They aren’t asking (usually) whether the subject matter of the contract is permitted by law.
They really want to know: will what I’ve written be enforceable.
What makes it a contract
There are no magic words or phrases that make a contract enforceable by a court.
Enforceability is not acquired by adding “whereas” or “notwithstanding“.
A contract need only establish that one party made a promise to the other for consideration. Consideration is legalese for money. Or something else of value.
If I promise to join you for dinner next Friday, we have not created an enforceable contract, because there was no valuable consideration exchanged. My promise was gratuitious. You didn’t offer me anything but your good company over a meal.
If , on the other hand, I promise to speak at the event you’re planning, for which you’ll pay my fee, then we have an enforceable contract. I will appear and speak, and you will pay.
If either of us fails to do what we’ve promised, a court will attempt to give the injured party the benefit of the bargain.
So here are four tips on drafting a contract that does the job. [Read more…]