Contracts

    We regularly craft a wide variety of contracts for our clients, including but not limited to:

    Real Estate Contracts and Leases:  Regardless of what anyone tells you, there is no such thing as a "standard" Georgia real estate contract or lease, nor should there be.  You can buy "canned" forms on the internet or at your local office supply store. Your realtor can provide you with a standardized Purchase and Sale Agreement that will normally serve most parties' needs. But, every contract still needs to be tailored to your specific situation, in order to best protect you.

    Please accept the basic premise that a contract provided by one party in a transaction, will mostly turn out to best protect that party's interest.  So, a lease provided by the landlord will normally best protect the landlord.  A sales contract provided by a real estate seller, will normally best protect the seller.  Most real estate sales contracts used in Georgia are promulgated by attorneys representing the Georgia Association of Realtors, and contain considerable language protecting the realtor, or the seller who normally hires the realtor's firm.  Sometimes these interests may compete with your own.  We can help you draft, or revise, realty contracts that better serve your interests, rather than those of the other party(ies).

    Realty Partnerships and Dissolution Agreements:   As they say, "real estate is one thing they're not making any more of," and especially in today's economic climate, it is often a good investment.  When prices are low, people buy real estate, whether for investment or for personal use. Often, two or more people will buy property together, whether they are friends, investors, or domestic partners.  Too often, they do not reduce their agreements to writing.

    If you buy real estate with someone else without any written agreement between you, you have no roadmap for determining how to disassemble your partnership if things go wrong or someone wants out of the deal.  If you and your partner(s) disagree on whether, when, or how to sell what you have bought together, you may ultimately have to resort to court action (called "partition") to determine how to extricate yourselves from the transaction. Selling property by "partition" virtually guarantees that you will be selling your property at the lowest possible price and highest possible cost, especially after attorneys, partition commissioners,  and court costs are paid.

    A Real Estate Partnership Agreement can address issues of purchase price, comparative investment contributions, how title will be held, mortgages, responsibility for making mortgage payments, taxes, and other expenses, how the property will be resold if you cannot agree, and how sale proceeds will be distributed.  If you forgot or neglected to sign a Real Estate Partnership Agreement when you bought the property, we can also help you resolve disputes concerning disposition of what you bought, by creating a Real Estate Partnership Dissolution Agreement.

    Employment Contracts: We frequently help employers draft employment contracts for their employees to sign, and help employees interpret and navigate contracts which they have signed or have been asked to sign. We have substantial experience in the area of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants.

    Employees need to know that Georgia is an "employment at will" state. That means that most Georgia employees can be hired, fired, demoted, terminated, or their compensation changed, prospectively, at any time, with or without cause, at the employer's whim, so long as in doing so the employer does not violate legally cognizable discrimination criteria, or violate a written contract of employment which guarantees the employee a specific period of employment.  So, employment contract terms are important for both employer and employee.

    Business Contracts:  Whatever type of business you own, you need to make sure that you are using contracts and contract forms that best suit your particular needs.  Retailers need invoices.  Wholesalers need purchase orders. Builders need construction contracts.  Artists need gallery contracts.  Every type of business and profession needs formwork that protects their interests.

    If someone owes you money and does not pay you, and if you have to spend money to take them to court to get what they owe, you normally cannot recover your attorneys fees incurred in doing so, unless you have a written contract that contains an attorneys fee clause. Otherwise, it is left up to the trier of fact (jury or judge) to determine if the other side entered into the contract with you in "bad faith," was "unduly litigious," or otherwise caused you such "unnecessary trouble and expense" that an award of fees is warranted.  Such an award is often hard to get without the right contract language.

    Whatever your contract needs, please call to set up a time for us to get together with you, look at the forms you are using, and make recommendations about how we can help your business and investments operate more smoothly.

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