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Written Contracts: Do I really need one?

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How many times have we all heard someone say, “make sure you get it in writing!”

While certain types of oral contracts can be enforceable, “getting it in writing” is a good idea whether you are dealing with vendors, clients or employees/independent contractors.

Let’s face it, when a dispute arises and there is not written record of the agreement, people’s memory’s and understanding of what they agreed to can get “foggy,” intentionally, or otherwise.  Within the last six months, I have had two potential clients call me wanting to bring a breach of contract claim related to an oral agreement.  Not surprisingly, the other side’s recollection of the agreement was vastly different from what the potential clients told me.

Written contracts are a good idea because they not only govern the relationship between the parties, but they also provide a record of each party’s obligations, and the consequences for failure to perform those obligations.  As a litigator, having a written contract can make prosecuting or defending a claim for a breach more efficient and cost-effective.

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