read the fine print

“Read the fine print” has become synonymous with meaning to make sure you check every single detail of a situation, but the phrase has its origins in the law, specifically in legal documents. Reading the fine print means combing through the legal jargon in contracts and ensuring that no one is trying to scam the other party, etc. You would be surprised how often one party decides to “slightly” modify a contract after the fact and no one is the wiser. This is why it is so important to make sure that you fully read anything that you or anyone from your organization signs.

One of the things that are often overlooked in a contract is the governing law clause. This clause states where any legal disputes will be settled if any were to arise during the execution of the contract. However, this is a very important clause to first make sure exists in every contract you write up or sign and second states a location that you are willing to travel to. Many big corporations file their governing law clause stating that the governing law is that of the state where their headquarters is. However, if you are a small company, you want to ensure that the governing law is that of your city where your business is. Not only does this make the process easier because you do not have to travel far to settle disputes, but it also ensures that you are the most familiar with the laws, as you are most likely most familiar with your local laws. Many large corporations take advantage of the governing law clause by choosing their location for their governing law claws to an obscure location. The organizations do this because they know that it will be difficult for most people to fly out to these locations and file the right papers. If this is the case, you can actually hire an attorney within the location of the governing law clause to fight your battle for without having to leave your home.

So, if reading through legal jargon in a contract does not sound appealing to you. Consider hiring a business attorney to do just that. This will help to make sure that every aspect of the deal does not place you in liability. This will also make sure that the governing law is that of the city and/or stat that is near you. Business attorneys will read through your contract quickly and accurately because they spend a lot of their time training themselves by reading multiple contracts, etc. Business attorneys can often spot a faulty contract without actually reading a contract simply by meeting the parties involved. This is because attorneys are trained to read people, though their body language. Thus, an attorney can usually tell if a person is lying simply by reading their body language. If a person is lying during a meeting with your attorney, it is a safe bet that they are lying or being unscrupulous in your contract itself as well.

So, whenever possible, have a lawyer take a look at your contracts to help ensure that you are as protected as you possibly can be.