Not all legal documents are created equal. A skilled and experienced contract draftsman is invaluable. The contract attorneys at McClanahan Powers use their knowledge and expertise to craft tailored contracts to their client’s specific needs. When drafting or writing a contract, agreement, or legal document, a skilled drafter creates a document that is legally valid and enforceable; aiming to protect their client’s legal interests and rights while clearly expressing the understanding of the party or parties. Further, a skilled contract lawyer takes the time to make sure that the client understands the contract, that the client is comfortable with the document, understands how it works, and what its limitations are. Even a well drafted contract, without guidance and understanding, is simply a piece of paper with writing on it.
The party that drafts the contract will most often have language in the contract that is more beneficial to their side. Therefore, when you are faced with the option, you want to be the drafting party. An experienced contract lawyer will know how to draft a contract or document that favors you or your business, but maintains terms which are both fair and reasonable to the other party. There is a difference between drafting favorable language and writing language into a contract that is detrimental to the agreement between the parties or purpose of the contract as a whole. If it undermines the parties, and the deal they agreed to, then the drafting of the agreement can be the very item that ruins the deal between the parties. For this reason, it is vital to choose a contract attorney to draft your agreement who is capable of writing favorable language, but who also balances that with preserving the relationships of the parties and the strength of their agreement.
A contract should explain the story of the agreement and the parties involved. A reader, with no other explanation, knowing nothing else, should be able to understand what is going on in the contract and understand the agreement of the parties. Certainly, some provisions will contain legal language or legalese, which may express in greater detail more complex components of the agreement; however, gone are the days of archaic legal language where neither party understands the first ten provisions. There is simply no need to write the general terms of the agreement in old English. The modern practiced, contract attorney writes and organizes a contract or agreement that the client can actually understand. The document should be well organized and its terms expressed in understandable language, so that all parties feel comfortable and understand the contract they are signing.
At its heart, a contract is a written expression of a promise or an exchange of promises between two parties for consideration. When each party performs its duties in the contract, most of the concerns or problems that were present or contemplated when the contract was drafted, never arise. The importance of having a valid and enforceable contract is exacerbated when a problem does occur. Consequently, it is an essential component to consider when drafting a contract. If the contract is not legally valid, there is no contract. If you cannot enforce your rights under a contract, then you are left with a signed piece of paper that you can only hope the other side will honor. It is vital to work with an experienced contract attorney who understands contract law and how contracts are challenged. Using that knowledge, a practiced contract lawyer can prepare language in the contract to help maximize your protection and help ensure that the contract and its provisions remain valid and enforceable.
It is always preferable to be the drafting party to a contract or agreement. Our firm routinely drafts its own contracts, but many clients have preexisting contracts that they would like to have revised. Bearing that in mind, however, oftentimes it is more affordable for a client to simply draft a new contract using our general structure, than it is to fix a very poorly organized and drafted contract. This is not always the situation, and in many cases we need only update the language of a contract to reflect new developments or changes in a business or present law. In some cases, after we have read and analyzed the contract or agreement, we may feel that it is sufficient as written for its intended purpose. This conclusion often reduces our client’s fees and costs associated with representation.
Our firm and its contract attorneys frequently review and edit contracts supplied by outside parties to our clients. We work with our clients so that they understand the agreements or legal documents they are being asked to sign. We edit the legal language to accurately reflect the understandings of the parties and to protect our client’s interests. In many cases, this legal service requires some level of negotiation between the parties; therefore, it is important to have an attorney who is not only a skilled contract drafter, but also who has experience in negotiation and litigation. Our contract attorneys are experienced at all levels of the contracts process, from drafting and writing contracts, agreements, and licenses to negotiating business deals and terms to enforcing and defending contracts through litigation.