Contracts That Won’t Be Followed

One of the most common pieces of advice I give to clients regarding contracts is that it is better to have no contract at all than to have a contract that no one follows. If there is a dispute in a courtroom, it might be harder to prove the terms of an unwritten contract, but at least there is a set of actions that can be tracked and a contract inferred from the behavior of the parties. But a written contract that is ignored is even more difficult because there might be some parts of the contract that are followed and others that are not followed. Courts will routinely default to the written contract which can create all kinds of odd outcomes. But complex contracts, poorly written contracts, and contracts that just plain confuse people don’t get followed.

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