Contracts form the spine of virtually all business transactions and relationships. Much like a blueprint for building, contracts are used as guidelines for everything from how an employee is expected to perform, to when a shipment of goods is supposed to be delivered, to the duration of a period of tenancy. However, while contracts are intended to be strictly followed, that is not always what happens in real life. Unfortunately, individuals and business entities can break their contractual obligations for numerous reasons — and when they do, the financial effects on the other party can be disastrous. If you’re stuck in a disagreement, do you have any legal recourse?
How We Help Your Business End Contract Disputes
If you are struggling with a dispute, it may be time to bring an outside party into the matter so that you can resolve the issue and resume unhampered daily operations. The Union, New Jersey contract dispute attorneys of The Jayson Law Group LLC can help you meet your goals. Whether you’re looking for a qualified mediator or an aggressive litigator, our legal team has the acumen and experience you need to get your company back on track. We work with all types of business entities and financial institutions, and handle a wide variety of disputes, including:
- Construction Contracts
- Dissolution Agreements
- Distribution Agreements
- Employee Agreements and Noncompetes
- Intellectual Property Disputes
- Partnership Agreements
- Property Leases
- Sales and Purchase Orders
- Security Agreements
- Warranties and Limited Warranties
To arrange for a confidential case evaluation, call our law offices at (908) 258-0621 today.
Litigation vs. Mediation: Which is Right for You?
Just as every contractual problem is unique, so is every solution. In some cases, litigation may be wholly appropriate, while in others, the less drastic measure of mediation may be sufficient. So how are these two methods of addressing a conflict different, and which is better suited to your situation?
In litigation, which is simply another term for filing a lawsuit, the plaintiff and defendant work with their attorneys to present compelling evidence to a judge. The judge then makes a legally binding order, which must be complied with at the risk of further legal action.
On the positive side, litigation is a very firm and decisive means of conflict resolution — and in fact, in cases where the defendant proves unresponsive or even willfully non-compliant, initiating a lawsuit may prove necessary to bring the matter to a close. However, depending on the complexity of the case, court battles can become very costly in terms of both time and money. Furthermore, litigation sometimes carries the potential to damage valuable professional relationships.
If filing a lawsuit does not seem like a suitable course of action, qualified mediator Loren Sara Schragger-Paeglis, Esq., can supervise and guide you through mediation instead. Unlike litigation, which polarizes the conflicting parties, mediation tries to bring the parties together with the end goal of creating a mutually satisfactory plan. This plan is determined not by a judge, but by the parties themselves, thereby granting you a greater degree of hands-on control. Mediation also tends to be more rapid and less costly, which are considerable practical advantages.
Demonstrating Breach of Contract
Ideally, a dispute would be swiftly and voluntarily resolved, or circumvented altogether through cooperation, transparency, and good faith. Unfortunately, this ideal does not always reflect reality. In some instances, what looked like or began as a dispute may actually entail or give rise to a full breach of contract.
In order to demonstrate that a contract was in fact breached, you will need to prove several conditions to the judge:
- A formal contract existed. A casual mention of a business deal between friends, for example, does not constitute a valid and enforceable contract. On a related note, while oral contracts are not necessarily invalid, for obvious reasons they are effectively impossible to refer to. You should always prepare a written contract, equipping yourself with a concrete document which can easily be cited.
- You met your responsibilities, while the other party did not.
- The breach caused you to incur financial losses.
Material breach involves a serious deviation from the terms of a contract, resulting in extensive financial damages. Minor or partial breach involves a less serious deviation which, while not in accordance with what was expected, doesn’t necessarily depart from the “heart” of the contract. If a breach is non-material, you will not be excused from your agreement, but do have the right to sue for damages. If a breach is material, not only can you sue, you may also be released from your contract. Finally, you should also be wary of anticipatory breach, or repudiation, which occurs when an entity commits to an agreement it knows it cannot or will not fulfill.
To set up a private legal consultation with an experienced Union, New Jersey contract dispute lawyer, call The Jayson Law Group LLC today at (908) 258-0621, or contact our law offices online.