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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: The Legal Corner: How to write a basic contract

April 25, 2011

The number one cause for contractual litigation is when two contracting parties do not write down their agreement. It is absolutely critical to do so. The safest way to draft or review a contract is with an attorney’s help. However, for some agreements, it may not be cost effective to pay legal fees for production of a contract. Nonetheless, you should write down your agreement.
Writing a simple contract is not as hard as it may sound. Basically, you need to write down what you and the other party are agreeing to. The agreement should be written in simple, plain language without unnecessary legalese and should be specific enough so that each party is clear as to his or her responsibilities. The following items should be included in all contracts.
(1) A typed or legibly written agreement.
(2) Each party should sign and date the contract.
(3) As stated above, use plain language that is easy to understand to list each parties’ rights and responsibilities. If you do not understand a provision, re-write it in a way that you do understand.
(4) If the other party has drafted the contract, read it carefully and ask questions if you do not understand something. Do not sign anything that you do not understand.
(5) If there are payments involved in the contract, be very clear as to the amounts and dates that the payments should be made and what happens if a party fails to comply.
(6) A provision for what happens if either party changes his or her mind.
Obviously, there is more to writing a contract than the above-mentioned items, and the type of contract that you write will necessarily depend on what the two parties are agreeing to. However, the critical point is that a written contract is always better than a verbal one. A written contract will prevent many disputes, and will help to resolve any disputes that do arise.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay