#196 Contracts and Amendments: Tips from an Attorney

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01:21:52

May 6th, 2020

1 hr 21 mins 52 secs

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About this Episode

By day, Caroline Fox is a Virginia attorney whose practice focuses on creative small- to medium-sized businesses. She assists both large and small companies incorporate, tighten up contracts, protect trademarks and copyrights, and resolve disputes.

From votes of fellow attorneys, she has been named to Virginia's Legal Elite since 2016, and has been named a "Superlawyer Rising Star" for the past two years. In her "free time," Caroline founded the Engaged Legal Collective, an educational resource for wedding professionals to learn about the often convoluted legal aspects of their business.

She travels internationally to speak with event professionals about contracts, client disputes, and protecting their brands. The law industry is “seeing a watershed moment for a lot of contract law which will be interesting.” This is a monumental time and there is nowhere to pull from in the past in terms of reference to help people with contractual language right now.

On this episode, Caroline joins Michelle to help unpack contract law for wedding professionals and couples waiting to wed.

Big Takeaways
A force majeure clause is a clause in a contract that excuses a delay or excuses performance completely. But it has to be written into the contract, and it must describe what can fall into that category. It often plays in with other pieces of the contract, such as non-refundable deposit, etc. It is not all-inclusive.

The event industry as a whole has exploded. On both the vendor and couple side, a lot of money is being invested. Wedding professionals are starting to come back to their clients with amendments to their contracts.

When a lot of changes are going to be needed, a cancellation is a much better option to move forward. The best option if things are staying pretty much the same is an amendment.
Things to look for in an amendment or new contract - What is the reschedule date?

  • What is included in this reschedule?
  • Make sure you are getting something similar.
  • Be specific as possible.
  • You can ask for things to be rewritten or revised!
  • Make sure it references the date of the first contract and the new dates.
  • What payments are being applied where?
  • Everyone who signed first contract needs to sign the new one
  • Make sure postponements are addressed.

If you have to reschedule your rescheduling, it’s important to be covered. Depending on the way it’s written, you should be able to postpone again. If you are confused or struggling through this at all, it would be smart to connect with a lawyer. You don’t need a partner level lawyer to read through these contracts. You can go with a lower level associate, who understands contracts, to get you into a place where you can feel comfortable and confident.

Caroline's firm charges $50-100 per page flat fee)

Links We Referenced
www.engagedlegal.com - Mostly works with the wedding vendor side
www.cjfoxlaw.com small businesses, etc
www.alpinerings.com - 15% off with promo code BIGWEDDING https://www.allureconsulting.com/virtual

Quotes
“The clearer you can be in your contract, the better service you are doing not only to your clients, but to yourself.” - Caroline
“Make sure you are being specific and clear about the hours you are putting in.” - Caroline
“I feel like whether it’s working with an attorney, or service at a restaurant, or being at a hotel, or working with your wedding planner, you need to feel like you’re being taken care of. Period.” - Michelle
“Everyone is in a very emotional, traumatized state right now.” - Caroline
“We just have to get through this really tough time. And we do that by being human, being emotionally intelligent, listening to each other, and being flexible.” - Caroline

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