Friday, July 4, 2008

One Truly Great Article on Contracts and Agreements

Harry Thomas Hackney, P.A. of the Florida Law Blawg puts a lot of wisdom into his Get It In Writing AND Make It Clear:

"I was listening to a podcast of a speech recently when the speaker said something such as “Lawyers always say, get it in writing because then there is no doubt what you meant. You can’t argue with what’s written.” It was like nails on a chalkboard to my ear. The naivete! Only a non-lawyer could say that getting an agreement in writing ends all disputes.

You should get any important agreement in writing. Without a written agreement or understanding, there can be wild variations and disagreements as to what was said or agreed upon. However, getting it in writing won’t eliminate all disputes. A written agreement will certainly reduce the chance of a dispute and eliminate many areas of dispute, but no agreement is ever perfect."
The remainder is a good read, too.

People tell me that they had no contract - there was no writing. That can be very wrong. As the article above points out, a written contract is evidence of the agreement. What the written contract evidences is another matter altogether.