With recent world developments of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is not difficult to see why many organizations may have trouble fulfilling their contractual obligations. Consequently, legal and contract management professionals find themselves faced with the need to seek out where in their contracts force majeure clauses are located to determine whether the suspension of contractual duties is legally justified. CobbleStone Software’s Contract Insight can help your organization to find vital, pertinent force majeure clauses in your documents during this trying time, thanks to robust searching capabilities. This article will teach you how.
What Is a Force Majeure Clause?*
A force majeure clause (French for “superior force”) is typically intended to protect legal parties when a contract cannot be performed because of an “Act of God,” or, generally speaking, a cause that is beyond the control of the parties and cannot plausibly be avoided through exercise of due care. With force majeure clauses, parties can allocate risk when an unexpected event renders contract performance unfeasible.
Most of the time, force majeure clauses specify that they are only enacted when contract performance becomes unreasonably difficult; some clauses, meanwhile, require only the delay or hinderance of contract duty performance.
The effects of COVID-19 have been substantial enough, in many instances, to invoke the application of force majeure clauses since March 11, 2020, when the disease was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since it is ludicrous to argue that any private contractual party is responsible for the emergence of COVID-19, organizations would be remissed not to exercise vigilant adherence to applicable law as it relates to their contracts. With CobbleStone’s Contract Insight, organizations can navigate this unique time with the right tools to find force majeure clauses and exercise governance over their contracts.
Finding Force Majeure Clauses with Contract Insight’s Quick Search
Contract Insight’s Quick Search feature allows users to quickly and easily search for specific requests, contracts, contract records, and related documents by searching for keywords, phrases, and clauses. Most beneficial to your current situation, though, may be the fact that users can search within those documents for keywords, phrases, and clauses as well.
The searching process within Contract Insight is like common search functionality used on most popular internet searches. As such, searching is fast, familiar, and easy during a tumultuous time when your contract management processes need to run smoothly.
Getting Started Searching for Force Majeure Clauses
To begin searching, you can simply enter keywords into Contract Insight's intuitive search bar at the top of your screen. You can search for a single word, a set of words, or phrases that may be in the document that you are looking for.
For example, you search for the term “force majeure”. Once searched, you would encounter multiple sets of results that include your key term, including a list of contracts, requests, and companies within your system with links to the related record pages or contracts. Keep in mind that quick search results can be exported into MS Excel format.
Sorting & Filtering Your Results
After searching, you may have dozens of results containing the term “force majeure”. If you would like to narrow the scope of your results, you can sort and filter those results with standard or user-defined fields configured in your system.
For your “force majeure” key term, you may want to ignore your expired agreements so that you can more easily and expeditiously work with only active contracts. Contract Insight’s user-friendly filtering feature makes this easy, so that you can focus on the contracts that you urgently need.
Find & Download
When navigating your results, you will be able to determine the source document of the “force majeure” key term and view that document. You can also view a list of related documents associated with the source. You can easily download the source document into its original format or preview PDF and Word files online.
CobbleStone’s file preview tool presents the relevant document and identifies where in the document your search criteria is found. Your search criteria is displayed in a red box so that you can quickly and easily locate your force majeure clause.
Contract Insight Quick Search Video
For a visual overview of Contract Insight's Quick Search functionality, watch the video below.
Easily Navigate Trying Times with CobbleStone Software
When your organization is in the middle of an unforeseeable circumstance that affects the obligations defined in a contract, it is important that you are equipped with the necessary access to force majeure clauses that may be hidden within your contracts.
*Legal Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The content of this article is for general informational and educational purposes only. The information on this website may not present the most up-to-date legal information. Readers should contact their attorney for legal advice regarding any particular legal matter.
CobbleStone’s Contract Insight can help you to quickly find the clauses you need when it matters the most. For more information on leveraging contract management software tools, check out our other Contract Insight tutorials or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.