In an ideal world, there would never be a contract dispute. Parties would enter into a business contract or other agreement, all sides would benefit, and there wouldn’t be any disputes or disagreements. But in business, financial issues can emerge, delays can crop up, and other problems can lead to contention that might require legal intervention.
Learn below about breach of contract and how an attorney can help. If you need legal assistance, the contract dispute lawyers at Nix Patterson can review your case at no cost.
A contract involves obligations that the parties in the agreement are to fulfill. Legally, when one party does not fulfill its contractual obligations, it is called a breach of contract. Depending on the case, a breach can happen when one party does not perform their duties promptly, fails to perform according to the contract terms, or does not do them at all.
A breach of contract is usually termed a material breach or immaterial breach to determine the correct legal solution to remedy the breach.
Contract disputes usually happen when one party accuses another of breaching the contract. That is, one party (the non-breaching party) argues that one or more others (the breaching party or parties) did not fulfill or otherwise violated the terms of the contract that the parties agreed upon.
In most cases, the parties to the contract can sue each other for damages because of a breach of contract. For example, in a confidentiality and non-compete agreement breach, one can typically sue the other for stealing ideas or intellectual property for personal gain.
It isn’t unusual for one party to the contract to sue and then be countersued by the other. Contract disputes are often resolved through mediation, but a contract dispute lawsuit may be necessary if that doesn’t work.
When a party breaches a contract, and there’s a contract dispute, the other party is entitled to relief according to the law. Depending on the law and terms of the agreement involved, there are generally three types of relief that may be available for a breach of contract case:
Payment of damages is the most common way to resolve a contract dispute. Depending on the law and contract involved, damages may include one or more of the following:
If damages are insufficient to resolve a contract dispute, the non-breaching party may seek specific performance. This refers to the court-ordered performance of duty of the breaching party according to the contract.
Specific performance may be an option if the agreement’s subject matter is unique or rare, and damages would be insufficient to put the non-breaching party in their original position if the breach hadn’t happened.
The non-breaching party also may be able to cancel the business contract and sue for restitution. Restitution means that the party that didn’t breach the contract is put in the position they were in before the breach. Cancellation voids the agreement and relieves all sides of any contractual obligations.
Most business contracts contain a contract termination section that outlines what is required for cancellation. For example, the contract termination agreement may include a fee and other requirements, such as eliminating all references to the business to avoid future affiliation or providing certain specified forms of notice.
Use caution if you are thinking about deliberately breaching a contract because you can be penalized according to the terms and conditions of the contract. The penalties vary by contract.
It is not recommended to purposely breach a contract you signed without talking to an experienced contract dispute attorney first. Working with a contract dispute lawyer can prevent you from making big mistakes leading to financial and even legal penalties.
If you dispute a non-competition agreement, you must demonstrate there isn’t a need to enforce the agreement or prove there was a breach of contract. Another potential argument is that the contract terms were not set for a long enough time.
Nix Patterson employs a team of experienced contract dispute attorneys who can address most contract disputes, such as:
Nix Patterson understands that breach of contract cases are often delicate. Contract disputes often pit the employer against the employee, investor vs. broker, or landlord vs. tenant. Whether you’re an individual, a family-owned business, or a corporation, you can contact Nix Patterson to determine whether the firm can represent your interests and help to resolve business disputes.
Some contract disputes are unavoidable, but following these guidelines may help avoid those contract disputes that may be avoidable:
When you understand your legal options in a contract dispute, you can ensure you take the correct steps to handle a breach of contract so your business can continue to operate normally. Contact the contract dispute lawyers at Nix Patterson today to discuss your case.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today.
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