Contracts are very important for many reasons. Not having a contract and going strictly off of a handshake or a spoken agreement can make your case pretty shaky in court. It’s not undoable, granted, but it’s difficult. It’s just hard to prove anything if there isn’t some form of documented evidence. When it comes to everything from employment agreements to business partnerships, a contract can mean the difference between winning and losing a case.
Whether creating a contract or amending an existing one, an attorney is a great decision to ensure the document is drafted accurately and able to be used in a court of law. Without writing in certain clauses, or detailing certain aspects of the agreement, the contract can be found to simply be null and void.
How to Know if You Need an Attorney
In most cases, if you have to ask, you probably do. If the value of the agreement is high enough that a dispute could not be settled in small claims court, or without hiring an attorney at that time, it’s probably smart to hire one. If a contract will document services totaling several thousand dollars or an arrangement that will seriously impact your livelihood, make sure it’s done correctly and hire a lawyer.
If you are engaging in a business where you will be commonly forming contracts with multiple individuals that individually may not amount to much, but collectively will, consider hiring an attorney to help you draft the contract template so that it is air tight and will protect you in all your agreements.
If you feel confident in your contract writing ability, certain situations may still be better with an attorney. The more complicated the arrangement, the more likely attorney representation will help you avoid something falling through the cracks. Even having an air tight contract can be disputed in court if there is evidence the contract was not signed properly by both parties. Some arguments may include one of the parties not being mentally fit to sign the agreement or the signature being forged. This is where involving an attorney and possibly a notary can really help.
Keep in mind that business agreements and partnerships can get incredibly complicated. There are some matters where having legal representation all throughout the process is essential. If you are dealing with international business and law agreements, or local agreements that deal with multiple different types of law, such as business and real estate law, having an attorney is a must-have.
Even if you’ve previously had an attorney assist with an original contract, that doesn’t mean adding an amendment will be easy or go smoothly. On the contrary, if you needed an attorney before, you will most likely still need one now. Improperly adjusting a contract with an incorrectly written amendment will often compromise the integrity of the entire agreement and not just the amendment. This means you will have difficulty using any part of the agreement in court if there are problems later and will have essentially undone the work your attorney did with the original contract.
There can be many reasons why you may want to amend a contract. Circumstances change, but contracts do not. That’s what amendments are for.
If it’s a partnership agreement, for example, responsibilities may change for either or both parties. The business may be taking in more money and require a different kind of contract. Sometimes the relationship between the parties may change as well. An agreement that worked for a married couple, for example, may not work for them if they were to divorce. In any case, an attorney is your best bet in ensuring the contract is drafted correctly and adequately holds and protects both parties within the understood agreement defined in writing.
Overcome Objections to Hiring Representation
If you have any objections to hiring an attorney, you may want to consider all possibilities. You may feel confident in your abilities to draft the agreement or to trust the person you are signing the agreement with. Unfortunately, the reality is that legal agreements are easy to make mistakes in drafting and the relationship you have with the person you are signing a contract with may change in the future even if you don’t predict it will now. In most cases, what you would spend paying an attorney to do things correctly is only a fraction of what you would pay if your agreement wasn’t solid and you had to go to court over it without a strong case. Be proactive and have a reputable business attorney assist you with your California contract amendment and/or creation.
Finding a Professional California Business Attorney
Webb Law Group is a reputable business law firm with experience in matters involving California law. Having a reputable attorney by your side for these matters will help give you the best possible chance of a positive outcome in your case. If you feel you need legal representation, we are happy to review your legal needs and provide consultation and support where necessary.
For questions, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today at 559.431.4888 (Fresno) or 619.399.7700 (San Diego).