Viewing: Contract Law Basics and Tips

What?! Typewriters Aren’t Responsible for Two-Spacing?

Some people prefer one space after the period at the end of a sentence. Some prefer two. I'm a one-spacer myself. After I read this Slate article written by Farhad Manjoo strongly supporting one-spacing a few years ago, I posted One Space, Two Spaces…Potato, Potahto? In the piece I noted that the AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual […] Read More

Five Tips for Keeping Track of Contract Versions

It's important not to lose control when you're negotiating a contract. I'm not talking about losing your cool, but staying on top of contract versions. Here's an example from my professional youth: I was negotiating a contract for a large company during my first or second year of practice. There was a lot of back […] Read More

Backdating Contracts Is Tricky Business

It's not unusual for parties to a contract to want the written agreement to cover a period before it's actually signed. There are any number of contexts where this comes up -- some legitimate and others not exactly aboveboard -- but the logistics of negotiating and signing contracts are such that the issue is unavoidable. […] Read More

Have You Thought About Consideration?

When people enter into a contract, everything changes. Before the contract is formed, people can change their minds. They can walk away from negotiations, ask for a higher price, or decide to do business with someone else. After the contract is formed, they have to do what they promised. Contracts are promises that courts will […] Read More

How to Sign a Contract

Signing contracts correctly is important, not just as a matter of dotting i's and crossing t's. How a contract is signed can affect whether it's enforceable and who's on the hook. Here's a basic "how-to" on signing contracts. Only legal persons are parties to contracts. Legal persons can be humans (which are legally known as […] Read More

Breach of Contract for Being Snubbed at Dinner?

If your friend invites you to a dinner party, but no one’s home when you arrive, can you sue for breach of contract? Of course being so litigious could harm your social life, but could you prevail? Probably not. Dinner invitations involve the basic elements of contract formation — there’s an offer, acceptance, and arguably […] Read More

Contractual Limitations: Why Are You Suing Me When Our Contract Says You Can’t?

I recently made a presentation for fellow business lawyers entitled "Contractual Limitations: Why Are You Suing Me When Our Contract Says You Can't?" (Here's a copy of my presentation notes.) The answer is that in Missouri contractual provisions that limit the time within which suit may be brought are unenforceable, although, as with many rules, […] Read More

A Quick Note to Missouri Appellate Lawyers

I read a fair number of Missouri contracts cases for the blog and to stay abreast of the law, and I’ve noticed that Missouri appellate judges often cite ITT Commercial Finance Corp. v. Mid-American Marine Supply Corp., 854 S.W.2d 371 (Mo. banc 1993), which has been referred to as the bible for summary judgment motions […] Read More

Class Action Arbitration Jurisprudence Marches On: In Re American Express Merchants’ Litigation

The Second Circuit struck down an arbitration provision in an American Express Card Acceptance Agreement, which contained a class action waiver, for the third time Wednesday. I found the case yesterday via a post on Howard Ullman’s My Distribution Law blog. Probably no case has been more affected by the Supreme Court’s recent arbitration decisions, […] Read More

Contracting Triage

Legal triage is an everyday part of business. It’s rarely anything so dramatic as the action you see on TV hospital dramas, but businesses constantly have to decide which legal issues are critical, which are important, and which can be put off for a while — or even ignored altogether. I’ve often advised people to […] Read More

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