Contracts and Commercial Leases in Atlanta, Georgia
Contract law is essentially private law – two or more parties agree to enforceable rules by which they will govern their relationship. Unfortunately, as a business owner, you inevitably face a dilemma. Even if you thoroughly understand the underlying business transaction, a poorly-drafted contract can lead to disastrous consequences. A lawyer who is skilled in Georgia contract law can keep you out of court by drafting clear and unambiguous contracts that leave little room for misinterpretation. If a dispute has already arisen, Atlanta contracts and leases lawyers can minimize the damage done to your business interests.
The Scope of Business Contracts
You are likely to need contracts in nearly every aspect of your business, including:
- Commercial leases,
- Asset purchase and sale agreements,
- Purchase orders,
- Employment contracts,
- Non-compete agreements,
- Confidentiality agreements,
- Consulting agreements,
- Distributorship agreements,
- Intellectual property licensing agreements,
- Franchise agreements,
- Dispute settlement agreements,
- Releases of liability,
- Stock purchase agreements,
- Merger and acquisition (M&A) agreements,
- Partnership agreements,
- Shareholder voting agreements.
All of these contract must be drafted, executed, and (if necessary) litigated against the background of Georgia contract law. This legal background is inherently confusing because much of contract law is based on case precedent rather than formal written statutes.
Commercial leases can be extremely complex documents. A well-written commercial lease will resolve issues such as rental fees, utility fees, property taxes, common area maintenance fees, percentage rent (if the parties so desire), term and termination, options to renew, maintenance and repair, build-outs, severability, and dispute resolution. Since the ideal commercial lease may contain different provisions different depending on whether you are a landlord or a tenant, a commercial lease must be carefully negotiated.
When a party wins a contract lawsuit, the court will generally award expectation. Expectation damages are calculated to put the non-breaching party in as good a position as he would have been in had the contract been fully performed. In a commercial lease agreement, for example, a landlord who prevails over a tenant who abandoned the property five months before the end of the lease will likely be awarded at least five times the amount of the monthly rental fee, even if the rental fee is above market rates.
The Art of Drafting Contracts
A conscientious Atlanta contract and lease attorney walks a legal tightrope. If his or her wording is too vague, misunderstandings inevitably arise, sometimes years later. The contract then becomes the focus of disputes between two or more parties who understand it differently. If this happens, a judge might end up interpreting the contract instead of the parties. If, on the other hand, the wording is too specific, the contract becomes a straitjacket that impedes rather than facilitates the intentions of the parties.
When a skilled business contract lawyer in Atlanta drafts a contract, an imaginary adversary haunts him or her. This adversary examines his or her draft, attempting to exploit every ambiguity and misconstrue every word he or she has written. In opposition to this imaginary adversary, the contract and lease attorney is able to revise the draft until ambiguities gradually disappear and nothing written can be easily misconstrued. It is this mental process that produces a contract that clarifies expectations on both sides and keeps you out of court.
Regardless of the underlying business issue, contract lawsuits generally boil down to two types of issues — questions of fact and questions of law. Resolving a question of fact revolves around gathering evidence to prove that an alleged event did or did not occur (whether the defendant divulged trade secrets to a competitor, for example). Resolving a question of law, by contrast, revolves around determining the meaning of a contractual clause, statute, or judicial precedent.
Retaining an Atlanta Contract and Lease Lawyer
At Danowitz & Associates P.C., our contracts and leases attorneys understand that the ideal business solution takes into considering many factors, such as the preservation of business relationships that do not arise when considering a problem from a purely legal perspective. We stand ready to assist you in working out arrangements that preserve these relationships as far as possible. Meanwhile, we take pains to ensure that your business interests and legal rights are thoroughly protected. For a free evaluation of your case, call us today at 770-933-0960 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Civil Litigation
• Landlord and Tenant Disputes
• Contracts and Leases
• Employment Agreements
• Asset Purchases and Sales
• Business Start-ups
Danowitz & Associates P.C
300 Galleria Parkway, Suite 960, Atlanta, GA 30339