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Construction Law Authority / Contracts  / A Proposed Contract May Bind You Even If You Don’t Sign

A Proposed Contract May Bind You Even If You Don’t Sign

 A frequent occurrence on construction projects (once the economy turns and new projects actually begin again) is when one party presents a proposed contract to another for signature and the recipient fails to sign it, but begins working on the job anyway. You may be surprised to know you may still be bound to the contract terms even if you never sign the agreement. The contract may bind you if your acts, conduct or performance on the job suggest you agreed to its terms. In other words, even if you don’t sign a contract, you may nevertheless be bound to its provisions if you act as though the contract was in force (submit pay requests in accordance with the contract’s draw schedule, conduct job site meetings as called for in the contract, submit change order requests to the person identified in the contract to receive them, etc). In fact, case law goes so far as to make an arbitration clause in an unsigned contract binding if the court finds the parties consented to other terms in the agreement. Therefore, beware of the unsigned proposed contract. Either sign and return it or make your suggested changes to it, but if you simply ignore it, you do so at your own risk!

Lee Weintraub

At age 46, Lee Weintraub was the youngest recipient ever of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Bar’s Construction Law Committee. Mr. Weintraub is also an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law teaching construction law. Mr. Weintraub has been recognized by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers every year since 2003. Chambers USA noted he focuses on licensing and construction defect litigation, but is particularly renowned for his expertise in the Construction Lien Law. He was also selected in the The Best Lawyers in America© every year from 2006 through 2018.

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