“Law of ‘Mistake’ in Contractual Performance

Mistakes of fact can be something simply like the misspelling of a name or something much more complex like an error in the computation of a scientific formula. Regardless of the size of the mistake, it can be grounds for a contract dispute. In these disputes, the courts usually look unfavorably at the party that wrote the contract. Over the year, several cases involving contract law have set precedence regarding how cases will be handled. In the Michigan case of Sherwood v.

Walker, the Michigan Supreme Court rules that understandings between the parties which were part of the negotiation process but not part of the final contract may be considered if they bear sufficient weight to affect the contract dispute. It is obvious from the review of law regarding contract disputes and contract law, that it is imperative that lawyers get the facts right and understand all the applicable parts of the law when writing a contract. Mistakes in the drafting of the contract can lead to major disputes.

Common mistakes made in contracts include not specifying the terms of the contract, not specifying who has jurisdiction over any disputes and not planning for dispute resolution. It is therefore very important that anyone involved in writing contracts double check their facts and ask questions until they are completely clear on the issues at hand. The more clearly a contract explains the conditions under which it operates, the less likely it is to end in a contract dispute.