Miami Contract Dispute Attorney
In every business relationship, in every commercial transaction, and at every stage of a company’s life, you’ll find a contract at the heart of the matter. Businesses enter into contracts every day when they buy or lease real estate, buildings, office space, machinery or equipment, when they purchase materials, supplies or advertising, and when they hire employees or independent contractors. These contracts might be in writing, or they might have only been formed orally yet still be enforceable. A contract might not have even been expressed or intended, yet the existence of a contract is implied based on the conduct of the parties.
Contracts in business are ubiquitous, and contract disputes are inevitable. When a contract dispute can’t get resolved without legal help, or when the stakes are high and consequences are costly, call Alhalel Law for help. Our experienced Miami contract dispute attorney will represent your interests in a breach of contract matter or other contract dispute, working to ensure that your rights are protected and your goals are reached in any contractual business matter.
Contract Breaches and Damages
Each party to a contract exchanges promises with the other – a promise to pay, a promise to perform. Depending on the way the contract is written, one party’s obligation to perform might be contingent on the other party’s performance, or the entire contract could be triggered into action or voided upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of some event. An immense body of contract law has been developed providing rules for the validity, interpretation and enforcement of contracts, but in every case, the terms of the agreement itself always play a central role.
A contract may be breached when one party fails to perform or chooses not to perform. Whether a breach occurred is not always clear, however, as the parties may have a misunderstanding or disagreement over the terms of the contract and what is actually required.
If one party makes it clear by word or action that they do not intend to fulfill their end of the bargain, the other party might repudiate the contract. In this case, the offended party would also stop performing their obligations under the contract and instead go to court and sue for an anticipatory breach of contract.
Similarly, if one party is guilty of a material breach of the contract, that breach may excuse the other party from performing. A material breach is one that defeats the purpose of the contract. Depending on the situation, the defaulting party could be made to fulfill the obligations described in the contract and/or compensate the other party for their damages suffered due to the breach.
General contract damages include costs and expenses that flow from the breach. Special damages, also known as consequential damages, might also be appropriate when specific harm is suffered by the plaintiff.
An award of money damages is intended to make the offended party whole and to compensate them for any losses suffered. In some cases, though, specific performance might be the only remedy that would make them whole. For instance, every piece of real estate is considered unique, such that a forced sale of property might be the only applicable remedy. Contracts for other unique goods or services could require specific performance as well.
The party in breach, on the other hand, might endure more than just having to pay a damages award. The party could suffer damage to their reputation or credit that could further harm their business interests. These ancillary consequences of a contract dispute should be factored in when deciding how to approach pending litigation.
Issues in Miami Contract Disputes
An initial question that might need to be resolved is whether a valid contract was ever formed in the first place. Determining this might require looking at the intentions of the parties and their actions, as well as any written documents that may be in place.
In the event a contract exists, the court will determine how that contract should be interpreted according to established rules of contract interpretation. These rules and the terms of the contract itself can restrict what kinds of evidence the parties can get before a judge. For example, can the court hear testimony or view other documents, or is the court restricted to the four corners of the contract to determine whether a breach occurred or not? Questions regarding so-called parol evidence can be decisive in the outcome of a contract dispute.
In addition to questions of material breach, anticipatory breach, and whether parol evidence will be admissible in court, a contract dispute might also involve a mistake of fact or law held by one or both of the parties.
Thoughtful, Strategic Advice and Representation for Your Miami Contract Dispute
At Alhalel Law, we approach your contract dispute thoughtfully and strategically with your needs and goals in mind. You can count on us to work to resolve your dispute efficiently and effectively in whatever forum is most appropriate. For help with a contract dispute in Miami, call Alhalel Law at 305-563-9060 for the right kind of help to meet your needs.