Anatomy of a Contract
April 14, 2023
Gregg Lehman noted that contracts are ubiquitous. Whether in writing on paper, in a text message or undertaken with just a handshake, contracts create rights and obligations that can dictate the course of a relationship…good or bad.
A contract is an exchange of promises or agreement between two or more persons (individuals, businesses, organizations or government agencies) to do, or to refrain from doing, a particular thing in exchange for something of value, that the law will enforce and provide a remedy for breach.
It has three components: offer, acceptance, and consideration. (Without consideration it is a gift.)
Key provisions include: scope of work to be performed, when the work is to be delivered, and how much is paid for the work.
There are many danger areas of an agreement including indemnity, limitation of liability, and representations and warranty.
Whether and when you need a lawyer to draft or review the agreement depends on the complexity of the situation and your own experience.
When the other party starts quoting from the agreement, the relationship has already soured. Don't rely on an agreement, or a jury, to resolve disputes correctly.
Know who you are dealing with, negotiate in person, and check in regularly on the satisfaction of the other party with the relationship.
Gregg Lehman is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Fort Worth based OneMain Solutions having previously held similar positions in start-up, small and large organizations as well as serving as a local and federal prosecutor. He joined the TCU Neeley School of Business in 2005 as an Adjunct Professor after stints at The University of Texas School of Law, Tulane University School of Law, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He holds a B.A. in history and a B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University, a Juris Doctorate degree (J.D.) from the College of William and Mary, and a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) from the University of London, Queen Mary College.
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