What is a Legal Contract?

A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. It may be oral or written. A contract is essentially a set of promises. Typically, each party promises to do something for the other in exchange for a benefit.
Required Characteristics.

What is a Legal Contract

To constitute a legal contract, an agreement must have all of the following 5 characteristics:

Legal purpose. A contract must have a legal purpose to be enforceable. For example, Steve hires Paul to kill Susan. Steve drafts an agreement outlining Paul’s responsibilities, namely to acquire a gun and shoot Susan in the head. The agreement also specifies the amount Steve will pay Paul once Susan is dead. A contract of murder for hire is illegal. If Paul fails to fulfill his obligations under the agreement, Steve will have no recourse against Paul. The agreement Steve has drafted is unenforceable.

Mutual Agreement. All parties to the contract must have reached a “meeting of the minds.” That is, one party must have extended an offer to which the other parties have agreed. For example, Jim signs a contract with Tom’s Tree Trimming. The contract outlines the scope of the work Tom will perform on Jim’s property. Jim and Tom have a mutual agreement regarding the work that will be done.

Consideration. Each party to the contract must agree to give up something of value in exchange for a benefit. For example, you hire an independent contractor to repave your driveway. You and the paving contractor sign an agreement in which you promise to pay a sum of money in exchange for the paving work. Both you and the contractor have agreed to give up something of value. You have agreed to pay money, and the contractor has agreed to perform the paving work.

Competent Parties. The parties to a contract must be competent. That is, they must be of sound mind, of legal age, and unencumbered by drugs or alcohol. If you enter into a contract with a minor or an insane person, the contract will not be enforced.

Genuine Assent. All parties must engage in the agreement freely. A contract may not be enforced if mistakes have been made by one or more parties. Likewise, a contract may be voided if one party has committed fraud or exerted undue influence over another. For example, you sign a contract in which you agree to sell your house to your next-door neighbor for $1. When you signed the contract, your neighbor was pointing a gun at your head. Clearly, you made the agreement under duress, so the contract is not valid.

Some types of contracts must be in writing. An example is a contract in which you agree to sell your property to someone else. Real estate sales contracts must be written in order to be enforceable.
Bilateral or Unilateral

Most contracts are bilateral. This means that each party has made a promise to the other. When Jim signed the contract with Tom’s Tree Trimming, he promised to pay the contractor a specified sum of money once the job was completed. Tom, in turn, made a promise to Jim to complete the work described in the agreement.

In a unilateral contract, one party makes a promise in exchange for an act by the other party. Insurance policies are unilateral contracts. When you buy liability insurance or any other type of policy, you pay a premium (an act) in exchange for the insurer’s promise to pay future claims.
Breach of Contract

If one party fails to fulfill his or her duties under the agreement, that party has breached the contract. For example, suppose that you’ve hired a masonry contractor to construct a brick patio outside your restaurant. You pay the contractor half of the agreed-upon price upfront. The contractor completes about a quarter of the work and then stops. He keeps promising he’ll return and complete the job but never does. By failing to fulfill his promise, the contractor has breached the contract.

If one party breaches a contract, the other party may suffer a financial loss. In the previous example, you paid for 50% of the work but only received half that much. You have several options for obtaining compensation:

Sue for Damages. You may sue the contractor for damages. For example, you might sue for the cost of hiring another contractor to finish the job plus the costs you have incurred due to the delay.
Specific Performance. You can compel the contractor to complete the work required by the contract.
Other Remedies. If the contractor tricked or forced you into signing the contract, you might convince a court to terminate the agreement or amend its terms.

Failure to fulfill the terms of an insurance policy may constitute a breach of contract. An insurance policy imposes obligations on both you and your insurer. An insurer has an obligation to pay covered claims. If the insurer reneges on this duty, you may sue the insurer for breach of contract. Likewise, you have an obligation to cooperate with your insurer when it investigates a claim. If you file a claim and then refuse to cooperate with the insurer’s investigation, your refusal to cooperate may constitute a breach of the insurance contract.

Some Essential Points To Consider When Hiring A Construction Lawyer

There will be times in your life when you will face some legal issues. Some of them may just be simple. But for sure, there will be others that can get a bit complicated. There may even be those that will require you to go to court. It’s especially the case if you own a business. You cannot avoid facing legal matters from time to time, particularly if your enterprise is expanding. That’s why most entrepreneurs find it necessary to hire a lawyer to help them out. However, this is easier said than done. You have to secure the services of a lawyer whom you can really trust.

Note that there are so many different areas of legal practice. This means that these legal professionals also have their specific fields of specialization. So if you’re going to choose your legal representative, you have to choose one who is experienced enough in the legal field you need assistance on. Take for example hiring the right construction lawyer. You cannot just pick someone who is quite reputable in the field of commercial laws. The scope is too broad and there are so many various areas that need to be covered. You have to look for someone who really specializes in construction laws.

So how do you go about hiring the appropriate legal candidate? First and foremost, you have to consider the degree of experience the legal professional has in this field. How long has he been engaged in the active practice, specifically in the field of construction law and litigation? What types of cases has he handled as far as this area is concerned? Second, you also have to take into account his knowledge of current construction laws. These laws are subject to change often. Thus, he must be able to keep abreast of such changes and be very familiar with them.

Third, try to find out what affiliations he has. Is he currently associated with a firm or company that also specializes in the construction industry? Is he a member in good standing of the legal associations in your area? You can utilize your online resources in order to learn more about the legal professional’s profile. You can even use such resources to look up testimonials and other reviews given by previous clientele. Fourth and last, check if the practitioner is indeed licensed to practice in your area. You can look up his membership in the bench and bar in the state where he is currently engaged in active practice.

Discovering Cost-Effective Solutions For Construction Safety Plans

There are several basic requirements that a company must meet in the construction industry before they can start working on a site. They must have the funding required to get the tools supply and staffing they would need to complete the project and meet deadlines.

Then have to find the correct individuals to achieve the necessary tasks required to complete their project properly and on time. They must even utilize the means necessary to create the appropriate construction safety plans so as to be able to start their job. All of these tasks are necessary prior to beginning any construction project and for most of them there are options available to save the company both time and cash.

Though, when it comes to the creation of construction safety management plans, most businesses only see one possibility of pursuit. These plans demand a huge deal of personalization and detail that many companies are not willing to devote a person to. So as to achieve this task and remain legal, construction businesses turn toward legal services to help in creating their construction safety plans. Whilst this may represent the most effective possibility in terms of meeting legal demand, it comes with many negatives that several companies would prefer to prevent.

The very first con relates to the large portion of cash companies are required to pay these legal services since it represents a high cost which they must include into their bids. Furthermore, businesses are subjected to time restrictions as these services accomplish your task based on their scheduling and not on your requirement of demand.

Legal services don’t represent a practical solution to the construction industries need of developing a construction safety management plan. For the companies who have the impression that these services are your only solution, there are additional opportunities available when you invest in the opportunity of templates. With templates a company has the chance to find a low-cost solution to meeting the demand of construction safety plans development.

The purpose of templates is to create a basic format which meets the demands of any plans, which then a company could use to customize to their specific project. The templates are easy to follow and could be simply altered to meet the demands of any project your business may take part in.

Of course, it is vital to understand that not all construction safety management plan templates are equal in relation to quality or ability. Early template formats offer little customizable options, making it difficult for a company to capitalize on the creation of their own plans.