West Palm Beach Breach Of Contract Attorney
A breach of a contract can have serious consequences for a business, and may significantly impair the company’s health and longevity moving forward. At the law offices of Markarian & Hayes, we have been representing businesses of all types and structures involved in breach of contract disputes for more than 30 years. Contact us today to schedule your initial case review and learn how our experienced West Palm Beach breach of contract attorneys can be of assistance.
Types of Contract Breaches
Any time that a contract exists between a business and another party, and a provision of the contract is violated, a breach of contract has occurred. However, not all breaches of the contract are the same; a breach may be classified as a minor breach of contract, or as a material breach of contract.
A material breach is typically considered the more serious of the two types of contract breaches, as when a material breach occurs, one party in the contract no longer receives whatever the contract specified. For example, if a contract stated that party A would pay party B $1,000 in exchange for 1,000 oranges, and party A received apples instead, a material breach has occurred.
A minor breach, on the other hand, means that while the contract was breached, the receiving party still received the item specified in the contract (i.e. party A received their oranges, but a day later than the contract specified).
When a contract breach is material, it means that the non-breaching party is no longer obligated to perform any other duties specified by the contract, and that they can seek damages for the breach of contract. While a minor breach still requires each party to fulfill their obligations under the contract, the non-breaching party can seek remedies for the breach.
Establishing a Breach of Contract
In order to seek remedies for a breach of contract, the non-breaching party must first prove that a breach of contract occurred. The following provides criteria for recovering damages after a breach of contract:
- Establishing the existence of a contract. The remedy seeking party must establish that the parties had entered into a contract together, and that the contract was legally valid.
- Establishing obligations of each party as per the contract. Second, the non-breaching party must establish the obligations of each party as specified by the contract. I.e., per the example above, party A would have to prove that the contract, signed by party B, stated that party B would provide party A with 1,000 oranges by a specified date.
- Proving the breach of contract. The third, and one of the most important steps, is proving that a breach of contract actually occurred. While a simplified example of apples and oranges makes a breach of contract seem obvious, there are many complex breach of contract cases in which the breach of contract is not obvious, and may be hotly contested. Working with business contract attorneys and other legal professionals is absolutely essential. In addition to proving the breach of contract, the party must also establish whether or not the breach was material or minor.
- Establishing damages as a result of the breach of contract. Finally, if the non-breaching party is seeking remedies for the breach of contract, they must prove that the breach of contract actually resulted in some sort of damages. For example, did the remedy-seeking party lose profits or a potential business opportunity because the other party did not fulfill their contractual obligations?
In many cases, the amount of damages recovered will also depend on whether or not the breach of contract was willful and malicious or accidental. In the event that the former is true – that the breach of contract was intentional – the breaching party may be liable for punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. Punitive damages are those damages that are intended to punish the offender for their actions.
Resolving a Breach of Contract Dispute Through Mediation
A breach of contract can be a very serious setback for a company, whether they are the party accused of breaching a contract, or if they believe that another party breached a contract and they suffered losses as a result. However, equally as serious as a breach of contract are the steps that are taken to remedy the breach. While some parties may be tempted to immediately file a lawsuit and take the issue to court, at the law offices of Markarian & Hayes, we firmly believe that out-of-court mediation is a superior alternative.
Mediating a breach of contract dispute out of court saves our clients time, and perhaps even more importantly, money. Further, breach of contract cases that are resolved out of court can be kept confidential, whereas those issues that are litigated in court become public record. To protect your company’s private business and reputation, mediation is preferable.
In the event that a fair resolution and settlement cannot be reached during mediation and negotiations, however, our experienced breach of contract attorneys have the experience and skillset necessary to represent your business during litigation. We have represented companies in state and federal courts in the past, and have experience during all phases of litigation, including appeals.
Call Our West Palm Beach Breach Of Contract Attorneys Today
We provide superior representation for businesses involved in breach of contract cases. We can help you to dispute a breach of contract and mitigate the repercussions when your business is named in a breach of contract action, or assist your business in gathering the damages it deserves after a breach of contract occurs. Because we have represented companies on both sides of the issue, we are able to offer a unique perspective with each case we take on.
If your business is facing a breach of contract dispute, do not hesitate to call us today – your business’ future is on the line. We will competently advocate for you and effectively protect your interests. Call our talented Florida breach of contract attorneys now for your initial consultation, or contact us using our online form.