Updated: Dec 22, 2022
A Quick And Easy Guide To California Breach Of Contract Claims
Essentially, a contract is an agreement to do or not to do a certain thing. Contracts might be in the form of a written agreement, an oral agreement, or an implicit agreement.
So, how is a contract breached? More importantly, can you get out of it? Here's a quick guide to breach of contract claims, as often handled by our Newport Beach Business Law Attorneys in California:
What Counts As A Breach Of Contract?
A breach of contract among California business litigation attorneys is arguably the most typical scenario. A breach can occur in a variety of situations, including:
A partnership dispute
A real estate transaction gone wrong
Failure to pay rent or lease obligations
Failure to pay for sales transactions
Failure to fulfill promissory notes and collections
In other words, a breach of contract occurs when one party has agreed to and fails to honor an obligation to another party.
A Breach of contract can cause many problems for you and your business. Contact one of our prescreened Newport Beach Business Law Attorneys to help you with anything to do with breach of contract claims in California.
What Does It Take To Sue For Breach Of Contract?
The Judicial Council of California's Civil Jury Instructions, or CACI's, No. 303, lays out California's essential components of a breach of contract suit.
A legal action for violation of a contract has four components:
The existence of a contract between the plaintiff and the defendant, whether express or implied
The plaintiff either met the requirements or was exempted from doing so.
The defendant failed to meet his obligations.
The plaintiff was harmed as a result of the violation.
If you don't know whether these conditions are met, consult a Newport Beach Business Lawyer. An attorney will be able to look over the facts of your case and present you with the best legal options.
What Is Material vs. Immaterial Breach Of Contract?
The difference between these two types depends on the level of damage or consequences you (or your business) suffer from the contract breach.
Here's an easy distinction:
A material breach causes the contract's non-breaching party to suffer damages.
An immaterial breach is nonetheless significant but does not cause irreversible harm.
In other words, a material breach effectively terminates the contract, whereas an immaterial breach can be avoided. The compensation you claim will depend on these distinctions.
What Are Your Possible Recourses?
In a breach of contract case, the ideas of material and immaterial might be uncertain. However, if a contract breach does happen, there are several options for compensation.
When a contracting party is breached, the following remedies may be available:
Damages - When no money is really lost, the plaintiff might sue for nominal damages instead of compensatory damages.
Specific Performance - The plaintiff might seek the court to force the breaching party to perform, known as "specific performance."
Restitution and Cancellation - The non-breaching party will have the option of canceling the contract or reverting to its operating state prior to the agreement (a process known as "restitution")
That said, there are multiple solutions your Newport Beach Business Law Attorney might be able to advise you on. They'll know how you can protect your rights and advise you on the legal decisions that will be most beneficial to you (or your business).
Resolving Contract Disputes
Not every contract disagreement needs to be resolved in court. Occasionally, the contract will include wording that allows for alternative dispute resolution. Negotiation is the first stage in all cases, except probably the most severe and devastating.
In consulting with a competent Newport Beach Business Law Attorney, the non-breaching party should reach out and address the situation through discussion.
If discussions go down, the parties can agree to mediation or arbitration, but as the number of tries to reach an agreement grows, so will the cost in terms of time and money.
That said, be prepared for any possible route your case will take. Make sure you're guided by a qualified, prescreened Newport Beach Business Law Attorney to help you navigate the tricky process.
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