Florida Business Contract Dispute Attorneys
Clear and effective contracts that withstand legal scrutiny can be the backbone of a successful business. Conversely, contracts that have not been reviewed by a legal professional may subject you and your business to fully preventable risks. Business contract disputes may uncover previously unknown weaknesses in the very foundation of otherwise successful businesses. While these disputes may be unexpected, business owners must not be unprepared.
Unfortunately, business owners must account for the inevitability of contract disputes among the costs of doing business. Whether disagreement among shareholders, members, or partners, violations of employee non-compete agreements or disputes concerning customers’ terms of service, the veracity of your agreements will at some point be challenged. In instances of material breach, legal defense may be your only path to resolving the dispute while protecting your business.
Of course, we recognize that our clients typically don’t generate revenue in the courtroom, rather seeking to minimize costs. Thus, the accomplished commercial litigation attorneys at Rosenberg Law, P.A., reliably expedite the contract dispute resolution process while vigorously protecting your interests and business operations.
What is a Breach of Contract?
Breach of Contract occurs when one or more parties involved in a contract do not honor the binding agreement. There are four types of contract breaches which may demand legal remedy.
A minor breach or partial breach occurs when the non-breaching party is not damaged by the breach. For example: You order and pay for a specific item online. The item is delivered on-time, however there is also a note with the item. Your chosen item had sold out, so the seller replaced it. The item is a different brand/model, but does offer matching specifications. While this certainly is not exemplary customer service, it does not entitle you to damages and thus may be referred to as a minor breach.
A material breach occurs when one party fails to meet an obligation under the agreement such that the non-breaching party may seek damages. Many factors are considered in evaluating whether a breach is material, including but not limited to:
- Does the contract itself define “material breach”?
- Does the failed obligation deprive the other party of the “heart” or purpose of the agreement? Can the non-breaching party be (reasonably) compensated?
- What will the breaching party forfeit if the contract is invalidated?
- What is the likelihood of the breaching party (eventually) meeting the obligation?
- Was breach the result of bad faith or negligence?
- Is the other party “Ready, Willing and Able” to meet its obligations under the contract?
A fundamental breach of contract indicates a failure to meet obligations such that the agreement may be deemed “irreparably broken”, having nullified the purpose of the agreement itself.
An anticipatory breach of contract, or anticipatory repudiation, indicates that one party in a contract has indicated that they will not meet contractual obligations. This may be indicated via words (notice) or through action and/or inaction related to the obligation. If faced with an anticipatory breach, you must act immediately to avoid losses or damage resulting from that breach. When a non-breaching party fails to act in its own best interest – to mitigate damages – that party may forego its right to full recompense. In the eyes of the law, the breaching party cannot be liable for anticipated damages that were not addressed by the other party.