By Chesley Payne
People are often concerned and apprehensive when asked to sign a contract. This feeling is usually caused by the feeling that lawyers draft these documents with the intent to mislead or cause an unwary consumer to stumble into a trap. However, good contract drafting is meant to remove ambiguities or misunderstandings that could lead to trouble down the road. Contracts can and should be drafted to ensure that all parties have a common understanding of what is expected by all sides to the agreement
. This can be achieved by avoiding the use of complicated terms and defining what is meant by those words that have specific meanings in the agreement.
However, there is always the case of that situation that requires the use of pages and pages of seemingly unreadable legalese. Why? Most of the language used in important transactions is meant to specifically define what is meant between the parties. In other words, a well-drafted contract is meant to deal with many issues that could arise in the course of carrying out an agreement.
In those situations, an attorney is useful to draft these agreements because the role of an attorney is not to cause problems, but to think of those issues that could cause problems and plan for them accordingly.
Having an attorney draft an agreement should not be seen as a lack of trust between the parties. Rather, it is an attempt by those parties to ensure the agreement is set down on paper so that, in the future, if there is a question of how the agreement should be carried out, that question will have an answer acceptable to both sides. Keep this in mind the next time you need a contract drafted or reviewed. As always, a little planning can save a lot of pain in the future.