“This week I have been blessed to have permission to reprint Mark Mauriello’s response to the question, ‘Are Contracts Made to Be Broken.’ For Breeders, Pet Owners and Handlers this discussion will make so much sense. Contracts should be made to be kept and as a guide to retain relationships. Read how Mark explains why contracts should not be made to be broken. If you want to learn more, write me at www.hamiltonlawandmediation.com or Mark Mauriello at email@example.com
Unequivocally and resoundingly – NO. Contracts are made expressly to be kept. At least among the ethical and intelligent business people I work among. I find the premise posed for consideration to be among the most cynical and nonsensical points of view regarding enterprise. If we were to truly accept and allow callous disregard of binding agreement as an operating principle, all commercial activity would erode swiftly into disarray. Without balanced and honored agreements, the transactional landscape would be littered with wreckage and business would take on the attributes of the Wild West; lawless chaos. That’s not to say parties cannot callously decline to keep a bargain. There’s the rub.
In my more than 30 years’ experience as a businessman and transactional attorney, I have come to believe strongly that good contracts are essential to a robust economy. Without them, or saddled with confusing, labyrinthine agreements in their place, the time wasted achieving the benefit of the bargain for both parties, or worse, the resources spent on attorneys jousting for advantage, will suck the economic life out of what is currently a still fragile economy.
I think there is a better paradigm for exchanging value, i.e. money, for something. Once the parties have had the opportunity to advocate strongly for the business elements most critical to their needs, then the resulting contract should be clear, enforceable, and express the best converging interest of the parties to the transaction, while still protecting against unintended but possible breach. The abjectly distasteful suggestion that it is okay to infuse a contract with camouflaged trip wires and buried Claymores stain all honest business and legal professionals. That this impression even exists is a failing of our culture.
You may call my point of view naive. I call it serving a standard of excellence and the greater good.
Mark Mauriello is an attorney at Mark Mauriello, PC, a legal and business advisory practice in Bedford Hills, New York that guides small business owners through their transactional and general business challenges. Mauriello says, no, contracts should never be broken.