Biggest Legal Myths: Busted

Biggest law myths

When undertaking legal proceedings, it is always vital that you consult a legal professional. If you file a case under specific grounds, you must ensure that they relate to your case and are, in fact, valid. Many people end up having their cases overruled because they are not fully aware of the fine print in some of the laws. An experienced legal representative can help you avoid making any of these common mistakes. 

You Can Get Out Of A Contract On Grounds Of Duress

Contracts are legally binding documents. Anybody who signs one automatically makes a deal with the document’s issuer that they will not breach any clauses of the contract or risk facing legal action. People rarely read the small print for long contracts made up of many pages, and it can be tedious and time-consuming. However, it is essential to avoid legally agreeing to something you do not want to. 

This is often the case in serious documents such as leases and business contracts. You can end up either losing a lot of money or not fulfilling the terms and conditions. Anybody who claims they signed an agreement under duress is making a severe allegation. Duress does not cover matters such as not fully understanding the terms of the contract or signing with uncertainty. You can only claim grounds of duress if you were in physical danger by not signing the contract or if you were threatened.

Legal Fees Are Automatically Reimbursed To the Winning Side

Before you decide to file a lawsuit, you must consider whether it will benefit you financially. In some cases, you can be worse off by taking somebody to court even if you win. It is often misunderstood that your lawyer’s legal fees will automatically be reimbursed if you are the winning side in a court case. This is not the case. You are financially responsible for your legal representation unless you have expressly agreed to these terms. More commonly, the losing side may be required to pay for the losing party’s fees only if it is an agreed term in the case. If your solicitor offers ‘no win, no fee’ terms, you ensure you check the small print of any contracts you sign.

You Do Not Have Rights To Intellectual Property

Trademarks do not automatically apply to new business owners, a common misconception. If you wish to seek trademark certification for your brand or product, you have to do so yourself. However, doing so can make your ideas more recognisable by competitors, putting you at a greater risk of them adapting your original ideas. 

This is also the case when you have outsourced work or hired somebody to develop something new for your business. If they have designed and produced the item or brand, they are the patent owner, even if the product is marketed under your branding. Anything you take made by somebody else, even if you can gain free public access, belongs to the individual who made it. If you pass it off as your own, then you are technically stealing in the eyes of the law.

Defamation and Freedom Of Speech

It is a human right to have freedom of speech and expression. You are entitled to your thoughts and opinions; however, you can be sued for defamation if you use this to make false claims about others. Libel is when you publish information about a person and harm their character, otherwise known as character assassination or slander. Defamation law is in place to prevent this from happening under the guise of freedom of speech. It can sometimes be the case that defamatory statements are true but falsified by the victim of the slander. It can become a big issue in public matters. That is why people must receive accurate and honest information not to make false claims they believe to be true. 

Arbitration Is Cheaper Than Litigation

Arbitration is an out-of-court mediation method to resolve disputes. Both parties choose an arbitrator to ultimately decide on the outcome of a legal case. People often choose this alternative because they believe it to be cheaper than a day in court. This depends on the severity of the case or the amount of evidence to go through. Hiring lawyers and barristers for several days in court can cost up to £10,000 if your case claim is over £200,000. Arbitration costs are not always that much cheaper, depending on the case. One difference is that the fees are split between both parties, and these fees are typically decided before the proceedings.

Something Is Legal Because Everybody Does It

You can benefit a lot in life by not being a sheep or following the crowd without question. This applies significantly in legal terms too. If you know someone who has committed a crime and not been prosecuted for it, that does not mean it is you can do so. It is essential not to take everything you hear as the truth and make sure when signing any contracts, and you read the fine print to ensure you are not being misled. A common violation is unpaid labour, such as internships. Just because you know a local business that conducts themselves in this manner does not mean it is right for you to do so.

If you have any of your legal inquiries in the Birmingham area, contact our team at Alexander JLO. We are happy to advise and help you with your case. We are experts in family and divorce law. 

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