The “Fine Print” In Contracts Does Matter
September 11, 2011 by David Newdorf
Filed under Lit Tip Of The Week:™ Practical Advice For Litigators
Few clients care about the contractual boilerplates – until their business dispute hinges on these terms and conditions. Transactional lawyers, businesses and individuals should consider what standard terms are appropriate before a dispute arises. Post-dispute, you need to read the contract closely.
Common Contract Terms That Will Affect Your Dispute
Some examples of terms that will affect your contract dispute:
- The forum selection clause may dictate where you need to hire litigation counsel.
- Look for remedy-related terms such as “limitations of remedies,” “waiver of damages” and “indemnification.”
- Did the parties waive a jury or court trial, and if so, what will that do for the prospect of recovering significant compensatory damages?
Attorney’s Fees Provisions in Contracts
If there is an attorney’s fee provision, think carefully how that will affect the lawsuit. Often an attorney’s fee provision will cause a party to become entrenched in its position and make it difficult to settle a relatively low-value dispute. The party who is convinced he’s right may not mind spending $100,000 in fees on a $50,000 dispute because he expects to recoup them.
Also pay attention to contractual procedures for notice. Many contracts require written notice and an opportunity to cure any claimed breach. Failure to follow these procedures may jeopardize the claim.
California Breach of Contract Law Firm
Newdorf Legal is a California-based law firm with extensive experience litigating breach of contract lawsuits, interference with contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and many other types of business lawsuits. For more information, contact David Newdorf at 415-357-1234 or info(at)newdorf.com.