Business Contracts

eCornell

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  • online
  • on demand

What are the topics?

eCornell

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Who should attend

  • Business professionals in any sector
  • Leaders and executives who engage with legal professionals
  • Compliance officers
  • Procurement professionals

About the course

Contracts can make or break a business. Successfully preparing and interpreting a contract allows both parties to clearly define expectations under the protection of the law.

This certificate program explores the many different aspects of contracts. You will investigate the creation of enforceable agreements that clearly and precisely set forth the rights and obligations of parties in order to achieve business objectives with acceptable levels of risk. Throughout the courses, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time breaking down the different types of law, procedures, and elements that make up contracts, as well as investigate strategies to mitigate risk and minimize consequences in the event that a contract is breached. You will also demystify legal jargon relating to contract law in order to enhance collaboration between businesspeople and their counsel. By the end of this program, you will have gained a set of tools that will enable you to create and manage contracts in your business confidently and effectively, as well as be a more active and informed partner to your legal team. The courses in this certificate program are required to be completed in the order that they appear.

Courses

Creating Effective Contracts

In today's fast-paced business environment, it is important to know the general legal framework governing contract law and the essential elements necessary to create an enforceable contract.

In this course, you will gain the tools you need to navigate legal contracts. You will spend time exploring various bodies of law, breaking down the elements necessary for an enforceable contract and recognizing opportunities to avoid the inadvertent creation of enforceable contractual obligations. Though this course does not teach you how to become a lawyer, it will enable you to become a better "client" to lawyers in your legal department or outside counsel. By the end of this course, you will become more skilled at recognizing possible legal issues at an early stage in order to avoid future contractual disputes.

Interpreting Contracts

How do you ensure a contract says what it means? This course provides tools to make certain that a contract reflects the goals of the parties and minimize the risk that a court will interpret a contract in a manner inconsistent with its intended business objectives.

In this course, you will explore how contract disputes arise as well as how and by whom they are resolved — an important starting point. You will become familiar with rules of construction that courts use when interpreting contracts and when courts infer terms — or fill the gaps — in contracts. You'll then redraft ambiguous language to promote clarity. This knowledge will put you in a better position to avoid unintended consequences of contractual provisions and ensure that your contracts reflect the business objectives they're designed to achieve.

Managing Risk in Contracts

Contracts should reflect business objectives in provisions that are clear, complete, and enforceable. In this course, you will study how various contract concepts relate to each other within a single document and how to approach an agreement with a holistic view.

You will explore how contractual provisions can be modified to allocate various risks to one party or another. This is an important skill; after all, which party will bear which risks in a particular transaction are often the most hotly negotiated terms of a deal. You will examine how to use contract provisions to allocate risk and control among parties to a contract. As a result, you will be better equipped to discuss with your legal team how to anticipate risks through an informed use of those provisions in your contracts.

Enforcing Contract Terms

During the life of a contract, things don't always go as planned. What happens when one or both parties fail to perform a contractual duty? This course explores various consequences resulting from non-performance of contractual obligations and available legal remedies. You will also review strategies for reducing damages for breach of contract and allocating contractual liabilities.

By the end of this course, you will have gained tools to work effectively with your legal team to use contract terms to limit, expand, or modify the remedies for breach of contract that the law would otherwise provide.

Key course takeaways

  • Ensure that contracts contain the elements necessary to be legally binding
  • Ensure that contracts reflect the intention of the parties and minimize risks of interpretation in court that could harm business interests
  • Use various common contractual provisions to effect the allocation of risk and control among parties
  • Assess available remedies for breach of contract and determine ways they might be reduced or enhanced.

Experts

Mark Underberg

Mark Underberg has practiced corporate law for nearly 30 years, advising directors and officers in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, disclosure and securities and capital market transactions. Until 2012, he was a partner in the New York City law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rif...

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Business Contracts at eCornell

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Disclaimer

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