Litigation Law Firm in Maryland
At Brown Kiely, LLP, a lawyer from our litigation law firm in Maryland often helps clients with contract related issues. Specifically, oral contracts in particuar tend to cause litigation issues in the future. Even two or more parties who are under the best of terms can quickly turn sour when a verbal agreement goes south. Oral agreements can be great, up until there is an issue. And then, there’s no written terms to refer to that can clarify each party’s responsibilities.
Those who are dealing with business litigation disputes are advised to speak with our team immediately, as putting off an issue of this nature can result in business profit loss and tainted relationships with partners.
What requirements are expected for an oral contract?
Verbal contracts are spoken agreements that are assumed valid and enforceable by each party. However, a spoken contract may not be legally binding unless it meets certain requirements of contract formation. An oral contract may include terms related to properties, goods, money, services, performing a task, or refraining from a task. Requirements of an oral contract are listed as follows:
- Offer (terms of an agreement were presented)
- Acceptance (each party has accepted the offer)
- Consideration (each party has the right to seek litigation)
When does an oral agreement fall under the Statute of Frauds?
Verbal agreements are not legally enforceable if they are categorized under the Statute of Frauds. This means that a party cannot engage in deceitful behavior without potential repercussions. These statues mandate that agreements are made in writing when having to do with:
- Property transfer
- Paying off another’s debts
- Contracts that will take more than 12 month to finish
- Contracts that last longer than at least one party’s lifespan
- Real estate sales for executors of a will
- Real estate leases that last longer than 12 months
Are handshake deals okay if you trust the other person?
Handshake deals can be made, but it recommended that you follow up with a written contract anyway. Even if you have a great dynamic with another party, or multiple, it’s best to have something to reference in the event there is unclarity or confusion about the terms of the agreement. In fact, it can help you keep your business relationships intact if you have a written contract, over just a verbal one.
Contact Brown Kiely, LLP Now
Busines disputes and litigation over contracts is something many business owners will encounter at some point or another in their career. It helps to have a legal team who can watch out for your best interests. Please consider contacting Brown Kiely, LLP, a Maryland litigation law firm you can rely on for all your business needs.