I was negotiating the renewal of a contract with a company I’d worked with for several years. I have a solid relationship with the CEO, so each year we simply change the dates on the new contract, leaving the contract terms the same.
This year though, when I sent the updated contract to his company for signature, let’s just say it happened to land in the wrong in-box. A law student working in the office, who knew nothing about our relationship or the long-ago negotiations that had gotten us to our “form” contract, somehow decided to review the contract and… rewrite it.
Language we’d negotiated had been replaced with language that was unfavorable to my company. After I finished reviewing the proposed changes, I took a few deep, calming breaths and made a call to the CEO’s assistant who I’ve worked with before. She immediately explained what happened and agreed to go back to the original terms and language.
The takeaway for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants is obvious. If you have an existing contract with an attorney-client, unless it’s really not working, don’t mess with it. In fact, I recommend using letter agreements with an open-ended term with your attorney-clients. This avoids having to renegotiate that agreement. And when it’s time, you can even agree via email to a fee increase for your CLNC® services.
If you are renegotiating a contract with an attorney-client and it comes back pretty heavily revised, call that attorney-client directly and get to the bottom of the matter. It may not have been him making the revisions; it may have gone to another attorney in the firm, one who is out of the loop. This is where having good relationships with your clients becomes important. One phone call to the right person can cut through a lot of bullsh*t.
I’m just sayin’
P.S. Comment here and share a situation where you’ve had to “cut to the chase.”