405.305.1046 Susan@boaldinlaw.com

Dispute Resolution

Effective contract formation is critical to all successful careers.  Recently we were involved in a land purchase agreement that found the parties in a polarized dispute approximately 8 years after the parties entered the purchase agreement.  The contract for sale was written well, but over time one of the party’s interests changed dramatically.  Consequently, he pursued legal action to interpret the language of the contract in a way that he would reap a windfall.  The dispute was costly, but having a well written contract and a good defense to the contract was essential to succeeding in the dispute and preventing the award of a windfall.

If you are signing contracts, disputes are inevitable.  The consequences of disputes vary with the value of what is at stake in the dispute.  Long-term success in the inevitable disputes depends on negotiation, formation, and defense of contracts that create “both win” situations.  When all parties to a contract benefit from the contract, long-term relationships are more likely to result.  Typically, these business relationships are facilitated by contracts with unambiguous language.  Ambiguity in a contract can lead to a day when a man or woman in a dark robe decides the meaning of the contract.  It is unlikely a disinterested party will decide the meaning of contract language as you intended or would like it to mean.  Therefore, if contract language is ambiguous, make sure you intend it to be so and understand the risks ambiguity creates.

Ideally disputes do not make it to those in dark robes and instead are resolved by the parties.  Thereby, the cost in dollars, time, and mental frustration is reduced.  By having a strong advocate on your side that seeks resolution between the parties as hard as he or she seeks a favorable judicial determination, you improve the likelihood of resolution in a timelier manner and a manner more preferable to you.

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