Experienced, Effective Representation
Business transactions are based on contracts and analyzed under applicable rules of contract law. Companies of various sizes deal with contracts daily involving customers, employees, vendors, suppliers, distributors, and others. These business agreements can range from sizeable real estate transactions to new employee contracts and everything in between.
If something goes awry in a business relationship, the parties, arbitrators, or the courts will look to the terms of the contract. The key questions in breach of contract disputes are whether someone breached the contract, who violated it, and what monetary damages or remedies may cure the breach. Reach out to a Chicago breach of contract lawyer.
The business litigation attorneys at King & Jones provide sound legal advice and zealous representation in the prosecution, defense, and overall resolution of breach of contract disputes. Call our office to discuss your contract claim, defense, or other business litigation concern.
Call our office to discuss your contract claims, defense or other concern.Free Case Evaluation
Was a Contract Ever Formed?
Basically, a contract forms when one party makes an offer and the other party accepts it. A meeting of the minds, or mutual assent, must happen, meaning the parties agree on the terms of the contract they make.
They must also an exchange of something valuable, known in contract law as consideration. In other words, the parties must promise to do something they wouldn’t otherwise need to do – perform a service, sell an item, or make a payment in exchange for something of value.
Written contracts can take many forms. They may expressly call it a contract, but an employment agreement, a company handbook, a bill of sale, or a receipt can also serve as evidence of a contractual relationship.
- Contracts can also form orally without any writing, assuming the elements described above are present.
- However, the law requires written contracts in these business transactions:
- Agreements for the sale of goods valued at $500 or more,
- Contracts that will take longer than a year to complete,
- Contracts involving real property, and
- Other specific situations.
Oral and written contracts are usually expressly created, but courts can also find that contracts are implied in law based on the conduct of the parties toward one another. A court might impose an implied contract to prevent the unjust enrichment of one party. This might happen when one party performs a service for another because they expect a payment, even if the parties did not expressly agree on the terms of the service. The other party should pay a reasonable amount in return if the first party provides the service.
If you have questions about a business transaction and whether you face a breach of contract, talk with one of our experienced breach of contract lawyers to understand your legal rights and obligations.
How To Prove Breach Of Contract
Proving the existence of a contract, whether oral or written, express or implied, is sometimes a necessary early step in breach of contract litigation. Once proven, the parties next move to arguing how that contract should properly be interpreted. This stage involves analyzing and determining the intention of the parties, which might not be apparent from the document itself. Can parties introduce evidence from outside of the contract? Getting the best evidence in front of the court can be critical to success, but rules of contract interpretation and the terms of the contract itself will dictate what evidence the court can see and hear. The veteran breach of contract lawyers at King & Jones bring decades of experience in litigating contract disputes and other business litigation to bear in resolving critical questions surrounding an alleged breach, such as:
- Did on party fail to perform a required duty under the contract?
- Was there a material breach?
- Is a mistake of fact or law present?
- Did one party’s behavior justify an anticipatory breach by the other party?
- Will parol evidence be admissible in court?
What Solutions Are Appropriate To Remedy The Breach?
Assuming one party breached the contract, what remedy or remedies are appropriate to make the aggrieved party whole and compensate them for the breach? This issue can be as complex and vigorously contested as the issue of liability, or even more so. Typical remedies for a breach of contract include:
Expenses or costs that derive directly from the breach and would be experienced by any non-breaching party.
Harm that is specific to the non-breaching party in this particular case. Also called consequential damages, special damages are less frequently recoverable in breach of contract lawsuit cases and are more likely in business tort claims.
An amount of money written into the contract as damages in case of a breach. Liquidated damages provisions are usually only enforced if they meet certain requirements under the law of the state interpreting the contract. For instance, they are generally only allowed when general damages cannot be reasonably assessed, and only to the extent the amount is deemed reasonable.
When money damages would be insufficient to compensate the non-breaching party, the court could order the breaching party to perform its obligation under the contract. Specific performance is sometimes ordered in real estate contracts since each piece of property is considered unique under the law.
How We Can Help YouKing & Jones - Chicago Branch
Our dedicated business attorneys offer strategic advice and assistance in the resolution of breach of contract claims. We also represent plaintiffs or defendants in breach of contract litigation in Chicago and nationwide. Call King & Jones at (312) 372-4142 or complete the form below to discuss your case with a skilled and experienced contract dispute lawyer. In our initial consultation, we’ll let you know how we can help you and your business with your legal needs.