legal sonic

legal sonic

Legal Information About the Real Estate Contract

Posted on January 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

The conclusion of final agreement between a seller and a buyer is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. We know it as the real estate contract.

There are five mandatory requirements for a contract under contract law:

1. The name, address and contact data for the seller(s) and buyer(s).

2. A clear description of the property. We prefer the tax map and parcel number but a street address, or other clear description will do. Such as “parcel known as Hudson Farm, being 456 acres more or less fronting on west side of US Route One and County Rd. 264, being about 9 miles north of Rehoboth in Sussex County Delaware. The final description on the deed at settlement will contain the Book and Page number where it was purchased, a survey description and tax map ID. For the contract any clear description that could ONLY be the property being sold is sufficient. This can be the Tax I.D. number.

3. The price and terms of payment. For instance: cash at settlement in thirty days from the date of this contract. Here should also be noted the deposit or consideration which may be as little as one dollar BUT is normally 10% of the purchase price.

4. The date of the contract.

5. Signatures of all sellers and buyers.

Although the contract need not be written on the form provided by the Realtor, it is customary to do so. On larger properties a simple note is often written which include the above 5 items and says that a full contract will follow. Then, the short contract is followed by another formalized contract drawn up by the attorney for the buyer or the seller. That is then reviewed and usually changed to some degree by the attorneys for the other side of the transaction.

On larger and more complicated properties the contract can go to dozens or even hundreds of pages. The five items here must be included but hundreds or thousands of other items may need to be included for some properties.

Most contracts today, for residential homes, are written on the standard contract form authorized by the County Board of Realtors and provided by the purchaser’s Realtor. The deposit money, or earnest money as it is sometimes called, is usually deposited in the escrow account of the selling Realtor.

Until all of the items above are included and ratified by all parties there is not a contract but only a “contract in progress” or an “offer” as we call it. This can be an offer to sell or an offer to buy and there may be several counter offers going back and forth as negotiations continue.

When everything is finalized the fully written and agreed upon document is said to be ratified. Even then the contract is not fully enforceable until it is conveyed, and received, in writing to all parties. THEN and only then can it be said to be a full and complete and enforcable contract.

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How to Respond to Requests for Production During a Divorce

Posted on January 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

Discovery is the legal process by which parties to a law suit uncover the evidence and true legal position of the other side. It is common for this process to be used in divorces to uncover assets and determine what the other side actually wants. Every State has particular laws regarding discovery and divorce. In Texas there are four main types of written discovery: Requests for Production, Requests for Admissions, Written Interrogatories and Requests for Disclosure.

There are other forms of discovery available to the parties such as informal investigations and depositions but nothing eats up client’s time and attorney’s fees quite like written discovery. The following is a brief description of how production is used in a divorce and how to respond.

Requests for Production are written requests specifying certain documents or other tangible things that are to be produced for inspection and copying. The idea is that the other side wants to see what tangible evidence you might be using in court before you get there so they can prepare. They are also attempting to gather evidence as to the make up of the marital estate. In other words they want to find out what the parties own so it can be divided. It is important to point out that if you do not produce the document you cannot use it at a trial or hearing later.

The most important thing to remember is that you must produce the documents and things that are requested unless your lawyer tells you not to. There are objections that can be made that can protect certain items but it is best to approach production with the mindset that you are going to fully comply. If you fail to produce a document or item you can be held in contempt of court.

Having said that generally your attorney is looking to object to as many requests as possible in an attempt to limit the amount of work both of you have to do as well as restrict the flow of information to the other side as much as is legally possible.

The very first thing to keep in mind is that if you do not have the item they are requesting you do not have to produce it. This is common in divorces where one party leaves the home and documents such as tax return left behind. If you did not take it with you they can’t make you go through all of the trouble of getting a new copy.

You do not have to create anything for the other side. If their request would require that you make something from scratch you are not required to do it. They can only ask that you produce things that you have in your possession or that you have superior access to.

That leads us to the next point. If your spouse has equal access to the item you do not have to produce it. This commonly occurs with things like joint credit card bills. If they have the ability to go online to get them as easily as you do then there is no reason for you to do it for them.

In the end hiding assets or documents is rarely worth the trouble. Putting all your cards on the table will generally work out for the best. If you are involved in a divorce and do not have a lawyer the discovery process, specifically requests for production may force you to retain an attorney to avoid being trapped.

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Injury Lawyers and Legal Information (Car Accidents, Slip and Falls, Etc)

Posted on January 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

Ajax and Whitby are communities that have grown dramatically in recent times. While some injury lawyers have opened offices in the area, there is not the same presence of injury lawyers as there is in larger financial centers like Toronto, Ontario. While you may ultimately choose to retain a lawyer that practices in Ajax or Whitby, it can be a good idea to meet with at least one lawyer in Toronto or the surrounding area to see a contrast between the available law firms and the available resources to invest in your case. Injury cases often require significant financial investments by the law firm, and it can often be important to know whether the law firm has the financial resources necessary to represent you to the conclusion of the lawsuit.  

However, you do want to ensure that you hire a lawyer who is willing to come to Ajax or Whitby as necessary. Some lawyers in Toronto will commence your lawsuit in Toronto, which will mean that you will have to make a number of trips into Toronto. However, others who have a number of cases in Ajax/Whitby, are happy to start the lawsuit in Ajax/Whitby, have the discoveries in Ajax/Whitby (ie: at Durham reporting) and to have the trial there. This is an important question to ask. Some Toronto lawyers are quite willing to hold some meetings in Ajax/Whitby when necessary.

Ideally, you do not want a Toronto lawyer who thinks of themselves as a “big city lawyer”. Ajax/Whitby are still relatively small communities, and a lawyer may need to eat a “slice of humble pie” before getting up to address a jury made up of members of the community. You may well need to consider that and to consider how to strike a balance between the need for a firm with financial resources and a lawyer that a jury will listen to.

When you first speak with the lawyer, ask them whether they have cases in Ajax and Whitby. You should also ask them what types of cases they have handled (ie: car accident, slip and fall). Ask them to send you some decisions in cases that they have argued.

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