Viewing: contract tips

Signing Quotations

I've advised people for years not to sign the other side's purchase orders, acceptances, quotations, and other ordering documents unless the documents have been fully negotiated. That's because it puts you at a huge disadvantage in the battle of the forms. I've also advised people to negotiate terms that are essential--even if they don't sign a […] Read More

Revisiting “No Reliance” Language in Contracts

A (fairly) recent 8th Circuit case reminded me of the importance of including "no reliance" language in even simple contracts. Exploring the idea of drafting simplified contracts for simple situations, I posted a sample contract for a sale of goods a couple of years ago. The idea was to draft a B2B contract that would […] 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

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

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

Habit #2: Give Important Contracts Special Attention

I sometimes give a presentation on simple contracting practices that businesses can adopt to reduce their risk. I’ve posted a cliff notes version in Contract Hygiene: Five Healthy Contracting Habits (Part 1) and (Part 2). Without spending a dime on lawyers, a lot of businesses can significantly reduce the number and size of the time […] Read More

Electronic Confidential Information: It’s Indestructible

Whack-A-Mole. Cockroaches. Electronic confidential information. What’s the common thread? They’re all difficult to destroy. The moles of the carnival game relentlessly pop up in new places. Cockroaches could survive a nuclear attack. And it would be difficult — potentially impossible — to completely destroy electronic confidential information as is required under many confidentiality agreements. Confidentiality […] Read More

The Reading List: China Law Blog

The China Law Blog is a must read for anyone doing business in China and it's a good read for anyone doing business anywhere. It's going into its seventh year of publication—that's a long time in dog years and an eternity in blog years—yet it's still fresh and interesting. Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson co-author […] Read More

Be Sure to Read the Boring Stuff at the Back of Your Contracts

Sometimes the boring standard provisions in the back of a contract can really be brutal. Take this scenario, for example:  Your company books a trip on a cruise ship and signs a contract to charter the ship. It’s the spring of 2001 and you have the foresight to obtain verbal assurances and a letter from […] Read More

Document Comparison Is an Essential Part of the Contracting Process

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Groupon has been accused in a lawsuit of altering emails containing agreements with merchants after both sides had accepted the terms. The plaintiff has accused Groupon of intentionally altering contracts after the fact (“Unbeknownst to Plaintiff and the other Class members … Groupon accesses its merchant-clients’ emails containing the Merchant Agreements […] Read More

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