Michael A. Weinberg, in an interview in the July 2011 issue of Smart Business Chicago magazine, warned businesses that complacency and inattention to standardized forms and contracts “can lead to disaster when the neglected documents become Exhibit A in a lawsuit.”
The resulting article is ”Tune up your contacts: How failure to update forms and contracts can lead to problems.” Businesses use many legal documents, such as purchase orders, confirmations, invoices, leases and employment contracts, the article notes. But despite the importance of such documents, the process of generating and updating them is often haphazard. Smart Business Chicago asked Weinberg, a partner at Novack and Macey LLP, how companies can ensure these documents are “up to date and maximally enforceable.”
Weinberg recommends biannual review of forms and contracts. “All such documents should be reviewed concurrently, even though they likely were created at different times by different people using different terms,” Weinberg said. “By putting documents on the same review timetable, their terms can be harmonized and the potential for future problems reduced.” Then the updated documents should be reviewed by a commercial litigator “who can perform a ‘stress test’ on the documents, vetting their provisions to see if their language could be exploited by an adversary in a hypothetical dispute situation.” Weinberg said. “[W]hen it comes to scrutinizing documents, every sentence should be viewed as a potential source of trouble.”
For more information, contact Weinberg at (312) 419-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.