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Should contracts be difficult to read?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Contract Disputes

You have likely come across several contracts in your time that you picked up and put straight down. Maybe you decided you needed more coffee before attempting to tackle them. Or maybe you figured that you have better ways to spend your time than wading through such complexity.

There are a lot of overly complex contracts out there. Some people create them on purpose, hoping that bamboozling the other party with technical language will let them slip in vastly favorable terms in their favor. Other reasons people create complex contracts is because they assume that is how you write contracts from what they have experienced in the past, they copied something already written, or simply do not know how to write clearly.

The entertainment and sports worlds are full of sorry tales of talented people who were so delighted that someone wanted to sign them that they signed a contract they did not fully understand. In most of these stories, they lived to regret it.

If someone offers you a contract written in an overly complex manner, feel free to ask them to rewrite it in simpler language. If you are the one creating the contracts, do yourself (and the other party) a favor and keep it simple.

Judges can overrule unclear contracts

If you ever end up in a contract dispute due to ambiguous or unclear language, the judge may rule against the person who created it. This is a difficult legal bar to clear. Nevertheless, a judge may reason that if the contract creator could not make their wishes clear, how could they expect the other person to know what they intended?

If someone uses complexity to hide the fact that the contract is unfairly biased in their favor, the judge may again rule against them. Contracts need to be fair to both parties.

Consider legal help to write or review contracts to avoid needing it to deal with problems because you signed a poorly written one.