A breach of contract describes a violation of a contract or agreement, in which one party fails to fulfill its end of the deal according to the terms of the agreement. This breach may sometimes involve interfering with the ability of another party to fulfill their duties. A contract can also be breached in whole or in part.
Typically, contracts end when both parties have fulfilled their promised contractual obligations. Breaches of contract are one of the most common reasons that contract disputes are brought to court. The best way to make sure your case goes well is to hire a Los Angeles business contract attorney.
Common Contract Disputes
In a service contract, one party will contract another to provide a service within a period of time. Service contracts specify the responsibilities of the service provider and the payment schedule.
Problems arise when there are delays, quality issues, and nonpayments.
Buy-sell contracts determine how a business is transferred during an acquisition. These situations typically involve parties selling businesses that they have a personal connection to, which is why these contracts can be sensitive.
These contracts can be problematic when a business has multiple owners. There can also be disputes over money, control of the business, or other business-related issues.
Employment contracts help employers, and their employees understand their mutual responsibilities. They also specify compensation, services, conduct, and termination, and other policies.
Problems can arise when a plaintiff is terminated early, for improper reasons, or if they are owed money under the employment contract.
Requirements for Breach of Contract
In order to become a lawsuit, a breach of contract must meet each of the four requirements before it can be upheld by a court.
1. Contract Must Be Valid
The contract must contain all of the essential elements by law. Otherwise, the contract is not valid. Without these elements, there can be no breach of contract, and in turn, no lawsuit.
2. Plaintiff Must Show Breach
The plaintiff is the party who is suing for breach of contract. They must show that the defendant, the person being sued, actually did breach the terms of the contract.
3. Plaintiff Must Have Fulfilled Their End
In order for there to be a lawsuit, the plaintiff must have fulfilled their contractual agreements. Otherwise, both parties are in breach of contract, which means there’s no reason for litigation.
4. Plaintiff Must Notify the Defendant
In order for the breach of contract to be brought to court, the plaintiff must have notified the defendant of the breach of contract. A notification must be made in writing as substantial proof that they notified the defendant of a breach before proceeding with the lawsuit.
Types of Breach of Contract
This breach of contract is significant enough to excuse the injured party from fulfilling their terms of the contract.
A partial breach of contract is not as significant as a material breach and does not typically excuse the injured party from performing their duties and fulfilling their side of the contract.
This type of breach of contract is when the plaintiff believes that the offending party has breached the contract by doing something that shows their intention not to fulfill their duties.
Anticipatory breaches can be extremely difficult to prove in court because it’s challenging to prove another person’s intentions without evidence.
Breach of Contract Lawsuit Defenses
The defendant, or party being used in the lawsuit, has a right to give their reason for why the alleged breach is not a breach of contract. They may also argue that the breach be excused. These arguments are called “a defense” in legal terms. There are a few common defenses against a breach of contract, including:
Fraud means that someone knowingly misrepresented the truth or acted to conceal a fact. When the defendant presents the fraud defense, they are saying that the contract is not valid because the plaintiff did not disclose pertinent information or that they made a false statement. As always, the defendant must always establish that the fraud was deliberate.
When one person makes another to sign a contract through force or threats, this is called duress. It invalidates a contract because at least one party did not sign the contract of their own free will.
LIke duress, this means that one party had an advantage over the other. The party may have used such a power imbalance to influence the other party to sign the contract.
If the defendant can prove that both parties made a mistake about the subject matter of the contract, it can be enough to invalidate the contract. However, an error made by the defendant cannot invalidate a contract.
Statute of Limitations
Almost all legal proceedings have time limits imposed by law, called statute of limitations. These are deadlines for cases, and those cases must be brought and filed by a certain deadline. A breach of contract case can be thrown out if the defendant can prove that the statute of limitations has expired.
Breach of Contract Remedies
If the other party is found to be in breach of contract, it can be remedied by the courts in a few ways. The most common remedy is monetary payment.
Other common remedies are damages and injunctions. Damages are the amount of money that can compensate the plaintiff for any loss he or she suffered. Damages could involve extra money as a form of punishment if the breach of contract was intentional.
An injunction requires the defendant to stop doing the action that’s affecting the plaintiff.
A court can also order recission of the contract. If the plaintiff has been badly affected by the breach, they can terminate the contract.
Get Help From Los Angeles Business Litigation Attorneys
If you think your contract has been breached, it’s time to meet with a Los Angeles business litigation attorney. Contract law is complex and intricate. The smallest details of your case can make a significant difference in how the court sees it.
Only a civil attorney Los Angeles can help you navigate the deep waters of contract law. They’ll be able to tell you if you have a strong case before you spend time and valuable resources, including money launching into a lawsuit on your own.
If you’re the party accused of being in breach of a contract, you’ll need legal assistance to help you prove your case and establish a defense.