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American Bar Association - Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice

FALL 2010

Vol. 7, No. 1

LITIGATION

 

Common Contract Errors and Omissions Checklist

By David Z. Kaufman

When Signing the Contract

√ Be sure everyone signs & dates the final page
√ Be sure everyone initials & dates each page of contract
√ Contract should have numbering “1 of xx pages”
√ Be sure all warranties etc. that are incorporated by reference are attached to basic contract.
√ If the contract is a form contract, all entries must be filled out (If the space does not apply use “NA” etc.)

Be Sure to Include:

√ Reasonable attorney’s fees & costs in collection
√ A provision for interest finance charge
√ A statement of which state law controls
√ A statement of where disputes must be resolved
√ The consequences of not paying, e.g., contract and warranty are void
√ Carefully Defined terms
√ A statement that only the written contract controls and that verbal statements do not make part of contract
√ A statement that the contract is the written contract plus its additions etc. so that warranties, exceptions, etc are incorporated by reference.
√ A requirement that all changes must be in writing
√ Beware of fixed dates for completion, is time really of the essence?
√ A clear statement that the Contractor cannot be liable for things that are out of their control (terror, weather problems, etc.)

Finally:

√ Are appropriate consumer protection laws are complied with (if applicable).

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