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How Can I Prepare for a Contract Drafting and Review Consultation?

Contract drafting refers to the act of writing down the terms and conditions of an agreement. This stage
of contract formation may also involve negotiation sessions between the parties as well as several more
variations of the document until the parties determine the contract is ready to be signed.

In order to prepare for a contract drafting and review consultation, you should start by reading the
terms of a current copy of the contract and any notes you may have taken during a negotiation session.
If you have not found a lawyer yet and could potentially face a contract lawsuit, now is the time to hire a
local contract lawyer. However, if you are not ready to seek counsel, then you should conduct research
on the latest version of contract laws in your state.

After you have found the right contract lawyer to represent you, you will need to get ready for
consultation meetings and strategy sessions with your lawyer. You can do this by gathering any evidence
that is relevant to your case and would support your contract claim. You should also prepare a list of any
questions you may have for your attorney or about contract law in general.

Additionally, you should think about the type of remedy that would represent the best-case scenario for
your issue and whether you can afford to retain the lawyer for as long as it might take to reach that
resolution. You should also be able to answer your lawyer if they ask you questions like what the bare
minimum is you would accept in a settlement and whether a settlement is even an option.

Finally, you should also decide if this is an issue that you would be willing to go to trial for, and if not, the
lowest amount of money that you would settle for to end the dispute.

Contents

What Documentation and Questions Should I Gather Before Meeting with a Contracts Lawyer?

As discussed above, the types of documents that a client will want to gather together and organize
before meeting with their contracts lawyer should consist of files that would help support the client’s
claim or destroy the other party’s argument.

Some common examples of the types of documents that a client may bring to a meeting with their
contracts lawyer include:

  1. Any copies of the contract document itself, including drafts, amendments, and modified versions.

  2. Photos, videos, or audio recordings that are related to the issue at hand.

  3. Financial statements, such as timekeeping records or bank deposits, that might prove the other party did not uphold their end of the bargain.

  4. A list that contains the contact information for any witnesses; and/or

  5. Various concrete evidence that proves the client did nothing wrong or that the other party is in breach of contract.


The client should also be ready to ask their lawyer any questions they have about the contract issue.
Some common examples of questions that clients usually inquire about include:

  • Whether the issue is worth going to trial over or if they should simply enter a settlement agreement with the other party. The types of damages they can recover based on the circumstances should they decide to go to trial. ​​

  • Whether the lawyer can identify any evidence that might be missing, which the client can then find and use it to make their case stronger;

  • How the lawyer plans on billing the client for the case work (e.g., flat fee, contingency fee basis, etc.);

  • What strategies the lawyer intends to employ when negotiating or litigating the issue;

  • Approximately, how long the lawyer believes it will take to resolve the case;

  • Whether there are any state statutes or provisions in the contract agreement that will prevent the parties from going to court and instead order them to go to arbitration; and

  • How involved the lawyer expects the client to be in handling their case (e.g., some lawyers require their clients to spend a lot of time on a case, while others may prefer that their clients have minimal involvement with the case).

 


What Makes a Strong Contract? What Makes it Weak?


As with most cases, there are certain elements that can either make a contract case stronger or weaker.


Some factors that may make a contract case stronger include:

 

  • Hiring an experienced contract lawyer; Gathering sufficient enough evidence that either proves or disproves the other party caused injuries and damages to the plaintiff (contingent on which party is reading this information);

  • Being honest and upfront with a contracts lawyer about all case-related facts and other materials;

  • Making sure to ask questions when a client does not understand something about the issue (e.g., if they do not know the meaning of a relevant contract law or which types of damages they can recover);

  • Filing a claim before the state statute of limitations for contract lawsuits expires;

  • Proving that a plaintiff suffered a financial loss due to their injuries;

  • Behaving in a manner that does not harm the case (e.g., not posting about the case on social media, acting like a professional, etc.); and showing that the plaintiff was not liable for any of the resulting harms.

In contrast, some factors that can make a contracts case weaker may include:

  • Not hiring a contracts lawyer to represent the client in civil court;

  • Hiring a lawyer who has no experience in handling contract cases;

  • Posting specifics about the case online or telling outside parties explicit details about the case that should be kept secret;

  • Not having solid evidence to support or refute a contract claim;

  • Lying to the contracts lawyer about the events that led to the issue or breach;

  • Behaving disrespectfully towards the contracts lawyer, the court, jury members, other parties, and so forth.

 


Why You Need to Find the Right Contract Lawyer

What are Some Dos and Don’ts for Contract Drafting and Review?


Some dos for contract drafting and review may include:

 

  • Do perform due diligence on both the subject matter of the contract as well as all interested parties before signing a contract;

  • Do hire an experienced contracts lawyer to draft and review the contract;

  • Do preserve evidence even if it does not seem important; and

  • Do be sure to ask a contracts lawyer questions about the issue, such as how long it may take, the potential remedies the client can recover, or the possible consequences they may have to face if they lose the case.

Some don’ts for contract drafting and review may include:

  • Do not sign a contract before consulting a lawyer or at the very least be sure to review it first. In other words, do not sign a contract blindly;

  • Do not lie about contract evidence or falsify contract documents;

  • Do not destroy evidence related to a contracts case; and

  • Do not insult or disrespect the other party, the contracts lawyer, and/or members of the court.

 

When Do I Absolutely Need a Lawyer for Contract Drafting and Review Issues?


The process of drafting and reviewing a contract can be difficult to navigate without the help of a
lawyer. This is especially true when the contract contains complex legal matters and requires the
application of multiple areas of law. Thus, if you encounter an issue when drafting a contract or do not
understand the terms that you are agreeing to, then you should strongly consider hiring a local contract
lawyer as soon as possible.

An experienced contract lawyer can review the contract to make sure there are no legal errors that
would invalidate it in the event of a future contract dispute. You may also need to hire a lawyer to check
the contract if you are unsure whether it is legally enforceable or if you feel the terms of the contract
place you in an unfavorable position. In such a case, you will absolutely need a lawyer to modify the
contract.

In addition, it can be very useful to have a lawyer represent you during any stage of contract formation.
For instance, if you do not have any experience in negotiating a contract, then you would need to get a
lawyer to negotiate on your behalf either before the contract is drafted or in a scenario where the
contract has to be modified.

On the other hand, if you feel you have a strong handle on contract law and believe you are a good
negotiator, then you might not need a lawyer unless you are ordered to appear in court. While you are
allowed to represent yourself if you want to, it is generally advised that you have counsel present at any
court proceedings.

Finally, you will absolutely need to hire a lawyer if you are involved in a contract dispute. Oftentimes, a
lawsuit can arise from the dispute and may lead to having to pay the other party a substantial amount of
damages.

We are here to help.

To learn more about your potential legal options, have questions or to schedule a consultations contact us today – it’s free and strictly confidential.

(770) 936-3991
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