To solve the problems in your case, the court will follow a clear trial. It begins with the determination of the facts. It then applies the statutes and the corresponding precedents. At this stage of the trial, if issues remain unresolved, the court may be called upon to stay away from the agreement. If you and your client did not have a written contract or if your contract was vague, the court may have to fill in some of the gaps. In design projects, these details may include payment terms or changes or possession of digital files. Moving forward, the court can turn to these three additional forms of instruction: it is not uncommon for a designer to say, “I don`t use contracts.” In most cases, this really means that he or she is not well informed about legal issues and even hesitates to address them in conversations with clients. He`s launching a complex project that relies on a handshake, and he only hopes for the best. Well, it`s very likely that he actually has a contract – he`s just not aware of it.
This article explains the key elements that create a binding legal agreement between a designer and a client, and describes how a court could interpret that contract later in a lawsuit. Most contractual matters are governed by the common law. However, some statutes may also come into play in design projects. You are aware of the prescription regulations. Other state laws you should know are related to implied terms. This means that they are legally enforceable, even if they are not expressly stated in your contract. You should be ready to sign your next contract! Here are some takeaways you don`t want to forget: UCC`s main concern is the sale of “goods,” a term that contains all items that are both identifiable and mobile at the time of sale. When merchants sell goods to customers, these transactions carry an “implicit guarantee of cash or suitability for a specific use.” This is a promise that any goods delivered are defect-free and adequately adapted to the usual use for which these products are generally sold. If your design company receives a pre-printed order letter from a large customer, it can refer to this UCC warranty. However, depending on the design specialty, you probably don`t deliver products.
If the main purpose of your contract is to provide a service, this guarantee does not apply. You can include a “disclaimer” on this – a brief statement to inform your client if this specific guarantee does not apply to the project. For creatives, the use of commerce is an important topic. Design companies and advertising agencies have different standard practices (and in a previous article we looked at the standards being developed for motion design). Many professional associations publish standard contracts as a guide for their members. An example is the standard AIGA agreement for design services.