The support for commercial relationships lies in contracts. For parties to work with and rely upon one another for the mutual benefit at all they need assurances and protections for each parties right to perform and the reliance on such performance. Contracts should not only provide details for the intended transaction at hand, but should be prepared to handle future contingencies and opportunities. We all too often enter a situation where contracts exist, but fail to fully handle the situation or deterioration of the relationship at hand. It is generally important to confirm the quality and application of a contract before signing, as once it has been executed the terms of such a document can be controlling as to expectations and future rights or profits.

People usually think of contracts in limited terms, but contracts can be extremely creative and take many different courses. As long as terms of a contract are not illegal or against public policy they can be enforceable. Provisions that businesses may consider implementing in a contract may depend on the type of relationship or transaction which is being memorialized, whether it be a lease, distribution agreement or joint ventureship. Obvious considerations may be profit or quantity, but other things to consider may be renewal options, intellectual property rights, timelines, and more. Conatus Counsel regularly works with Clients to discover all the concerns and goals in order to draft the best instrument for the needs and considerations of the business or brand.

Another kind of contract is a liability waiver – a large part of outdoor recreation involves the ability to “contract” away liability. This is particular true under the assumption of risk theory of involvement by the product user or activity participant. While in the past, such liability waivers would be enforced with the application of general blanket language, this is no longer the case. To better serve the public, Courts have really begun to analyze liability waivers in detail and require them to accurately provide the Clientele with knowledge of the risks in which they will be engaging in order to be enforceable.

With products, this work is applied mostly on the forefront with respect to the development of the product itself and the accompanying instructions and warnings. However, Conatus Counsel can continue to be involved and assist such a company with risk management through handling of claims and working with a company to prevent further exposure via marketing and/or social media images and materials.

Conatus Counsel works with a wide range of companies and activities in drafting a wide range of contracts, and liability waivers/assumption of risk documents, to protect the business, its owners, agents, employees, and success.

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