Q. The guy that owns my hunting camp is in a contract with a logger but lumber prices have really gone up. Can you get him out of the contract?
Sam, Killen, AL
A. Like all lawyers everywhere people ask questions about the law. It’s always an honor for someone to recognize and call on your knowledge, and it happens to lawyers all the time.
There is no lawyer that can, could or should answer a question about a contract without reading the contract. Almost always, if you want to ask a lawyer a question about a contract, the lawyer needs to see the contract.
I’m sure there are exceptions for contracts that call for outcomes that are not recognized by law. Anybody with an imagination can come up with an idea for an illegal contract. That being said, the law of contracts can be complicated. The law of contracts is extensive to the point where there are legal encyclopedias for courts and lawyers who deal with contracts to reference. The fact is that contracts can be governed by statute, prior decisions of the courts of the state in which the contract was made or interpreted and there are those contracts where the court would have to make new law.
Certainly the law of contracts does contain exceptions for contracts that are entered into in good faith but that have unforeseen difficulties. There may be exceptions when one side is unjustly enriched beyond what the parties contemplated in the original contract.
For a lawyer to apply the law as it relates to contracts and to provide legal advice, they have to have the contract to read.
Whenever a person has a question about a contract, always bring the contract.