July 13, 2012
The Fine Print: Contracts and the Forum Selection Clause
When there’s a deal or an important project on the line, it can be tempting to skim the contract and sign it on good faith so work can start. But contracts outline the details of any deal — or at least they should — and you need to make sure everyone’s on the same page regarding what’s expected at the outset and the close of the project.
One thing you may not have considered that’s been popping up a lot in litigation lately is the forum selection clause. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the forum selection clause?
A forum selection clause states which state’s laws will be used in resolving a contract dispute. Missouri law does enforce forum selection clauses unless they are unreasonable in their application.
Why is this important?
The forum selection clause determines where a contract dispute case must be filed. For example, if you’re a small business owner in Missouri, and you sign a contract with a big business that ends up violating the contract, you may have to file your lawsuit in another state.
That sounds expensive.
That’s right. Litigation is already an expensive activity to be avoided when possible, and adding in the costs of driving or flying to court appearances in a state far away — both in time and money — can drain resources you’d much prefer to spend growing your business.
Contract Review by the Pros
Now, sometimes there may not be an option. If you want to work with a certain company, you may have to agree to their terms. But the important thing is to know what you’re getting into. The legalese used in contracts can be difficult to decipher, but our professional attorneys at Dan Miller Law can help. We’re well-versed in employment law, and we can help you make sure the contract you’re signing is legal and a good option for your business. Give us a call at 816-875-0470, or use our web submission form to request more information.