Question: I have been given a document to sign, when should I have an attorney review it?

The Sauk Prairie Eagle – Ask The Professional Column.  (Jared Walker Smith)

Answer:  Typically if you will need an attorney’s assistance relating to any document presented to you for your signature, you should not sign until you give it to your attorney for his or her review. Unfortunately it is all too common for a client, whether in a real estate matter or lawsuit, not to seek attorney assistance until after the client has already signed an important document. Generally after you have signed there is nothing an attorney can do but tell you what you have agreed to—including provisions that are not in your best interest and may have been preventable.

Sometimes clients feel pressured to sign immediately. For example there may be competing offers on a home purchase. A well-drafted attorney review clause, including provisions for full attorney review, objection and termination, may provide some protections in these cases. However, not all attorney review provisions are adequate. Consequently, it is usually best to get an attorney involved as early as possible in any lawsuit or important transaction. An initial consultation early in the process can save you significant time and money later.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided as general information, not as legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship. Before making any decisions regarding legal matters, individuals should consult with a qualified attorney.

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