When Should a Breach of Contract Lawsuit Be Brought?
Avoid Taking a Breach of Contract Case Lightly. Even the Most Straightforward Appearing Lawsuits May Have Many Twists and Turns That Deserve Careful Review. Obtain Quality Legal Advice and Move Forward With Informed Caution.
Understanding the Common Contract Law Concerns Arising Within Business Relations Including Interpretation Issues
When a person or a business negotiates and then comes to agreement and forms a contract with another person or business, it is expected that all involved will honour the agreement. When there is a failure to honour the agreement, a breach of contract lawsuit may arise; however, a party to a contract may be blinded by a subjective perception or subjective interpretation that a contract was breached; and accordingly, before starting a lawsuit, especially where significant costs penalties may be awarded against you for failing to win lawsuit, you, or any other party to a contract, should carefully assess the likelihood of success before commencing legal action.
What is a Breach of Contract?
When attempting to determine if a contract was legally breached, the first step is to determine whether a binding contract even existed. Of course, there may be a situation where people negotiated, seemed to agree to various terms, shook hands, signed a document, among other things; however, what legally constitutes as a binding and enforceable contract involves much more than just outward appearances. To determine whether a legally binding and enforceable contract actually existed and thereafter determine if the contract was improperly breached a thorough review is required. When conducting the review, carefully consider whether:
- The discussions had, and agreements made, meet the legal elements necessary for the formation of a binding contract;
- The formation of the contract can be reasonably proven with clear evidence of the express terms as well as any implied terms which constitute the ultimate agreement;
- The laws that may limit or restrict application or interpretation of the contract are reviewed including concerns such as;
- The parol evidence rule and whether what is subjectively perceived as the ultimate agreement will hold up in a court;
- The possibility of ambiguous terms that may initiate the contra proferentem doctrine;
- The potential for concerns regarding undisclosed onerous term clauses that may be struck by a court;
- The statutes that may void or alter or otherwise supercede contract terms; and
- The many other concerns applicable to contract law disputes.
Once it is well understood that a legally enforceable contract existed, within binding terms, and that evidence and circumstances will show that a party failed to fulfill the terms of the agreement, the next step is to consider:
- What parties, meaning who, should the allegations be aimed at;
- What factual allegations should be made, meaning what details of the situation are relevant to tell the necessary story;
- What legal allegations should be made, meaning that reasons for suing beyond just breach of contract may apply such as negligence, among other legal issues;
- What legal remedies should be claimed, meaning what type of compensation and what amount of compensation should be sought;
- What is the best timing for commencing the lawsuit;
- What further risks should be considered such as, among other things;
- The risk of a counterclaim (known in Small Claims Court as a Defendant's Claim);
- The risk of difficulty in obtaining evidence, or witnesses, to prove the allegations; and
- The risk of failing to succeed in the case and being ordered to pay costs.
What Should a Breach of Contract Victim Do?
As outlined in brief above, a breach of contract case may be much more complicated than first appears. Prior to starting a lawsuit, it is wise to review the situation carefully and obtain legal advice based on the merits of the case and likelihood of success. Preparing a strategic gameplan is also imperative as advantages, or disadvantages, may arise as a case moves forward, especially as there are almost always unexpected surprises during the course of litigation.
DH Law is an affordable Lawyer in:
Learn More About
Contract Law Disputes:
After negotiations, if the essential terms are incomplete despite purported acceptance of a 'deal', then the parties have merely agreed to agree rather than...Learn More
The basic principles of contract law include the concept that a principal becomes responsible for the agreements made by an agent that is acting for the...Learn More
If a Parties Agreed to Contract Terms and Thereafter Ignore Those Terms Can the Contract Terms Still Be Enforced? Where Contract Terms Are Ignored By the...Learn More
Contra proferentem is a rule of contract interpretation that says ambiguous or conflicting terms within a contract should, generally, be construed against the...Learn More
There are various form of breach of contract. Each form of breach of contract has unique criteria. Available legal remedies for the various forms of breach...Learn More
A deal that is only a deal to agree to agree is legally unenforceable; however, a deal that is a contract to contract is legal enforceable.Learn More
The world of business and commerce requires pricing flexibility within contractual relationships whereas circumstances are often such that an appropriate final...Learn More
For a legally binding contract to exist, six constituent elements must be present. The six elements are 'offer', 'acceptance', 'consideration', 'intention',...Learn More
Parties are forbidden from engaging in deceptive practices when negotiating contracts as well as when performing contracts and are required to correct known...Learn More
When a contract contains terms, conditions, or clauses, requiring performance of an impossibility, the requirement to do so is a nullity.Learn More
When reviewing a contract for interpretation purposes, the law considers the intention of the parties to the contract rather than just the expressly written...Learn More
Basic contract law principles require that the object and purpose and terms of a contract be lawful and moral if the courts are to uphold and enforce the...Learn More
Often businesses will attempt to impose a 'limited liability clause' within contractual agreements. To the party against whom such a clause is against, such a...Learn More
What Happens When a Contract Lacks Clarity On Terms That Are Necessary to Give a Contract a Reasonably Meaning? When a Contract Lacks Certain Details a...Learn More
Contract clauses that contain especially harsh terms must explicitly and clearly be pointed out or courts may deem the clause as an onerous term and deemed...Learn More
The parol evidence rule states that where a written contract exists and such contains a complete express term, evidence and argument that the term is altered...Learn More
When a party to a contract indicates an intention to disregard terms within a contract, such conduct may be deemed a repudiation of the contract which may...Learn More
When a person signs a contract carelessly without reading the contract and without any improper conduct by the other party to the contract, generally, the...Learn More