IN ONE WORD: OUR CALIFORNIA CONTRACT LAWYERS ARE …. EFFECTIVE
Your contracts are the foundation, the concrete on which you build your business. A poor contract can save you a few dollars up front and a hundred thousand in litigation later on down the road… we see this all the time.
If you require real protection, have us create a custom-made contract that fits you like a tailored suit. Call us now, or visit our offices for a free consultation, we even validate your parking; we are conveniently located in UTC across from the La Jolla Marriott off of La Jolla Village Drive at 4225 Executive Square, 6th floor, 92037.
CALL US FIRST AT (619) 793-4827 FOR CALIFORNIA AND SAN DIEGO CONTRACTS IN THE AREAS OF:
- START-UPS & VC/ANGEL FUNDING
- REAL ESTATE
- BUSINESS DEALING
- NONCOMPETE AND NONDISCLOSURE CONTRACTS
- EMPLOYMENT AND TERMINATION
- HIRING OF SENIOR PERSONNEL
- PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
- LLC OPERATING AGREEMENTS
- PURCHASE AND SALE OF A BUSINESS
- PURCHASE AND SALE OF REAL ESTATE
- PRENUPTIAL AND POST-NUPTIAL CONTRACTS
Our law firm receives calls almost daily about contract issues. We thought we would create a page just to help you understand this complex but very interesting area of law. Contracts have regrettably taken a back seat to the Internet and many people think that one size fits all. They make the best clients because when something goes wrong, they realize that it requires immediate repair and they are not concerned with the price; they just hope they can turn the clock back on the contract.
Regrettably, that is not always the case. Just this month a client came to our law firm with a contract they modified themselves and they did not have a good contract lawyer (although he most likely told them he was). This mess could be worth a loss of over $100 million dollars in the next 10 years.
At our law firm, we love contracts. The reason we enjoy them so much is they provide an opportunity to be creative- something most areas of law do not allow. There is a big difference between a standard contract, let’s call it, and a custom contract. Although we can provide you with a standard contract, most of the work we create is based on custom work. Yes, a custom contract does cost more than a standard contract; but not in the long run. Not every contract law firm can create a custom contract as many use standard contract software. We create custom-made contracts and our clients love them!
DEFINITION OF A CUSTOM CONTRACT
First, let’s explain to you what a standard contract is in comparison to a custom contract. A Standard contract is just what it sounds like. It is a document we can get from software or from a book that has standard clauses. It is, in essence, a one-size-fits-all. In some cases, these are just fine. For example, in a Promissory Note, corporate bylaws, or in a simple transaction. We do agree with you that that you shouldn’t waste money if there is no need to.
A custom contract, on the other hand, is much more sophisticated, and of course takes much more time to prepare. However, at the end of the day it’s cheaper to have all the clauses you require than spend $150,000 in litigation in order to get something you forgot to deal with in your contract. (By the way, we read the average cost of litigating a case in San Diego County is $150,000). The trick to a custom contract is trying to figure out in advance what can go wrong + creating a custom-made clause that will cover that contingency. Yes, it is very creative in nature and takes a lot of time and brain-power. At the end of the creation of such a contract, the writer can be very exhausted. The client, however, is very happy and that’s all that counts.
EXAMPLES OF HOW A CONTRACT WORKS
We are going to include contract samples so you understand the infrastructure and can better see what is required in your own contract. Let’s start with the basics and then we can go to some popular industries and analyze some narrower topics.
All contracts should contain certain standard clauses. We often have people come to our office for a free consultation and ask us whether we can create a one-page contract. Some ask us because they want to save money and others because they are afraid if the contract is too long that the other person will be intimidated and walk away from the deal.
Well, let’s deal with the second issue first. If you are doing business with someone who will walk away simply because you have a good contract then you most likely shouldn’t be doing business with that person. For example, let’s say you have a contract that states that is someone betrays your trade secret they have to pay $1 million dollars ( that is called a ‘ liquidated damages clause or provision ‘). If the person objects to signing doesn’t it make you wonder? Shouldn’t you wonder? If they only have to pay if they give your secret away then why won’t they sign? Too many people are afraid someone will walk away. You would be surprised. Also, don’t forget that there is plenty of room for negotiation as well. Sometimes you will build great relationships simply because you negotiatated an issue; it can become a bonding event.
As to the first issue, there is no such thing as a one-page contract. It takes more than just a page to insert all of the standard clauses that a contract requires. These standard clauses may be taken for granted or make a contract longer, but they are critical in their own way.
Litigation is expensive and time-consuming; it is also slow as the courts are over-worked. Many contracts now have arbitration clauses that allow you to fight something faster and for far less money. You may not get multi-million-dollar punitive damages, but then again there is no guarantee that you will get them in court either. However, and here is the key. You have to examine the type of contract it is. Sometimes, you want to have no arbitration clause in it. For example, in a non-disclosure agreement. In that case you want to go after major damages and have all the tools available that litigation offers. Sometimes we create a hybrid contract that allows for injunctions but otherwise you have to arbitrate anything else.