Put It In Writing
Many of my entertainment clients seem to want to be more than artists, they also have a desire to be attorneys. Ok maybe not, but it seems that they may want to, because I repeatedly see people who have drafted their own legal documents or they have made an oral agreement with the other party. I also here of stories regarding money being forwarded to someone or some company, but there is no paperwork. As soon as I hear any of these scenarios I know that a problem is not far behind.
As an attorney, I encourage anyone who is entering into any agreement to consult with an attorney BEFORE entering into an agreement. An attorney would insist that the agreement be in writing for various reasons. (1) So that there is no confusion as to what the terms of the agreement exactly are. (2) An attorney wants to be sure that the agreement is exactly what their client intended it to be. (3) Attorneys are aware of the legal doctrine called the “Statute of Frauds.”
The statute of frauds (SOF) requires that certain types of contracts be in writing. Contracts covered under the SOF are those that (a) contracts in consideration of marriage (pre-nups), (2) contracts for more than one year, (3) real estate contracts, (4) contracts by the executor of a will, (5) contracts for the sale of goods over $500 and (6) contracts where one party acts as a guarantor for the debt or obligation of another.
Furthermore, it’s bad business to make oral contracts. You want to have a tangible agreement that is available for critique prior to you signing it, as well as have it for review when a problem arises from the agreement.
Written by: LaQuita R. Stokes, Attorney at Law for Corbin Johnson, PLLC
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