Contract attorneys are often sought out when a contract is initially formed. Once the contract exists, however, situations may arise which require modifications. Depending on the type of modification required, an amendment to the contract may be enough, preventing the need to modify the original contract at all.
When Is a Contract Amendment the Best Choice?
An amendment isn’t designed to replace the whole contract, but to add to it. An experienced business attorney can help you decide at the outset whether the change you need requires an entirely new agreement or an amendment. Generally, if the parties to the agreement wish to continue adhering to the original terms of the contract but only wish to further refine their rights and responsibilities, an amendment is probably enough.
For example, imagine a small business owner entered into a contract requiring that certain products be delivered by certain dates. Now the parties have decided that, in addition to the products specified in the original contract, they would like to enter into an agreement for another type of product to be delivered on the same dates and on the same terms as set out in their original agreement. Rather than drafting an entirely new agreement, the parties could request that their business attorney draft an amendment to the original contract, saving time, money, and paper while also achieving their goal to memorialize their new agreement and protecting their respective interests.
While contract attorneys will undoubtedly suggest a that any amendment to a contract be reduced to writing for the purpose of avoiding disputes and preventing unnecessary litigation, many contracts contain provisions requiring any amendments or modifications be in writing, so the new agreement may not be enforceable unless it is in writing.
Review Every Change With a Contract Attorney
As technology changes, so does the law regarding the making and enforcing of contracts. Court decisions involving the enforcement of a modification to or amendment of a contract are frequently being handed down. Some courts have indicated a willingness to enforce an amendment which was communicated by email or a text message, while other courts are hesitant to do so for a variety of reasons. Don’t let your contract modification be the next court test case—costing tens of thousands in attorney’s fees. Make sure your contract modifications are set out in writing and drafted by a qualified contract attorney.
Call the business attorneys at Gehres Law Library and make sure your contracts are up-to-date and do not put you at risk for landing in court.