An Example of How Having an Attorney Review a Simple Draft Agreement Can Be So…..Worthwhile

A longtime friend called for advice earlier this month, and our conversation reminded me how having an attorney review even a simple draft amended legal agreement can be so…. worthwhile.

Legal review of draft agreements can be very cost-effective

Business people are asked to sign agreements and legal documents on a regular basis. I am sure that on most occasions, it doesn't seem worthwhile to have the draft agreement reviewed by an attorney. The delay and the expense seems unwarranted, not worthwhile.

However, consider that an experienced attorney can often review and advise relative to a draft document in an hour or less! So having a draft agreement reviewed is something that can and should be accomplished quickly and affordably.

Deciding to forego legal review of a draft document can be very expensive

My friend called on behalf of a friend of his who had signed an agreement  amending a prior agreement. Reportedly, a sentence from the prior agreement had been left out of the now-executed amended agreement - the absence of which was now going to cost the signer $200,000.

Had this friend of a friend sought legal advice, an attorney could have carefully compared the prior agreement with the amended agreement and pointed out all the changes, including the omission of the all-important $200,000 sentence.

Assuming that the signer did not intend for the all-important sentence to be omitted and only signed the amended agreement because she was ignorant of this change, her decision to forego legal review left her $200,000 out of pocket.  Had she sought legal assistance to review the amendment, counsel would have quickly pointed out that the omitted sentence in the amended agreement, this error would have been blocked, and the signer would have benefitted to the tune of $200,000.

With all due respect, failing to have the draft amended agreement reviewed by legal counsel was penny wise and pound foolish.   If the facts given to me are correct, this decision cost the signer $200,000.   When it will only be an hour or two of time, legal document review makes sense for all draft agreements and can be so…. worthwhile.

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Benjamin Calkins

Benjamin Calkins

Ben Calkins is a well-educated, top-rated, and highly experienced business law attorney.

Ben Calkins is an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School. After law school, he clerked for a Federal Judge before joining one of the World’s largest law firms, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Mr. Calkins has also worked at, and been a partner in, several of the most prominent “old style law firms” in the World.