Can I just make up a contract for my services for something else (but hide something immoral withing it)? 21 Answers as of April 29, 2015

For example, if I got some big company to sign a contract saying I will paint a room for 100$ up front, but hide something within the contract saying once finished it will cost 2 million dollars; will it hold up in court? Can this happen to regular people? Just getting a signature seems too easy.

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Law Offices of Robert Burns
Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
That makes no sense to me and lawyers are not allowed to aid and abet fraud.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Never lie. Especially to a court.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Not likely to hold up in court.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/28/2015
Adler Law Group, LLC
Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
Most big companies are smarter than that. If they agree to the compensation you can get it. They can argue mistake and get out of it though. It has to reasonably reflect the work and actual agreement.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 4/28/2015
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Huh?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/28/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    This is one of the dumbest questions I have ever seen on this forum. What you are suggesting is fraud or uncertainty such that the contract would be void as lacking mutual assent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Big companies tend to both read contracts before they sign them and to use purchase orders. Which means the contract is on their form. Then there is a legal concept called "meeting of the minds". If the fine print contains terms that disagree with the obvious terms of the contract, the obvious terms will prevail.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You question cannot be answered definitively. Will you be held to your contracts, hopefully. Can you cheat and defraud persons using the fine print or terms buried in the contract, not very likely. Will you stay in business if you are a sharp dealer and cheat, MOST unlikely as your reputation will precede and ruin you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Law Office of John G. Galasso | John George Galasso
    No. A contract one sided will not be enforceable.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Contracts that are against public policy or are immoral generally will not be eligible to be enforced by any court. For example, a contract to sell someone into slavery would not be enforced. If you are looking to become a criminal, this is probably not the way to go.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    How about you just charge a fair price and not try swindling anyone?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    If it's immoral and you know it why would you do it? The answer is yes, you can do it, but the probability of that provision being enforceable is somewhere between zero and none.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    No, because to have a valid contract, there must be a "meeting of the mind" and it must be bargained in god faith. Obviously, your suggestion does neither.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    It sounds like you are talking about a contracts issue. You ask if a contract to commit a fraud will be enforced by a court. The answer is no. Consider the consequences if the court would enforce any illegal contract: chaos. Good Luck but stick to truthful statements and contracts.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    If you do that would be fraud, a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It would not hold up in court, since in contract law there would not have been a meeting of the minds. The deviation in price would reflect that.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You may get a signature on the contract but if you tried to enforce it you would have a serious problem. There needs to be a "meeting of the minds" and this would clearly not fit that description.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    I'm having a little difficulty understanding the import of your question: on the one hand it sounds like you are trying to elicit advice as to how to swindle someone. But sometimes people will pose a hypothetical question in which the individual is a counterpart. So, let me try this: contracts set forth the understanding between the parties. If there is something in the contract, that means that the parties have agreed to it. There is nothing "hidden" in a contract, hence the expressions "get it it writing" and "right there in black and white". So, if there is something set forth in writing in a contract that both parties have signed, then they have agreed to it.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    It is unlikely that anything "hidden" in a contract would be upheld by a court, especially if it was intentionally fraudulent. Most states have consumer protection laws to protect "regular people" from such contracts written by unscrupulous people. If in doubt, get legal counsel as a cheap alternative to a lawsuit or prison.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    I don't think so. It would be considered a mistake going to the heart of the contract, resulting in a failure of the "meeting of the minds." People probably have tried to do stuff like that, and the law books are full of court decisions striking them down.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/28/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    I presume you do not intend to do this immoral act but are trying to find out if it can be done by large businesses against individuals. The other party will read the contract and probably find your "secret" clause, and refuse to do business with you. Even if it does not, the court will look at the contradictory language and decide against you because it is obvious you were trying to pull a fast one, where 2 clauses contradict each other they are either both tossed out or the one that seems to represent the intend of both parties is retained, and unclear terms of a contract are read against the person who prepares the contract. So such schemes are not upheld by the courts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2015
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