Legalities regarding Contracts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Strawbridge Lawn, Jan 16, 2001.

  1. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Good Morning All, I did a search, but either missed or didn't quite find what I was looking for regarding contract legalities.
    I have stated seveal polcies on my contracts which provide the customer with the requirements and direction for paying, earning incentives, and general liabiluty of the company.
    ??Should I have a lawyer review the wording on my contracts to ensure it is proper? My gut says Yes. Anyone care to share what they did and about how much $$ they had to pay for such a review? Thanks in advance.
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    I would'nt waste my time or money with a lawyer unless you have a high $$$ or high volume contracts. Personally, I think they are a waste of paper "legally" for the home lawn maintenance customers. I have had a few customers go AWALL on the contract, try a few letters if no response write it off. Why spend money on a lawyer for a contract that will be less than the lawyers fees?

    I do use contracts, mainly to make the customer feel "committed" to pay, again, legally I think they are a waste of paper.
    I'm sure some opinions will differ.
  3. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Thanks, The idea is to prevent any potential pre-emptive strike from a sue-happy person which could cost me the biz. By having it all spelled out correctly in writing on each contract a customer signs would reduce or eliminate any potential risk to the biz. I do not intend to go afterthem just protect the biz with proper proofed plicies. Maybe the biz insurance will suffice?? Is there really that risk? I would rather not spend the money either.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Gary, always go with your gut. Will be the best indicator for you personally for the rest of your life. If you're wrong, at least you've learned something. If you don't listen to your gut, you'll never know if that was the right way.

    As far a lawyers and legalities: If a lawyer tells you that a contract is ironclad, find another lawyer. Legal reality: a contract is a written agreement between parties (2 or more). If any of the parties wishes to get out of the agreement, (s)he can.

    A correctly written contract is your peace of mind. Would you like to have a snow removal contract where you didn't get paid because you did not remove the snow, you just pushed it aside? My attorney once pointed out to me that a line in a contract I had been asked to sign stated: "Any damaged items will be replaced by the contractor." A fair statement to average guy, but in strict legal interpretation, a chipped brick meant replacement of the building!

    How to find a good attorney: Give yourself a month, ask everyone you meet (not just people you know, be sure to ask strangers) to recommend a lawyer. Write that name on a list. Then ask person to criticize previous names on list. If anything negative - even bad breath - cross that name off. If you have a negative impression of anyone on the list, cross them off. At end of month, if you have any names left, go to one of them. Out of 300 inputs, and about 50 lawyers, I wound up with only one name left, and he has been great for 25 years.

  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    It would be insurance, not a contract, that protects you here.
  6. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    From the "sue happy" stand point, your insurance company would probably be happy to review your contract from that angle, & may not charge you as it helps to protect them also. When I had my first slip & fall claim my insurance agent suggested I have the insurance company lawyers review it to make sure the wording was to our best advantage for any future claims. Otherwise I would agree that having a lawyer who specializes in contracts review the wording, because there are many more examples of exact legal interpretations like Jim mentions that could hurt you down the road.

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