I’m in the mood for contracts because I’m working on my class syllabus for Business Law, which attempts to cover all things contract in 2 weeks. My 1 goal in these 2 weeks is to convert my students into happy little contract geeks. No longer should they look upon a contract with glazed expressions bemoaning the fates that should call upon them to read or write such a dull document! Nay, they shall proceed with twinkles in their eyes, poised to encapsulate an agreement that will lay the foundation for a smooth and successful business transaction.
You may scoff, but I have seen the twinkle, and it is worth 10,000 diamonds to me. Maybe even worth, say, 2 chickens.
I also talk about the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in my class. The bantam-sized version of this wordily named legal principle is this: whether the contract states it or not, all parties promise to act in “good faith” and deal fairly with one another. Failure to do so breaches the covenant, and liability may ensue.
After all, it only takes ten minutes on a playground to hear the cry: BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR!
Life may not be fair, but that’s no reason for us to act unfairly ourselves.
In the long run, fair dealing leads to better business relationships. The momentary advantage of exploiting a contract loophole does not compare.
So there you go:
Be fair, or the farmer will eat you!
P.S. No, there is no legal advice in this column.
I didn’t even send you a bill!