Language in a contractual agreement that can be considered unclear or subject to different interpretations is called ambiguity. Ambiguity in a contractual agreement is often extremely costly because contract disputes can result in countless hours in court and thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Poorly written contracts are ambiguous, and as previously stated ambiguity leads to contract disputes. In effect, a contractual agreement is poorly drafted if it leaves the duties and obligations of the parties unclear. This lack of clarity often results in different interpretations of the parties contractual obligations. For example, saying something must be completed in “a reasonable amount of time” is ambiguous. Thus, when this type of language can be avoided it should. On the other hand, saying a task must be completed before 5:00 pm on Thursday, January 10, 2009 provides clarity. If you finished at 4:59 pm you complied with your contractual obligation. If you finished at 5:01 pm you did not.
This expense of litigation can often be avoided with properly written contractual agreements for a fraction of the cost of future litigation. A properly drafted contract should serve as the foundation of any business deal. To be properly drafted, a contract and/or agreement should detail the rights and obligations of the parties in a clear and unambiguous manner. A contract should contemplate potential future problems and expressly resolve those issues so that litigation can be avoided.
Atlanta attorney, J. Stephen Mixon, Esq. of Millar and Mixon, LLC has extensive experience all over Georgia drafting, reviewing, revising, and litigating many types of contracts including:
This information included is not intended to serve as a substitute for consultation with an attorney. Specific legal issues, concerns and conditions always require the advice of appropriate legal professionals.