a veterinarian speaking with an employee about veterinary contracts

Handling Disputes: The Importance of Clear Veterinary Contracts

All well-run businesses rely on contracts, and veterinary clinics are no exception. Veterinary clinics rely on many types of contractual relationships, including employment contracts, leases, and contracts with clients. As a rule, it is important to strive for clarity when drafting business contracts. Although there are several reasons for this, the primary reason is that clear contracts ensure that all parties involved understand their contractual obligations. Contracts that are unclear, however, are more likely to lead to legal disputes. In this article, we examine the importance of clear veterinary contracts. 

Basic Contract Requirements and Remedies

Before examining the importance of clear veterinary contracts, it is helpful to understand the elements of a valid contract. The basic elements of a legally enforceable contract are: 

  • Mutual assent of the parties, which is expressed by a valid offer and acceptance; 
  • Adequate consideration, which means that each party offers something of value to the other; 
  • Capacity, which means that the parties are each legally capable of entering a contractual agreement; and 
  • Legality, which means that the subject of the contract is permissible under the law.

When parties fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, possible remedies include:

  • General damages;
  • Consequential damages;
  • Reliance damages; and 
  • Specific performance.  

Benefits of Clear Veterinary Contracts

As noted above, clear veterinary contracts are imperative in the veterinary industry. There are several benefits to drafting clear veterinary contracts, including: 

Reducing confusion: Contractual uncertainty can take a toll on business relations and lead to litigation. Clarity, on the other hand, can help reduce confusion and possible legal action.

Building trust: Clear, well-drafted contracts can help cultivate an atmosphere of trust between contracting parties. However, when terms are ambiguous, the parties are less likely to trust one another.  

Clear expectations: Clear and concise contractual language can help provide the contracting parties with a clear understanding of their respective responsibilities and expectations.

New opportunities: Finally, in some situations, potential clients or other parties may be reluctant to enter into contracts that lack clarity. On the other hand, new business partners, employees, customers, and others are much more likely to enter contracts that are clear and understandable. 

Importance of Hiring a Veterinary Contract Attorney to Draft Contracts 

Given the importance of drafting clear veterinary contracts, it’s imperative that you seek the assistance of a veterinary contract attorney for all contractual matters. Without an experienced veterinary contract attorney on your side, your odds of making mistakes increase drastically. Mistakes made during the contracting process can lead to legal disputes down the road. When you hire an experienced veterinary attorney, however, he or she will draft a veterinary contract that addresses your unique needs, helping you to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation in the process. 

Contact an Experienced Veterinary Contract Attorney 

At Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary contract attorneys are here to help you draft and execute clear contracts for your veterinary practice. When you come to us for help, we will take the steps necessary to fulfill your practice’s contractual needs. Please contact us today to schedule an initial meeting with an experienced veterinary contract attorney.

veterinary staff being hired

Hiring and Onboarding Staff: Legal Best Practices for New Veterinary Practices

As a veterinarian, your employees are your practice’s greatest asset. Without a strong team around you, your practice is unlikely to thrive. Therefore, to ensure the protection of you, your practice, your employees, and your customers, you must ensure that you have a comprehensive and legally sound hiring and onboarding process. In this article, we discuss the best legal practices for hiring and onboarding veterinary staff. 

Comply with Employment Laws 

All businesses with employees must ensure compliance with relevant employment laws—and veterinary practices are no exception. However, employment law is complicated. With countless state and federal employment laws that apply to veterinary practices, ensuring compliance can be difficult—if not impossible—for non-attorneys. Therefore, to ensure compliance with all federal and state hiring requirements, it is imperative that you work with an experienced veterinary business law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will help you establish a legally sound hiring process that will afford maximum protection to you and your employees. 

Create Fair and Clear Employment Contracts

Next, when hiring new employees for your veterinary practice, it’s imperative that you draft clear and fair employment contracts. However, to be legally enforceable, each contract must comply with all applicable federal and state laws. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced veterinary business law attorney for all contractual matters. Although every contract is different, some common veterinary contract provisions include: 

Term: The term is the time period during which the contract is effective. 

Duties: Veterinary employment contracts should clearly outline the requirements of the position.

Schedule and compensation: Veterinary employment contracts should also detail the number of required work hours in a given time frame and the position’s compensation and benefits. 

Termination: Finally, veterinary employment contracts should outline the ways in which the employment contract may be terminated. In addition, each agreement should indicate whether there is a time frame for notice if the employee or employer decides to end the professional relationship. 

Implement Employment Policies and Procedures

Without a set of employment policies and procedures in place, your employees will be left to guess as to how to meet your professional expectations. Not only can this hurt the overall effectiveness of your practice, but it can lead to legal disputes down the road. Therefore, as a veterinary practice owner, it is imperative that you implement clear employment policies and procedures for your veterinary practice. When it comes to drafting policies and procedures for your employees, the more clarity you can provide about what you expect of them, the better. 

Contact an Experienced Veterinary Business Law Attorney 

At Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary business law attorneys are here to help you address the legal needs of your veterinary practice. Regardless of your specific needs or circumstances, our experienced veterinary team has the knowledge and experience to take the steps necessary to protect your practice. Please contact us to arrange an initial consultation with an experienced veterinary business law attorney.