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In this article, we will examine whether or not contracts must be written down to be considered valid, as well as what types of contracts must be in writing in order to be enforced. We will specifically look at “Are Oral Contracts Valid?”, “Difficulty Proving Oral Contracts” and “Contracts That Must be in Writing.”
In this article we will explain what is needed for a contract to be legally binding in Illinois, including “Does a Contract Have to Be in Writing To Be Legally Binding?”, “What is Required to Create a Valid Contract in Illinois?”, and “What are Letters of Intent and Non-Binding Contracts?”.
When two parties litigate in America, each side typically bears its own attorney fees, whether they win or lose. The prominent exception to this rule is when attorney fees are specifically provided for either in a statute particular to the subject matter of the litigation or a in contract between the parties.
When I review or draft a contract for my clients, I always make sure that an “attorney fee clause” (otherwise known as an “enforcement clause“) is included. Attorney fee clauses provide that if either party to a contract successfully pursues or defends a cause of action for breach of contract, the losing party will pay the winning party’s attorney fees.
Attorney fee clauses are important for two reasons: (1) they deter frivolous or questionable lawsuits; (2) they allow meritorious lawsuits to be economically feasible; and (3) they encourage settlement.
Deterrence of Frivolous Lawsuits: Unfortunately, we have a very litigious society. Individuals and businesses are frequently sued without merit. Having a clause in your contract that makes the other side liable for your attorney fees if they lose is the best deterrent to non-meritorious lawsuits.
For those of you who have not hired an attorney before, the idea of having an attorney review a contract may seem expensive and intimidating — it shouldn’t be.
The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the process of contract review.
Step 1 – Opinion Letter:
Step 2 – Discussion with the Client:
Step 3 – Communicating Proposed Changes to the Other Party:
Step 4 – Review of the Revised Contract:
An Indemnification agreement is an agreement between two parties providing that if one party is sued for a particular reason, the other party will cover the costs of defending the lawsuit as well as any damages that arise from the suit. It is a useful tool when two parties are intertwined in a larger transaction, and want to divide legal responsibility between them. It protects each party from lawsuits for which the other should be responsible.
Indemnification agreements can be built into a larger contract (like a lease, asset purchase agreement, or employment agreement) or it can be a stand-alone agreement.
That contract you signed with Oppressive Corp. seemed like a pretty great deal at the time, but no your circumstances have changed and you are looking for a way out; or maybe you didn’t read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Are you still bound by the contract? Maybe not.
The following contract defenses provide an arsenal of not-so-secret weapons that you can use to get out of an unfavorable contract. This article will provide you with a basic understanding of these defenses, enhancing your understanding of the contracts you sign as well as your ability to identify the situations where an attorney consultation may be useful.
Defenses to breach of contract:
As part of your employment contract, you may have signed an agreement not to compete. These agreements give employers the protection they need to prevent employees from jumping ship to a competitor and bringing along any skills, information, client lists, and secrets they may have obtained from their previous employer. Employers need not worry about competitors poaching their most valuable employees to their detriment. However, these agreements inhibit an individual’s freedom to choose their own place of employment, and are oftentimes harsh or overly broad. As a result, such agreements are frequently contested in court. How do you know if your non-compete agreement is enforceable?
Primarily, a non-compete agreement must be reasonable in scope. This is determined by whether it protects a legitimate business interest, doesn’t place an undue hardship on the employee, and doesn’t violate public policy.
A business that has a near-permanent relationship with its clients, such as physicians or insurance companies, has an interest in protecting their continued business with the client and may restrict an employee from attracting their clients to their new employer. Similarly, if an employee has learned trade secrets or confidential information, their employer may restrict their freedom to work for a competitor in order to protect this information. A clause that prohibits a former employee from doing any activity with a competitor, even activities that aren’t a threat to their interests, may be considered too broad to be enforceable.