Documents simply signed through the course of ordinary business may still be considered contracts. Purchase orders, receipts, sales agreements and others can be held legally binding under certain circumstances. As a legally binding agreement, a contract must be fully understood in order for its legal consequences to be appreciated. Not expecting a contract's enforcement is generally no excuse under the law.
How Can I Ensure a Contract is Good?
As a general rule, read anything before you sign it. As you read it, make certain you understand the sections that state your obligations. However, documents can often be too lengthy for a worthwhile read, or so commonplace that reading each one is not practical. If so, there are still other ways you can effectively review it. An attorney in Cambridge, Massachusetts can review any contract before you sign it, whether it is a standardized document or a negotiated agreement. Attorneys review contracts to ensure that the intent of their client is given proper legal expression within the written documents.
What if I Don't Understand a Contract in Massachusetts?
The words of a contract are the expression of an agreement, not the agreement itself. It is the parties' understanding of the contract as it is made that determines its legal effect, regardless of the specific words used. Given that your understanding of the contract is what matters, problems can result if you rely exclusively on the other party's representation of the contract terms. There are third parties in Cambridge who are qualified to review and explain contracts. Regardless of how complicated the negotiations in a specific field may be, giving the intent of the parties legal effect is the objective of all contracts under Massachusetts law.