A contract can be between business people, landlords and tenants, sellers and buyers, consumers and service providers. Regardless of the contract type, once it is signed it is legally binding on all parties to the contract.
Litigation on breach of contracts happens often. Often times, litigation ensues because one or more parties to the contract do not live up to their promises. However, when it comes to an individual being sued on a contract, it is mostly because that individual did not retain an attorney to look over the document that she was signing.
Be it one page or a long contract, here are 5 reasons why you always should retain an attorney when signing a legal document:
- Certain language may not mean what you think it means.
Most contracts contain legalese, which are legal terminology that is generally not fully comprehensible for non-attorneys. Without fully understanding the terms mean of your contract, we do not recommend you to sign this legal document, as it becomes valid with that signature and enforceable against the singing party (you) in the court.
For example, the term “consideration” in a legal world and outside of it means different things. In the legal field it means something that a party to the contract is willing to give up in exchange for something the other party to the contract provides. That could be money in exchange for services.
Without fully understanding all the terms of the contract, you can never sign it.
- You may miss some language hidden in the blocks of text.
Some contracts are lengthy and some are short. Regardless, some important language can be hidden in large paragraphs that can be hard to read and understand as a whole. Especially, such task is daunting for someone who is not used to this kind of legal reading.
Missing one sentence may drastically change the way a party acts on the contract terms. For example, missing the notice requirement to renew the contract can change the game, as without the notice, the contract can be renewed for another term without any other steps.
Do not risk your financial and psychological condition. Even if you miss something important but yet put your signature on the document, you are bound by the terms.
- You may not know the legal implications of certain provisions.
This one is big. What perfectly translates in our brain may not be the case for legal language. More specifically, without proper knowledge, it may be hard to see the consequences of certain provisions. For example, including attorney’s fee provision in the contract may be a good or bad thing. You may think that because you intend to perform under the contract, things can change in the future. Hence, having such provision could be more or less beneficial to a party.
Without an attorney analyzing the contract as a whole, you roll the dice and face unnecessary risks.
- The other party may try to deceive you.
This is not a secret that good faith is not always a part of the contract; although by law it is a requirement. No one wants to go through the judicial system and endure litigation fees and costs. If in the course of performance the other party starts making demands to which you did not agree but signed anyway, legal problems may emerge. If the deceit was intentional, the provision may be struck from the document. If unintentional, you maybe able to revise it. The bottom line is that you may face a large legal expense for something that could have been prevented in beginning.
- The contract may be invalid.
Last but not least, this document can miss required elements and deemed invalid. This happens quite often when no lawyers are involved in the process of drafting. For example, the parties may fail to determine the end date of the transaction, which is an essential requirement for certain contracts. Without this term, the entire document will be invalid and unenforceable.
If you are going to sign a legal document that will bind you, make sure you have an attorney reviewing it. The amount of money you will spend on it is a lot less that the potential fees expended on the costly litigation.
Our company provides the services for drafting, reviewing, and litigating all types of contracts.
Our address is: 2410 Hollywood Blvd,
Hollywood, FL 33020