If you've ever dealt with a contract, you know one thing to be true: you should read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.
Matt Breen asked, "Kathy, from Sioux City says "I am starting a new job next month and will be asked to sign an employment contract. What are things I should look for before I sign?" Jeana Goosmann, Goosmann Law Firm says, "First step: read before you sign! Courts uphold terms agreed to in written signed contracts. This is the time to negotiate if you don't agree. Can't avoid terms of agreement by not reading. Be sure to look for an arbitration clause. You must be at least 18 to sign.
Matt Breen asked "What is an arbitration clause, and should someone agree to this?" Jeana Goosmann, Goosmann Law Firm says, "Parties to the contract agree to arbitrate any future disputes. There's arbitration. It's an out-of court proceeding. A neutral 3rd party hears evidence. 3rd party then makes the decision. It's a commonly-used method of alternative dispute resolution. But, there are two types: binding and non-binding. Binding mans participants must follow decision. Non-binding means either party free to reject decision and take to court. It can be simpler and quicker than courthouse. But it can't be appealed. It should be reviewed on an individual basis."
Matt Breen asked, "Besides an arbitration clause, what are other terms or agreements used in contracts that people should be familiar with?" Jeana Goosmann, Goosmann Law Firm says, "Noncompete agreements. "Forum selection" clause or "choice of law" clause. You are legally required to sue for breach in that selected forum such as a certain "state" or "state law". It doesn't matter where you live."
Matt Breen asked, "What are some general tips that you have for our viewers about signing any type of contract?" Jeana Goosmann, Goosmann Law Firm says, "If you sign you must be able to fulfill promises. If not, the other party can sue (financial consequences). Contracts don't have to be written, but it's recommend that they are written. Pay attention to details included: time frame/length of time, payment penalties, and prices."
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