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Basics of a Contract

Contracts can be created under a variety of circumstances and under endless possibilities of terms. It is important to know when an agreement creates a contract so that you can best understand your rights and obligations. Whether it's verbal or written, for services or goods, the contract basics remain the same. The formation of any contract requires an offer, acceptance and consideration.

Understanding Hearsay

Crime dramas and movies about law often provides clients with a misunderstanding about the word hearsay. As a result, many clients make assumptions about their case, their actions, or the actions of others based on their perceived notion of the word "hearsay". Instead of discussing the situation with an attorney, they draw their own conclusions about the admissibility of certain evidence.

Contracts Need Face-Lifts Too

Contractual agreements often last for years. During that time, circumstances often change and so do the needs and priorities of the participants. Some underlying contracts require than any amendments or changes are required to be made in writing. Yet people frequently make handshake agreements to change important contractual terms. If the agreement was important enough to put in writing in the first place (and most agreements are), then why do people think changes to the agreement can be made on a handshake... or based on a text message?

Tune Into Your Contracts

Every day people sign contracts they don't read: Cable agreements; cell phone agreements; new product purchasing agreements. Even attorneys sign contracts they don't read -- although hopefully they read contracts before their clients sign them. There are a few reasons for this. First, they're long and complicated. Even if we read them they would be hard to understand. And second, we generally assume that they won't be enforced against us or that we don't need them anyway. But this isn't necessarily true. Often times that contract that we had to sign to watch Game of Thrones, will control the terms of a dispute we have when our cable goes out, we miss the finale, and a radio announcer ruins the surprise ending for us.

Uber Drivers: Caught in a Rat Race

Unlike independent contractors, nonexempt employee drivers are entitled to benefits such as overtime and rest breaks. Despite the recent ruling by the labor commissioner, Uber drivers should be classified as independent contractors. It is important to understand that this single ruling may be persuasive to other courts, but is not binding. Before Uber drivers rush to the courthouse to collect for unpaid overtime and other benefits, it may be wise to wait to see how the superior court rules.

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