Ventura County Contract Law Attorney

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Contracts are important legal documents that are binding and enforceable in a court of law. If you are drafting contracts or if you are considering signing a contract, a legal professional's insight can be extremely valuable and save you time and money down the road. Our experienced attorney can scrutinize the document and highlight any implications or hidden terms that you may have missed.

You may not have considered certain caveats of the agreement or you may discover that the contract is extremely constricting and could limit your growth. A good attorney can help you look ahead to make sure the contract meets your needs now and in the future. When forming your own contracts, we can show you how to craft them so they are strong and clear and can't be twisted to imply things that you never considered. Also, you need to ensure that all terms are obvious and defined. Ambiguous contracts can result in expensive and time consuming legal disputes. The point of a contract is to define what the parties are agreeing to and what expectations each of the parties have. If that is not clear in the contract, why have a contract at all?

How do you know if a contract is valid?

Generally, if all parties are in agreement regarding the contract, and if something of value is exchanged as a result, the contract is typically considered valid.

In most cases, exchangeable goods include cash or services. Contracts don't always have to be made in writing to be legally enforceable, although we highly recommend that you create a written contract to avoid complications in the future and protect your ability to enforce the contract if the other party does not perform their obligations.

Types of Contracts

Non-Disclosure Agreements
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are legal contracts between at least two parties that outline confidential material, knowledge or information that the parties wish to share with one another but don't want to share with third parties. This type of contract makes sure that parties are in agreement not to disclose any of the information that is covered in the agreement and provides assurances to the disclosing party that the receiving party will protect the information they receive and not use it for an improper purpose.

NDAs are frequently signed by corporations wishing to do business with another company. Many companies will require an NDA before entering even preliminary discussions with another party that include secrets about their company. It is important to balance protection of your company while not scaring away those that seek to do business with you. We can help you to create a sound NDA that will protect your company while facilitating business opportunities.

Employment Contracts
California is an employment at-will state. That means that both you and the employee you hire have the right to end the employment relationship at any time. (However, you cannot fire an employee for an illegal purpose, such as based upon their race, gender, etc.) For some higher level employees, you may want to enter into an employment contract. This contract should specifically outline the requirements of that job, including vacation time, work hours, payment, any fixed pay raises, equity compensation, and all other aspects of employment. We can help you decide if you want to enter into an employment contract with a new hire, and if you do, draft sound and definitive employment contracts that protect you and your company.

Buy-Sell Agreements
A buy-sell agreement is a legally binding contract between the co-owners of a business that governs what should happen if a co-owner dies or is forced to leave the business. This type of contract is almost like a prenuptial agreement for business owners. It is important to create one of these documents to accommodate potential changes that could affect your business. We can help you create a sound buy-sell agreement!

Joint Development Agreements
When two companies agree to share resources to enter a new area or develop a new product or service, a joint development agreement will clarify the terms of the joint relationship. Joint development agreements should make it clear how the risks, costs, and benefits of the joint venture will be split between the parties, and who will own any intellectual property discovered or obtained during the joint development period. These agreements can be risky because both businesses may be compelled to share trade secrets and intellectual property in order to develop the new area or product. A joint development agreement can make sure that the companies involved do not abuse this privilege, and that both parties receive the benefits of the success of the venture.

Counteroffers & Bargaining

If you review a contract and do not like the terms it contains, you have the ability to make a counteroffer. Often, it is helpful to have a lawyer to guide you through this process. A counteroffer is technically a rejection of the original offer and the submission of a new offer. This means that there is some risk that the original offer could be withdrawn after you submit the counteroffer. Working with counsel you trust can help you make the strategic and legal decisions that are best for you, and get you the best possible outcome while minimizing your risk.

Legal Assistance with Formation, Review & Enforcement of Contracts

Businesses are built on contracts. Allow us to provide you with peace of mind as we take care of the legal issues that arise regarding these important documents. Whether you want help drafting the proper contract or want an attorney to review a contract that has been presented to you, you can consult us. We can quickly determine whether or not a contract is beneficial to you, and point out any hidden terms or pitfalls that you should be aware of when making a decision to sign. We can also defend you or advocate for you in a contract dispute that may arise in your business.

Call a Ventura County attorney at Ridley Legal for more information!

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