Percentage of contract law cases that ever make it to trial.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics
Number of contract cases filed in Florida courts in 2016
Average number of contracts Suzanne and Davey review each month (combined).
5 Things Creatives Need to Know About Contracts Before They Sign
- Boilerplate. “Boilerplate” refers to all that stuff in a contract that probably seems like (or is) legal gobbledygook. Creatives often delete boilerplate to simplify their contracts. Trouble is, that boilerplate protects you! Without it, you might not be able to enforce the contract at all.
- Work For Hire. If you are an independent contractor developing creative works for a client, you own the copyrights in the works unless you sign a contract that states that the works are “work made for hire” or you assign the works to the client. Then the works belong to the client.
- Getting Paid. If you don’t include certain clauses in your contracts, you are less likely to get paid on time (or at all). Examples of effective contract terms that get you paid include the right to charge interest, liquidated damages, injunctive relief, withholding rights to the work, and attorney’s fees provisions.
- Doing It Yourself. Generic contracts pulled from a forms website, or contracts written for someone else, are not likely to address the way you do business and therefore are more likely to result in an unenforceable contract or lead to litigation. And you likely to have to hire a lawyer to fix the contract later anyway.
- A Proposal Isn’t a Contract. Typically, without something more – like a master services agreement – a proposal is just a proposal. If you begin work without a signed contract, you have no guarantee of getting paid for your work.