In the face of problems, we often do not consider the law to be a viable route. People often mistakenly think that the law can not help them or the law is not on their side. If you find yourself in such a situation, consider challenging that notion.
Here I will debunk 3 myths relating to legal problems:
- You don’t think you have a contract. Many people mistakenly think that only disputes that involve written contracts are legally actionable, but all a contract requires is parties entering into an agreement with a bargain for exchange. You do not need any lofty language or signatures. A contract can be oral (admittedly more difficult to prove) or even just an an exchange over email. Sometimes contracts can simply form through one’s actions. So if you have a dispute with another person or business, definitely consider speaking with a lawyer to make sure there is no contract-based legal claim.
- You do you have a contract but the terms do not appear to support your position. Generally speaking, parties can contract to whatever they please and courts do not typically interfere. However, there are provisions that are not enforceable. For example, in Illinois, no-oral-modification clauses are not enforceable so the fact that your contracts require ‘written modification’ of the contract is likely meaningless and you can challenge it. Another common example are improperly drafted non-compete agreements. The bottom line here is if you want to challenge your contract, definitely consider doing so.
- You ‘Heard’… I commonly encounter other non-attorney professionals making comments (and yikes, giving advice) about the law when they they should not be. This is usually well-intended and without realizing that said person is giving legal advice, but nevertheless, detrimental to people. For example, an accountant might give advise related to corporate liability or a salesperson might give advice about contracts. Being that other professions encounter the law on the daily basis, those professionals will come to their own conclusions about the law. So when advice, even if not apparently legal advise, does not seem quite right, consult with an attorney to ensure the advise is accurate.