From: Yves Jeaurond <yves_jeaurond -at- CBC -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 15:06:00 EDT


It would be a pleasure to help you out. My "standard contract" is on another
Zip disk (tsk, tsk); is tomorrow OK?. Believe it or not, my experience with
contracts comes from jingles. Check your contract for red flags (clauses that
are there but shouldn't) and for--this is more difficult--white flags (clauses
that aren't there but should). Consult an accountant, lawyer or HR person who
deals daily with contracts. Get second opinions from qualified people.

The clause checklist
(1) Payment (white) : <no joke> Client agrees to pay contractor such amount by
such a date... A stressed for cash client can innovate in wondrous ways, like
default on payments to which he is not bound.
(2) Deliverables : Listed for clause (3)'s benefit.
(3) Extra Work (white) : Extra work beyond work specified herein shall be
defined & priced by contractor according to contractor's standard rate...
(4) Force Majeure (white) : Contractor not responsible for delivery due to
death, injury, fire, theft, search & seizure...
(5) Payback (red) : Contractor will pay back all monies disbursed to him should
client be dissatisfied with work...
(6) Legal fees: Should litigation ensue over this agreement, the party that
finds judgment in his favor shall pay legal fees for both parties.
(7) Right to use : (pink) Though client gets all rights to work, contractor may
use non-confidential samples for portfolio purposes. (This is negotiable. If
your work is highly creative, you may want to keep 50% of the rights to the
work, or refrain from delivering the code until the last payment has been made.
You can negotiate everything. there is NO SUCH THING AS A STANDARD CONTRACT.

Last piece of advice: as Harvey Mackay says ("Swim with the Sharks and Avoid
Getting Eaten Alive" a great book on the art of the deal): Never sign a
contract in a room with a chandelier...

Best of luck.

Yves J
yves_jeaurond -at- cbc -dot- ca

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