Practicing law and managing a practice are two separate functions, neither of which leaves room for error.
The more precautions you take to perform well in the latter, the more freedom you are given to focus on the former. Ann Irons, who offers accounting for Bellingham real estate lawyers, discusses the importance of timeliness and efficiency in managing your practice’s accounting functions.
Time Is of the Essence: What It Means in a Court of Law
You may recall the 2002 case Owen v. Kessler in which the “time is of the essence” clause was put to the test when a real estate broker failed to deliver a would-be buyer’s signed purchase and sale agreement within the allotted time frame. A second interested party filed a backup offer contingent on the failure of the first buyer to complete the purchase. Both prospective buyers filed suit against the seller, at which point the Superior Court sided with the first buyer. The ruling was ultimately reversed in Appeals Court in favor of the second buyer. The delay that set it all in motion? 15 minutes. The reason for the delay? The broker responsible for delivering the agreement reasoned that because the document’s destination was only four minutes from his office, there would be no problem delivering it on the very last day of the agreed-upon two-week period.
Fifteen minutes doesn’t sound like too much of a delay. It’s not uncommon to be late to work by 15 minutes every now and then, or for the bus to arrive 15 minutes late. But when you’re talking about a legal obligation, 15 minutes can do a great deal of damage. By the time the Appeals Court’s decision was handed down, all parties had incurred thousands of dollars in expenses and countless lost hours.