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Could using plainer language prevent litigation of contracts?

Oregon business owners need solid relationships in order for their companies to reach their full potential. Few companies can operate in a vacuum, and at some point, they will need to enter into contracts with others in order to conduct their business in a way that fosters success. The problem is that the language in those agreements can easily lead to litigation if the parties fail to understand their obligations.

It would not be unreasonable to say that a large number of contract disputes arise because one party failed to fully understand its duties under the contract. For this reason, more people are turning to plainer language in order to increase each party’s understanding of what is expected of them. Contracts must still comply with current Oregon, and sometimes federal, laws, but that does not mean that they need to include overly complex language that makes it difficult to understand the rights and responsibilities of each party.

For most business owners, it is not necessary to “dumb down” the contracts to the point where it resembles a children’s book. However, including language that makes obligations and rights clear could also remove some of the adversarial feel of contract negotiations. When the parties sit down to put their working relationship into writing, they should not necessarily need an interpreter in order to understand what they are getting into.

This does not mean that businesses would not need the advice and assistance of an attorney when entering into contracts. An understanding of the rights given and taken away in a contract still requires experienced guidance in order to retain legal protections. However, when it comes down to what each party must do in order to remain in compliance with the contract, no one should feel as though he or she has to guess and take a gamble that the contract will not be unknowingly breached.

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