Contact a Construction Lawyer if Contractor Looking for Help
Video Transcribed: Greetings, Tulsa Construction attorney Brian Carter with Tulsaconstructionlawyer.com, and this is going to be the first of a few videos in a series about mistakes that any contractor should attempt to avoid at all costs. And they’re all going to be preventative measures here.
And I’m going to start off this video just with some contract basics, some things that need to be considered, looked out for. Obviously this will all depend upon the circumstances of the what you are contracting for, but generally speaking, these are all items that any anybody entering in a contract should at least consider.
And the first one is whether or not time is of the essence. And provisions such as this can create, or prevent, all kinds of future problems. And I will get into time is of the essence provisions more with some subsequent topics, but when time is of the essence, there usually are obviously stricter requirements to complete work, and thus folks who do not meet the requirements are in a position to be liable for not biding by the contract.
And like I said, I will get into this provision in significant more detail in some other videos and how it can affect the contracting process and damages and ultimate recovery if something were to happen.
With regard to time is of the essence, as a side note, it’s important that folks who supply materials don’t enter into these type of contracts because they don’t have as much control, if any, when certain deadlines need to be met, and you’d hate to obligate yourself to a deadline that is not going to be feasible based on somebody else’s failure to meet that deadline that you rely upon.
Another important term is how everyone’s going to get paid. And this needs … A payment schedule is always preferable. It does create extra work, but it’s pretty common place and it should always have a part in the contracting process.
All material terms need to be defined in the contract. And this … Material terms, that’s the big stuff. It’s obviously impossible to account for everything, but this helps all the parties to the contract know exactly what is expected of every party, and it will prevent confusion in the future if there is a dispute, and it will also provide guidance for how the project is to progress. And it needs to be stressed that something that is not in the contract, depending on the terms, may not be enforceable.
An oral agreement made subsequent to or contemporaneously with a contract, and I’ll talk about integration clauses in a later video, but it’s important that everybody knows exactly what the other person is going to be doing and is responsible for. And that is why the material terms should be spelled out as specifically as possible.
There should also be a clause if and when there are … Something goes wrong and damages may need to be considered. And this too is another very in depth topic, but damages need to be accounted for. Typically you are familiar with the term liquidated damages, and I will again get into that in future videos in more depth.
Another good thing that most contracts these days provide for are alternative dispute resolution. And that is … If something happens there is a mechanism to resolve the conflict without going to court, which does a handful of things.
It saves everyone time and money and it can speed things up in absolutely in the long run. To a lesser extent, if an event there is a conflict, parties should account for attorney’s fees and a lot of that is dictated by statute and case law, which again, in a future video, when I get into these topics in a little more depth, I will expand upon how that takes place in Oklahoma.
But again, those are a handful of things that anybody entering into a contract needs to be mindful of, and obviously this list is not absolute. There are other things depending on you know exactly what you’re contracting for that may need to be considered and most likely will need to be considered.
Again, if there’s any questions, my name is Brian Carter, attorney at Tulsaconstructionlawyer.com, and I’d be happy to take your calls and questions. Thank you.