A contract in California is an agreement about anything of value between two or more parties who intend the agreement to have legal effect. It may be oral or written, as long as all parties agree to the contractual terms. The reliability of written contracts generally make them the preferred means for businesses to transact. Since the intent of a contract is to be legally effective, they are best formed by those who understand the law.
Negotiating a Contract in Palo Alto
There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Palo Alto. The individual terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Stating your intentions clearly at the outset of negotiations is helpful, since then the parties may carefully detail the obligations and duties of the contract based on mutual expectations. Also, you may want to negotiate a process that can be followed should one party not fulfill its end of the contract.
Using a Form Contract
Using a form contract as a baseline for your agreement may save you time. Attorneys practicing California law in Palo Alto can be helpful in selecting the right form, and can also revise the contract to make it the best fit for your individual situation. However, form contracts can pose problems if they need to be interpreted by courts, especially if they are used without the assistance of an attorney. First, a party using a form contract may not have thoroughly read all the terms, and can thereby remain unaware of his performance obligations and liabilities if events do not go as planned. Second, using a contract that someone else has written can obligate the parties to a contract term that they do not understand. Whether you negotiate or use a form, an attorney can help ensure that the written contract matches your intent. Many attorneys in Palo Alto are experts in California contract law.