It is a too-little known fact that the law imposes certain rights and obligations upon individuals who do business together. I recently contributed to an article published in the San Diego Professional Journal that identifies some of the most important, commonly ignored, laws that apply to those who engage in business together.
As quoted in Small Business Trendsetters, "litigation doesn't make friends, contracts do". Time and time again, clients come to T.Burd Law Group with a contract concern over a contract that was never reviewed or prepared by their own attorney. Sometimes they have an existing contract and other times there is no written contract at all. When I ask them why they did not consult an attorney previously, they often respond with answers such as: "Well, I trusted him"; "We were long-time friends"; "He's my husband's best friend"; "We've done business before." These reasons are counter-intuitive to their end goal.
Let me begin with a disclaimer: I do not advise people to enter verbal agreements. That said, verbal agreements happen all the time, and it is important to know that they are enforceable. As a practical matter, it is important to know that your spoken word matters. This notion relates back to the hope that "people are good" and "trustworthy." When you tell someone you promise you will do something in exchange for something else, you can be legally held to that promise.