into a form of protection for your company. Because a lawyer is not invested in the outcome of the commercial transaction, they are able to give useful, unbiased advice to protect your legal rights and interests.