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  • Writer's pictureTanya S Osensky

Handshakes are not worth the paper they’re written on

Bruce is a marketing consultant for medical practices. He’s been doing business on a handshake for years until a big claim almost put him out of business.

He not only had to give a refund of all fees paid, but also had to pay for his client’s lost profits and damage to reputation as a result of following Bruce’s advice. One of the biggest risks of doing business without a contract is that the seller has unlimited liability. Only with a written contract can this be fixed.

Having spent over 20 years as an in-house lawyer, I’ve learned that you can’t eliminate all risk, but you can mitigate it. In Bruce’s new terms, we capped his liability at the amount of fees paid in the preceding month.

If you’ve always done deals on a handshake, are you nervous knowing how litigious our culture is?  Can you afford to pay a big claim? Have you ever had a disagreement with a client before?

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