Guest blog by Paris Mowlavi Torkamani
This week we have the privilege getting the Inside scoop from Paris Mowlavi Torkamani, Esq., who practices transactional and corporate law here in San Diego. Take it away Paris...
Whether you’ve just agreed to lend your brother money, provide professional services to your family friend, or start a business with your spouse, the most important first step that you can take to reduce the risk of future conflict is to memorialize the terms of your relationship and agreement in writing. In fact, this is true for most, if not all, agreements that you enter into. Before you pop open that bottle of champagne and clink your glasses together, stop and take a minute to pull out your pen and paper (or computer/tablet/phone) and write out the terms that will form the basis of your agreement – the name of the parties, effective date, term and purpose of the agreement, relative duties and responsibilities, etc… Far too often, I have seen a relationship that started out in a friendly and agreeable note end in conflict and disagreement. More times than not, the reason for this is that the parties were so anxious to get the ball rolling on a project that they skipped right over the essential first step of figuring out exactly what it is that they are agreeing to do for one another. When parties go through the process of reducing their agreement to writing, they are forced to confront, discuss, and negotiate issues that they may otherwise have completely overlooked.
My clients will often say that they don’t want to memorialize a certain agreement in writing because they fear that it will complicate the matter, offend the other party, or ruin the relationship. I usually respond to those concerns with an earnest warning: if the other person is going to be offended by such a rational suggestion, then I would be wary of entering into a business relationship with them in the first place. Also, any disagreements that may arise at the commencement of the relationship, and in the process of reducing your agreement to writing, will not be in vain, but rather, will contribute to a more transparent and effective business relationship. Moral of the story: minimize the potential for future fighting by taking the time to put the material terms of an agreement in writing.
Disclaimer: The comments and opinions expressed in this blog post are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Reading or using the information in the blog post does not create the existence of an attorney-client privilege.
Paris Mowlavi Torkamani, Esq. primarily practices business transactional and corporate law in San Diego, California. When not advising her clients on a wide range of business-related matters, she is usually spending time with her husband and son, practicing, yoga, or scoping out the latest fashion trends. You can learn more about Paris via her Facebook page here or you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.