As a business owner, you may enter into contracts routinely for the purposes of buying or selling services, goods, or equipment. Although most parties do fulfill their obligations to perform under a contract, some people and businesses do not. A breach of a contract can harm your business. If you are involved in a contract dispute, it is worth consulting a Plymouth County contract litigation lawyer to see what your options are. In some cases, it is possible to get the other party to the contract to perform, while in other cases, it may be necessary to litigate the dispute. At Mehrmann Law Offices, we have over 30 years of experience providing legal representation to clients from our Kingston office.Protect Your Interests During a Contract Dispute
A contract is a legally enforceable promise between two people or entities that are competent to perform a legal act in exchange for consideration. Often, the promise is to buy a particular item or to pay for a service rendered. A valid contract can be in writing, or it can be oral, but it is easier to establish that there was a valid contract and what the terms of that contract were if it is in writing.
In order to comply with the Statute of Frauds, certain types of contracts must be in writing to be valid. Contracts that must be in writing include agreements to take on another person's debts, contracts that it would take more than one year to complete, real estate transactions, and transactions of more than $500.
What is critical to showing a valid contract is that there be an offer, an acceptance, and consideration. To successfully establish that there was a breach of contract, you will need to show a valid contract, a breach of the contract's terms, and damages. Again, if the contract is in writing, it is easier to show what the terms of the contract were and show that the parties agreed to each of them. Generally, a unilateral promise is not an enforceable contract; there needs to be an exchange of something of value. In addition, there is an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that both parties are expected to uphold.
In most cases, a contract litigation attorney in Plymouth County can help you bring a lawsuit if there is a material breach. A material breach has occurred if there is a breach of an essential, inducing aspect of the contract. Usually, whether there is a material breach is a jury question. A breach that does not subtract value from the agreement may not be a proper basis for a lawsuit. Most of the time, a dispute arises because a breach of a contract has already happened. For example, a dispute may arise because one business did not deliver widget components on time, and as a result, the other party is unable to produce goods that include the widget component, thereby losing money on the sales of those goods. In other instances, a breach of an employment agreement may lead to a lawsuit.
You can recover different types of damages in these cases. Compensatory damages, consequential damages, liquidated damages, and incidental damages may be available. The breaching party may also be required to pay punitive damages. In some cases, the contract terms include which payments should be made in case of a breach and include terms about how any dispute should be resolved, whether through litigation or an alternative dispute resolution method. There are instances in which the party that breached may be asked to complete the terms through what is called "specific performance." In other cases, voiding the contract may be an appropriate remedy for a dispute.Discuss Your Situation with a Contract Litigation Lawyer in the Plymouth Area
It is important to the success of your business to obtain sophisticated legal advice and representation in connection with a contract dispute. Our firm takes pride in providing superior legal services that are akin to what you would get at a larger firm, but at a fairer rate. Plymouth County contract litigation attorney Michael S. Mehrmann has the experience to provide knowledgeable and skillful legal representation at every stage of the life of a business, from formation to dissolution. We represent clients in areas such as Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury. Call us at (781) 585-3911 or complete our online form.