by Joel T. Fornara, Attorney, Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack, PC
Many people think a “contract” is a written agreement, but they’re wrong. A “contract” is actually a legal determination. In Arizona, courts will enforce oral contracts unless they fall within the statute of frauds, a doctrine that requires certain contracts to be in writing to be enforceable. For example, contracts must typically be written when a contract is for the sale of land, the sale of goods exceeding $500, is to pay the debts of another, or cannot be performed within one year.
Even though an oral contract may be enforceable, it is never recommended, as a party may have no intention of performing his/her obligations. Or, the parties may have a good-faith misunderstanding of their respective obligations. Regardless, having a written agreement helps protect you in the event of a breach by the other party. Therefore, it is imperative to have your agreement put in writing.
You may be tempted to avoid the expense of seeing an attorney and either enter into a transaction without a written agreement or attempt to draft one yourself. That mistake is easier to make today with the availability of online templates. While playing “lawyer” may save you money at the beginning, you will likely end up spending more money in the long run.
Hiring an attorney at the beginning of any transaction should be viewed as the cost of doing business. In addition to having a legitimate contract prepared, you also will receive valuable advice and counsel about your transaction, as well as “what if” scenarios you may not have considered.
Before entering into a transaction, make sure you get it in writing. Our law firm has a number of experienced attorneys who can assist you with preparing a written agreement to suit your needs.
JOEL T. FORNARA FOCUSES HIS PRACTICE ON ADVISING LOCAL BUSINESSES AND REPRESENTING THEM IN THEIR TRANSACTIONAL AND LITIGATION NEEDS. MUSGROVE DRUTZ KACK & FLACK, PC IS A FULL-SERVICE LAW FIRM SERVING OUR COMMUNITY FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIRM, GO TO MDKFLAW.COM.
DISCLAIMER: The materials in this article are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain legal advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the individual author.