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Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 WELCOME TO CONTRACTS 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 WELCOME TO CONTRACTS 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 WELCOME TO CONTRACTS 1

2 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 Four Parts to Todays Seminar 1.Current Contract Review Process 2.Steps You Should Take to Speed Up Process 3.Understand the Pitfalls 4.Understand the Pressure Points 2

3 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Current Contract Review Process Cover Sheet, Draft Copy, COI* Send hard copy to Office of General Counsel (OGC) Sharepoint notices to you Add as many people to the Sharepoint notifications list as you want. * If necessary please and provide: your name, contact number, purpose of the request and/or a brief description of the issue and applicable dates and amounts involved. Risk management and insurance requests submitted through the address will be responded to within 24 – 48 hours of receipt. 3

4 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Current Contract Review Process (contd) Standard time to review 2 weeks Majority of contracts were turned around in less than 4 days Negotiation, drafting, push out timeframe 4 Guaranteed Notices from Sharepoint (i) We got it (ii)We sent it for signature (iii)We sent it back to the department (iv) It's signed and ready to be picked up (v)We need more information (vi)It's under negotiations 4

5 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Current Contract Review Process (contd) Most Approvals Sent to Treasurer or Provosts Office Sharepoint Message: Contract ready for Pickup No Changes after NU signs Pickup at 95% of time at 490 Renaissance Park Other partys signature Department keeps a copy; OGC does not. 5

6 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take Know the Other Party/Due Diligence Use Templates whenever possible Theyre Available From OGC Webpage* Dept/College-specific templates not on OGC webpage Send the coversheet, completed and signed Do not skip questions Include Copy of any previous agreement with the other party Include necessary Certificate of Insurance (COI) Consider Master or Blanket Forms of Agreement For repeat vendors, transactions Know the Pitfalls and Pressure Points * 6

7 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take (contd) Complete the Template Accurately NU is always the contracting party Type the legal name of the other party State the services/work to be performed State the maximum amount to be paid for the work Is it an hourly, weekly or flat rate? State on the cover sheet changes to template Do not sign the contract Complete or delete bracketed language 7

8 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 Steps You Should Take (contd) Note: International Academic Contracts Focused on education, research or service Send to Vice Provost for Global Relations If they are sent directly to OGC, we will send them back. 8

9 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take (contd) Which Template Should I Use? (Call us if unsure) Professional Services Agreement (Long/Short Forms) o Use when buying expertise/knowledge o Use when buying whats in someones head o Usually project related – software developers, consultants, etc. Service Provider Agreement o Use when buying whats in someones feet or back o Usually a one-time event o Caterers, lighting, staging, security, etc. 9

10 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take (contd) Which Template Should I Use? Non-Disclosure Agreement o Confidentiality Agreement o Typically Used When in Confidential Talks o Forerunner to other Agreements Performer Agreement o Use When Buying an Performance of Some Kind o Singers, dancers, speakers, readers, musicians, etc. 10

11 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take (contd) Which Template Should I Use? Talent Agency Agreement o Used for Use of Student Likeness in University Publications Videographer/Photographer Agreement o Used When Hiring for Such Services o For assistance with issues related to photo, video, or other creative or multimedia projects, please consult the Photo/Video toolkit (http://www.northeastern.edu/general- counsel/transactional/toolkit.html)http://www.northeastern.edu/general- counsel/transactional/toolkit.html 11

12 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take (contd) Which Template Should I Use? Student Confidentiality Agreement o Used for Student Workers Who Have Access to NU Information License Agreement Addendum (Not on OGC Website) o Used with Agreements to License Software PSA Agreement Addendum (Not on OGC Website) o Used with non-template Agreements for Professional Service 12

13 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Steps You Should Take Not a Template Form + Significant Transaction = Call OGC before 1st Meeting w/ other party Deal Meeting, Deal Lawyers Present Were FREE!! Know the Pitfalls. Know the Pressure Points. 13

14 3.Pitfalls To Avoid Not Using OGC Templates, when applicable Using the Wrong Template Not Completing the Template Completely & Correctly Inviting OGC Late to the Dance Not Including Previous Agreement COI Weaknesses No COI submitted, Non-compliant, Out-of-Date, NU Not included as Additional Insured No SSNs on Contracts 14 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013

15 4.NU Pressure Points (Non-templates) Signed contract is required to be in place before work begins Negotiation typically required Understanding what causes heartburn 15

16 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, NU Pressure Points (Non-templates) Warranties Confidentiality Work Product/Work for Hire/Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution and Governing Law Termination Use of NUs Name Amendments 16

17 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, NU Pressure Points (Non-templates) Warranties The Concept: This stuff is their stuff to sell or license to us. We buy, license, etc., only from the owner or authorized dealer. We dont like disclaimers of warranties. Common warranties we need from the other party (not an exhaustive list): Work will be done according to specifications It has the IP rights necessary to license them It has the requisite skills and experience It will provide a Supervised, Clinical Education Experience It will comply with all laws applicable to the transactions 17

18 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Indemnity The Concept: If NU gets sued by a Third Party because of the other partys acts/omissions, other party must pay NU. Typical indemnities we seek (all): For breach of the agreement by other party For negligence/bad behavior of other party For breach of confidentiality by other party. University typically does NOT agree to indemnify anyone. NU Board authorization required for indemnity. 18

19 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Confidentiality The Concept: Safeguard and defend confidential information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. Substantial Financial Risk & Reputation Risk among others MA Privacy Law, FERPA, HIPAA, Other States laws EU Privacy Directives 19

20 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Work Product/Work for Hire/Intellectual Property The Concept: If the other party is doing work for NU and NU has paid for the work, the work entirely belongs to NU. Typically arises in Professional Services Agreements and License Agreements Thats NU Policy and standard practice at other places too Some variations are agreed upon from time to time 20

21 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Limits of Liability The Concept: We want the other party to stand behind its product/work. We dont like unreasonable limits of liability. If NU doesnt cause the harm, it should NOT have to pay for it. Others always try to exclude consequential damages. Not necessarily a direct correlation between the dollar value of the contract and amount of potential liability. NU resources are for its Education and Research missions. NU doesnt bear the other partys financial risk. A SOL acts the same way and we dont like those either. 21

22 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Governing Law 99% of time: Massachusetts Other times: silent, court of competent jurisdiction, home court advantage International contracts: this is always an issue. Jurisdiction/Venue We dont usually agree to appear any where but MA. 22

23 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Termination Every contract needs an exit strategy. Terminate for convenience (with or without cause) Usually terminate upon ___ days prior written notice Amendments to Agreements Must be in writing Must be signed by both parties Not oral Not automatic 23

24 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) Use of NU Name and IP Highly controlled Use rarely permitted Always required: prior, written approval in each case 24

25 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, Pressure Points (Non-templates) How are Pressure Points Managed? Communication is key! Involves all affected parties and their attorneys Always depends on the circumstances. For example, Number of changes necessary Types of changes necessary Resolution typically involves negotiation with other party You work with OGC to resolve issues with other parties Your level of involvement varies depending on circumstances 25

26 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 Questions? Our number is Thank you for your attendance and participation! 26

27 Step by Step for Beginners: How to Walk Through the Contract Review Process October 30, 2013 These materials are the sole property of Northeastern University. The information contained in these materials is for the informational and educational use of members of the Northeastern University community only. These materials are not intended as and cannot be construed as individual legal advice on any matter or for any purpose. 27


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