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Written Agreement v/s Verbal Agreement

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kbs27
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Hi all,

In the video lecture Dr.Simon mentioned about two terms of contract,Written & Verbal agreement. He said that verbal contract can be legal but what if the due to dispute or other reason the verbal agreement turns to failure. Is there any significant difference between Verbal Agreement & Oral Agreement? How much one should rely on verbal agreement? Is it good to start working on a project just based on verbal Agreement? What are the importance of Written agreement?

If anyone of you had an experience regarding to those questions please share.

 
Posted : 30/11/2016 10:49 am
cef3
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The biggest difference between a written and oral contract is that a written contract can easily be defended in court, while an oral one requires additional evidence that can stand up in court. If there is any risk that legal action can result from the contract, it is probably best to put the agreement in writing. However, if it is not important to cover oneself from a legal point of view, an oral contract may be okay.

 
Posted : 30/11/2016 12:59 pm
fo3
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There can be some confusion with the use of the word "verbal". A verbal contract can include any agreement with words, which includes both oral and written agreements. Therefore, it's best to compare between spoken oral contracts and on-paper written contacts. One should rely on written agreements, especially for the proof that is guaranteed to back it up. However, a contract that is expressed orally is hard to enforce, for that reason that the proof may not be there, unless there are witnesses.

 
Posted : 01/12/2016 4:08 am
asn99
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Hi All,

As the previous posted mentioned a written contract is greatly needed if any piece of the matter needs to be protected from a legal point of view. Oral contracts are extremely difficult to defend in court as it is difficult to show all the aspects of a legal contract; such as offer&acceptance, consideration, and full capacity of the agreement. In a written legal agreement these are typically clearly stated and can be much more easily defended in court. As would stated above, a written legal contract is typically much more useful than an oral agreement.

-Andrew Nashed

 
Posted : 01/12/2016 5:34 am
Viraj D
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As others have mentioned a written contract is a legal binding document, where you have signed pen to paper. Certain clauses allows to you to break from it, but if you there are any agreements in the contract that you go against, it can be held against you. In terms of an oral contract, it can be harder to go to court without any evidence. If you have a recorded conversation, with the persons consent with the person stating their name and that they agree along with the terms and conditions in what they are agreeing to, that would be sufficient evidence in court. However, I know in some states if you record a conversation without a persons consent, the evidence would be dismissible in court.

 
Posted : 01/12/2016 9:02 am
hg93
 hg93
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Krunal,
Nice discussion topic!

The term ‘verbal contract’ actually refers to any agreement which can be expressed in words, and that means all written contracts as well as those that have only been discussed. The major practical differences between 'oral contracts' and 'written' ones are to refer to a contract that’s only spoken about; it’s always best to use the term oral contract.
The terms ‘verbal contract’ and ‘written agreement’ can both be used correctly to refer to the same things; a ‘written contract’ is much more specific. Using the term ‘written contract’ when referring to one that is expressed in words on paper and signed by both parties avoids any confusion caused by the ambiguity of the term ‘verbal contract.'

A written contract always refers to a document that outlines an agreement entered into by two parties. These parties might be people, organizations or businesses, but their identities will be specified in the contract. For written contracts to be valid and binding, they need to be signed by both parties. For some written contracts, counter-signatories might be required, or witnesses.

 
Posted : 01/12/2016 10:33 am
hmp42
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Hi all

Nice discussion so far.Written agreements are important to avoid risk of genuine mistakes.It is legal way of doing things. Written agreement formally prevents one party from making the same verbal agreement with multiple other parties, protecting the business arrangement. Working on project involves so many plans to work out at the same time,so according to me it is best if there is written agreement about it.

-Hetal

 
Posted : 01/12/2016 10:56 am
Roberto Pineda
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I would never agree with someone using a "verbal agreement" because if you don't have a written contract of what everyone is supposed to do, a lot of problems will arise and lawsuits might take place, but if have a signed written agreement all these problems will not exist. I have seen people doing business with verbal agreements, but they do because they have known each other for years and they know they trust each other. However, if you do that with someone you just met, then things will probably end up in a bad way. I could provide a lot of examples in which verbal agreements has worked but what all those examples have in common is: the commitment of both parts to the project (both parts have known each other for years). This is not something I would prefer. Nowadays people think in a "X" way, but tomorrow they change opinions and start thinking in a "Y" way.

Sincerely,
RP.

 
Posted : 02/12/2016 9:53 am
Fady Khalla
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From a legal standpoint, a written agreement is far more better than an oral one. As others have mentioned, a written agreement can be easily defended in court and can solve disputes quickly. with an Oral agreement, you get into the grey area of I said and he said. Which are not easy to solve. Therefore, I have usually believed that a written agreement is necessary to prove the terms of the agreement between parties. On a different note, all regulatory agencies only believe in written agreements. If it is not documented, it never happened. for example, you cannot go to a supplier and establish an oral agreement with them to supply a product with the quality you need. All regulatory agencies will not believe you because you do not have anything to prove your agreement.

Best Regards,
Fady Khalla

 
Posted : 02/12/2016 4:06 pm
la82
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I agree with everyone who mentioned the importance of a written agreement, and I agree with your point Roberto. The only part I would like to comment on is about the condition you set for verbal agreements. I have seem some cases of long-life friends who conducted businesses together based on the relationship trust, but at some point influences change one of them toward the other and someone ends up losing. I would say that any form of verbal agreement on major deals or businesses is a lost deal.

An interesting example of the importance of written agreements was brought up in another class, was about the company named Tesla. When the crashes of their self-driving cars discussion was raised, a student mentioned their long agreement or catalogs that list a lot of legal warnings that protect them as a company. In a lot of cases people are not able to sue these companies as they cover themselves well with these written agreements.

- Lamiaa Abdelaziz

 
Posted : 03/12/2016 4:30 pm
nda4
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Just to add to what has been stated, In my opinion I would prefer a written agreement instead of verbal. I believe that whenever there is a mutual understanding of what is decided, then legal issues can be prevented or least have documented evidence when there is an infraction. Writing a formal agreement involves the review and assistance of legal counsel during the contract formation process. If the party the contractor intends to enter a business agreement with is not willing to involve legal counsel, it raises the important question: What are they hiding? For example, a written agreement formally prevents one party from making the same verbal agreement with multiple other parties, protecting the business arrangement.

-Nicole

 
Posted : 03/12/2016 6:14 pm
Dhairya Parekh
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There are several disadvantages of verbal contract. The most common argument against a verbal contract is the lack of solid evidence. Since we are dealing with medical device, we have to keep in mind that most likely medical devices will deal with multiple lawsuits. If we rely on verbal agreement, medical device company will most likely loose. Moreover, there are specific regulations and rules of what may or may now terminate an agreement and it may not be discussed between two parties. This is why it is better to have written agreements in order to protect your company.

 
Posted : 04/12/2016 5:07 am
Anthony Monaco
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I completely agree with what you mentioned, but is a witness for an oral agreement actually enough to back up a claim in court? I know it is better than nothing and a written agreement is definitely preferred, but does having a witness really help prove an oral agreement that much?

 
Posted : 04/12/2016 7:13 am
pt58
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“Despite popular belief, oral contracts are enforceable. They usually are not in your best interests, and end in a "he said, she said" battle. But as long as there is enough evidence, a court will enforce an oral agreement. However, there is one particular exception to this rule, and it's called the Statute of Frauds.”
Statute of Frauds are certain situations that are required by law to be written contracts. Moreover, not all written contracts are strong enough to be legally binding. Take for example any electronic or commercial product you’ve ever purchased, their terms and conditions are extremely lengthy and carefully worded as well as legally binding.

- See more at: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2011/10/are-oral-contracts-enforceable.html

 
Posted : 04/12/2016 7:43 am
ial4
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Hi,
I do agree with the above discussions. written agreements have advantages over oral agreement
Benefits of written agreement
1.provide proof of what was agreed between you and the hirer.
2. help to prevent misunderstandings or disputes by making the agreement clear from the outset
3. give you security and peace of mind by knowing you have work, for how long and what you will be paid
4.clarify your status as an independent contractor by stating that the contract is a ‘services contract’ and not an ’employment contract’. This will not override a ‘sham’ contract, but a court will take the statement into account if there is any uncertainty about the nature of the relationship

 
Posted : 04/12/2016 1:29 pm
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