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Should We Shake on It?

STEVE LOVEJOY: Generally speaking, oral contracts are enforceable.

FRED PROVORNY: Even handshakes have resulted in valid contracts.

ELIOT WAGONHEIM: A handshake with a person of integrity is always of immense value and it is worth a lot more than a contract with a person without honor.

STEVE LOVEJOY: The trouble is, how do you prove them?

ELIOT WAGONHEIM: Handshake agreements generally are as brief as the handshakes that seals them.

FRED PROVORNY: If you do it on a handshake and if something happens, you really have difficulty establishing what the basis of the agreements was.

STEVE LOVEJOY: It would be my word against the next guy, who I would just say I contracted with.

FRED PROVORNY: Deal with as many of the contingencies as you possibly can anticipate.

STEVE LOVEJOY: This is not a question of trust. It is a question of making sure we both have the same understanding and are on the same page with regard to what we are agreeing to do.

FRED PROVORNY: We cannot at any given time anticipate the future. We were not blessed with the gift of prophecy.

STEVE LOVEJOY: Using a lawyer is always a good idea. The lawyer's job is to anticipate what might happen, what might go wrong, and provide for that in the agreement.

ELIOT WAGONHEIM: Part of the value of going to an attorney is not the piece of paper that is generated at the end, it is the process by which you reach that agreement.

STEVE LOVEJOY: What a lawyer helps you do is understand what the meeting of the minds is between what your understanding of the obligations and the other party's understanding of obligations and put those in writing so that it is clear.

ELIOT WAGONHEIM: A lot of times you think about things and you discuss issues, you never really would have thought about doing that handshake in the hall.

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