Contract disputes of all kinds make news headlines on a regular basis. Whether it’s a writer’s strike, union workers dispute or sports icon, disputes are not terribly uncommon. Most of them we don’t hear about unless it involves big money.
Recently in sports news, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints was in a dispute involving $10 million gap in what he and the Saints thought was to be his contract for the next five years. The negotiations went on for months before they came to a final agreement on the deal.
Earlier this month the deal was reached with Brees receiving a $37 million signing bonus this year with a base pay of $3 million. The signing bonus will be paid over a six week period. Brees is entering his 12th year in the NFL, last year breaking Dan Marino’s 27 year old passing yards record in one season.
But it’s not just high stakes professional ball games where there can be contract disputes. Having someone on your side of the game is an important part of the process. This way you know that all parts of the contract are fully understood.
The Better Business Bureau has good advice for helping consumers make good choices in contracts to keep disputes to a minimum. First is to be sure the language is simple for consumers to understand, with headings clearly labeled.
Second is to be sure every detail is outlined. “The devil is in the details” couldn’t be more true in contractual agreements. Seeing to it that you have a detail oriented law professional will guarantee this to be the case.
Thirdly, be specific on your expectations regarding timelines for work to be done, including specific phases of the job.
Next, be sure to itemize all costs involved including taxes, labor and any discounts offered. Make sure there is a list of what type of payments are acceptable such as check, credit card, or cash, as well as possibly using an escrow company for a larger job.
Lastly, be sure you have a warranty to stand by the work completed. Whether you are the consumer or the contractor, everyone should have specifics in regards to warranty.