Breach of Contract Lawyer
A breach of contract occurs when a person or a company does not live up to their obligations under a contract’s terms, where no legal excuse exists for the breach. Contracts are often lengthy and usually have extensive terms with various promises or obligations. A person or company’s failure to abide by one or more of the promises contained in a contract is what breach of contract claims and lawsuits are made of.
An example of a common breach of contract involves an agreement to complete a project and the failure to complete the project by the specified date or according to the terms of the contract. Since most of us enter into contracts routinely, potential breaches can occur relatively easily and without the parties to the contract even realizing that a breach has occurred. The significance of a breach of contract is also important. For instance, significant breaches or breaches of important terms of a contract are considered material, whereas an immaterial breach is regarded as a breach of a minor contract term or promise or a relatively inconsequential breach. Additionally, a party who breaches a portion of a contract is deemed to have committed a partial breach of contract.
In order to prove up a breach of contract claim in California, a person or company must generally demonstrate that:
- That the parties entered into a contract
- That the person filing the claim did all or mostly all of the important things the contract required or that the person filing the claim was excused form having to do the things he/she did not do
- That the required conditions required by the contract occurred or the conditions that did not occur were either waived or excused
- The person or company being sued did not do what the contract required or the person or company being sued did something the contract said should not have been done
- The person or company being sued was harmed and
- The breach of contract was a substantial factor in causing harm to the person who filed the lawsuit (or company that filed the lawsuit)
The remedies for a breach of contract are numerous and, in California, may include the recovery of money damages and certain equitable remedies that do not involve money, although there are circumstances where both types of remedies may be sought and recovered. Additionally, the specific terms of a contract may limit or guide the remedies available when a party breaches the terms of a contract.
Although the particular terms of a contract are important to breach of contract claims, the parties’ behavior and their dialogue can be relevant to breach of contract cases and the ultimate outcome in arbitration or litigation involving a dispute between contracting parties. Similarly, how the parties conducted business in the past and prior agreements between them may also be important to a particular breach of contract case.
In many instances, breach of contract claims are defensible, depending on the terms of the agreement, the parties’ performance and the application of California law to the specific facts of a case.
Contract lawyers help clients by drafting and reviewing written contracts in order to protect clients from disputes that may arise in business. By having a contract in place, the contracting parties’ obligations are predictable, which can reduce the likelihood of a dispute, which would otherwise culminate in arbitration or a lawsuit.
Our California breach of contract attorneys handle business disputes, including breach of contract claims. We can assist you by assessing what your rights and obligations are under a contract.
Contact our lawyers if you have questions about a contract you have entered into or require the services of an attorney to help you by drafting or altering an agreement for you or your business or to defend you in a pending or anticipated lawsuit or arbitration.