Last month, Jeremiah Hodges and Tim McFalls defended a local business who had been sued for $750,000.00 in damages. The case was tried for a week at the Madison County Courthouse. Ultimately, the jury returned a defense verdict on all claims made against the business. Additionally, the jury also awarded damages to the local business for the plaintiff’s tortious interference with the business’s contractual relationships. We appreciated the jury’s attentiveness to the case and were thrilled for the result for our clients.
An important lesson to be learned from this case is that sometimes it is better to spend a little money now on a lawyer to avoid spending more money later on a lawyer. The case centered around a contract that the business had chosen to draft for itself rather than hiring a lawyer to draft. While the contract was pretty well written for a layperson, there were some missing terms and ambiguities in the contract. These terms caused the business to incur legal expenses and spend time in litigation to prove the meaning of the terms and get full enforcement of the contract. If the business had hired a competent lawyer to draft the contract, it may have been able to avoid litigation and saved thousands of dollars in legal fees. We see this not only in contracts but also in wills, bills of sale and other documents that are common for consumers to need.
It may seem expensive to hire a lawyer to prepare proper legal documents, it is much less expensive than hiring a lawyer having to litigate fix a poorly drafted legal document. Paying your lawyer to draft proper documents is an investment that will save you money in the future.