Frequently Asked Questions About Contract Disputes
Contract disputes make up a large part of business litigation. Even though parties may aggressively negotiate the terms of a contract and utilize a Florida business attorney to draft the contract, disputes can arise. Unfortunately, contract disputes can be costly and time-consuming for a business owner. One of the best ways to avoid contract disputes is to consult with a business law attorney before you enter into a contract. Below are common questions regarding contracts and contract disputes.
FAQs About Contract Disputes
- What does a contract need to be valid?
When a contract is disputed, one of the first things an attorney does is to review the contract to determine if it is valid. In most cases, a contract is valid if it contains the five basic elements of a contract:
- Certainty of terms
- Intention to create a legal relationship between the parties
A contract can be implied or oral, but most business contracts are in writing. It is best to insist on written contracts so that when disputes arise, you can use the written contract as evidence.
- What is a breach of contract?
A breach of contract occurs when one or more parties to a contract fails to perform any term of the contract without a legal reason. The contract has to be a binding, legal contract for a breach to occur.
- What remedies are available for a breach of contract?
The remedies available for a breach of contract depend on the type of contract and terms of the contract. Common remedies for a breach of contract include:
- Monetary damages associated with the breach of contract. The purpose of damages is to put the injured party in the same financial position the party would have enjoyed had the terms of the contract been performed correctly.
- Injunctions may be necessary to prevent a party from taking certain actions.
- Specific performance requires a party to perform certain actions.
- Recission sets aside the contract and puts the parties in the position they were before they entered the contract.
- Can I file a lawsuit for breach of contract?
The terms of the contract may prevent the parties from filing a lawsuit to settle a contract dispute. The contract might limit dispute resolution to mediation or arbitration. In mediation, a neutral mediator assists the parties in discussing a resolution to the dispute. A mediator is not a judge, and he or she cannot force the parties to resolve the dispute.
Arbitration is slightly different. An arbitrator is a neutral party that has the authority to resolve the dispute. Arbitration is similar to a trial, but the rules are much more relaxed. The parties argue their position, and the arbitrator issues a ruling. The arbitration may be binding or non-binding. In binding arbitration, the ruling of the arbitrator is final. The parties can file a lawsuit after non-binding arbitration if they are unhappy with the decision.
How can I improve my chances of winning a contract dispute?
Gather as much information as possible relating to the contract. Information and documentation you need to gather include a copy of the contract, all correspondence with the other party, proof you upheld your obligations, a list of potential witnesses, and notes or other documentation created during contract negotiations.
Contact a Florida business litigation lawyer as soon as possible. Having an attorney involved in the matter as early as possible can help avoid mistakes and errors that could hurt your chance of winning the case. An attorney analyzes the situation, advises you of your legal rights, discusses potential strategies and outcomes, and guides you through the process of resolving a contract dispute.
Contact Matthew Fornaro, P.A. for More Information
Do not let a contract dispute disrupt your business. Let our legal team handle the matter to protect your best interests and allow you to focus on your business operations. Call our office at 954-324-3651 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida business law attorney.