JLC ??JANUARY 1990 "Get it in writing" is a pretty good rule of business. For a variety of reasons, however, contractors often ignore this adage. The job is too small, or you know the client; or, maybe you think it's not worth the time or money to pay an attorney to draft a proper contract. But informal documents, verbal agreements, and handshakes can break down and lead to conflicts or courtroom battles. A written contract that anticipates potential areas of conflict helps prevent later misunderstandings. On smaller jobs, the contract needn't be pages think with dense legal lingo. A simple, "plain-language" contract will serve just as well. In fact, the clearer the terms are, the more likely it