James F. Mahoney, Attorney

January 2012

Six-Step Program on Contracting for Truckers

Remember these practical tips before putting your name on the dotted line

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We all know how important contracts are to our business, to our day-to-day operations and even in our personal lives.

Here’s a six-step program to “Knowing A Contract When I Don’t Necessarily See A Contract,” or if you engage in “I’ll Sign Anything As Long As I Get Your Business.”

Pledge to understand the following:

1. Is there a “meeting of the minds?” In other words, was there an understanding of the undertaking and did the parties intend it to be binding?

2. There’s not always (not even close) a requirement of a written agreement, unless you’re transacting property or transacting goods in excess of $500.

3. You can be in a contract if you have an ongoing relationship with the other party and your action (or theirs) confirms it.

4. Each party must have a legal obligation to perform. So your relationship with your bookie doesn’t count as a contract.

5. If you are planning on signing a really long contract with all that “boilerplate” language, that small print language can pack a painful bite if you don’t understand it and/or fail to modify it.

6. Your employees can bind the company if they have apparent authority.