Contract Dispute Lawyer Austin, TX
One of the most important tools a business has these days is contracts. When a business owner signs a contract with an individual or another business, there is an expectation with all parties involved that each party will honor the terms of the contract. Unfortunately, far too often, one party in the contract either fails or refuses to live up to their end of the document, creating a breach. When a breach of contract occurs, the financial consequences can be devastating to the business left holding the bag. If this happens to you, contact a contract dispute lawyer Austin, Texas from Gray & Becker, P.C. immediately.
Why Do Contract Breaches Occur?
There are a number of reasons why contract disputes arise that are not necessarily caused by one party failing to live up to their end of the contract. For example, there could be an issue that arises where the dispute is over what a clause in the contract means if the working is too ambiguous. Another reason why a breach of contract could occur is that one party has an unexpected issue that arises that prevents them from fulfilling their terms of the contract. Regardless of why the breach has occurred, it is imperative that you contact an Austin, TX contract dispute lawyer right away.
Proving Breach of Contract
In order to be successful in your case, your Austin, TX contract dispute lawyer will need to prove three elements of the situation. The first element that needs to be proven is that there was a contract that existed between you and the other party. The second element is that the other party breached that contract and the third element is that your business sustained losses as a result of the other party’s breach.
An Austin, TX contract dispute lawyer can explain to you that there are four different types of breach and determine what type applies in your case:
- Material breach: When the other party fails to perform their responsibilities outlined in the contract
- Fundamental breach: When the other party does not follow through with the main point of the contract
- Anticipatory breach: When the other party specifically states they are not going to fulfill their responsibilities under the contract
- Minor breach: When the other party makes errors while fulfilling their contract duties
If your contract dispute lawyer in Austin, TX can prove your case to the court, you will be awarded damages that you suffered because of the breach of contract. These damages are financial compensation for the money you lost based on the contract terms, as well as interest. You may also be awarded punitive damages and attorney fees.
If you are involved in contract litigation or anticipate being so, contact our contract dispute lawyer in Austin, TX from Gray & Becker, P.C. We have assisted our community for three decades by representing individuals and companies in a wide range of legal matters. A single litigation matter can have disastrous effects for a company if it is not resolved in a positive way. Our contract dispute lawyer can review your case at no charge at our Austin, TX office or on the telephone, whichever is more convenient for you. In addition to being complimentary, it will be confidential. After your case review, you will have a clearer understanding of your legal options.
There are many types of contract disputes that regularly occur that involve companies based in Austin, TX. Gray & Becker, P.C. can protect your company’s best interests. Contact our contract dispute lawyer in Austin, TX to schedule a free consultation.
Breach of Employment Contracts
When a party that has a contracted agreement with another party but fails to perform their agreed-upon duties, they are in breach of that contract. Generally speaking, that party can be held liable to the other party for having broken the contract. The contract itself may spell out what is considered a breach and the remedies for a breach. However, the majority of breach disputes concern the involved parties being in disagreement over whether or not there was actually a breach that occurred and who is responsible for that breach.
Remedying a Breach of Contract
Depending on the nature and severity of the breach, our Austin, TX contract dispute lawyer may recommend that you simply terminate the contract. Another option may be to consider arbitration, but again, this will depend on your circumstances. Our contract dispute lawyer will make every effort to recover your damages without having to take your case to an Austin, TX court.
Nondisclosure and Non-Compete Contracts
Employment contracts often include nondisclosure and non-compete clauses. They are not always enforceable, as our contract dispute lawyer in Austin, TX may tell you. However, a violation of either of these types of contracts may be considered a breach of that contract. This can be true even if the employee has left the company with which it had entered into the contract.
- Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are intended to protect the employer by preventing the employee from sharing trade secrets, confidential material, proprietary information, or intellectual property.
- No compete clauses (NCC) usually stipulate that a party (usually an employee who is leaving the company or the owner of a company as a term of selling that company) will not work for a competitor or start a similar company.
Contractual disputes can be very costly and can disrupt the everyday running of your business. What begins as a minor misunderstanding as to contract terms can escalate into a serious dispute – causing you both stress and financial difficulty.
However, having a basic understanding of how contracts are made and how they work can assist you in avoiding contractual disputes and help you understand your position when disputes arise. Furthermore, having clear, well-drafted contracts can give you peace of mind that your business relationships are ones that you feel comfortable with, and will let know where you stand.
How is a contract formed?
A contract is formed when five basic elements are present:
- An offer is made
- The offer is accepted
- Consideration is provided
- There is an intention between the parties to create legal relations
- There is certainty around the contract terms
You should keep these elements in mind throughout business negotiations.
Does a contract have to be in writing?
This is a common misconception. Contracts can be in writing, but may also be formed by word of mouth or partly in writing and partly by word of mouth.
They may also be implied from the conduct or actions of the parties to the contract. If you are involved in negotiations, it is important to always consider the five basic elements of a contract and whether these are present in your dealings with another party. Often, business owners find that they are party to an implied contract, or that no contract exists where they believed the other party would be bound by their obligations.
Whilst oral contracts are legally enforceable, it is always a good idea to have a written contract. Such a document will record the terms of your agreement with the other party, and can be used as evidence if a dispute arises. It is also important to note that in certain circumstances, a written contract is required by law.
What constitutes ‘offer’ and ‘acceptance’?
Under the law, a contract is formed where one party communicates an offer and the other party communicates their acceptance of that offer. He law concerning exactly when an offer or an acceptance is made can be complex and will depend on the precise circumstances of each case. The important point to note here is that the courts are flexible in their approach as to what constitutes offer and acceptance, and may find an agreement exists through applying principles of fairness, intentions of the parties or even in the interests of public policy.
Does a written contract need to be signed to be effective?
When a contract has been set out in writing and demonstrates that the parties intended to create formal legal relations, the courts will normally infer that the parties do not intend to be bound by the document until the have both signed it. However, where there is evidence that the parties did intend to be bound by the contract, the courts will be more flexible in their approach.
What are ‘express’ and ‘implied’ terms?
Express terms are those which have been expressly set out by the parties to a contract. This may be in writing or orally.
Implied terms are those to which parties may be bound, but that have not been expressly set out. Implied terms may be present on the basis of:
- The parties’ previous dealings
- The intentions of the parties
- Common law
What remedies are available for breach of contract?
Where one party to a contract fails to fulfill some or all of their obligations, a breach of contract will have occurred. There are a number of remedies available where a contract has been breached, and those available will depend on what is most appropriate for the circumstances.
The innocent party to a breach of contract may be entitled to claim damages for any financial loss suffered. The sum of damages awarded is designed to put the innocent party in the position the would have been in had the contract been fully performed. However, this can be difficult to quantify and not all damages can be recovered. Where loss suffered is deemed to be too remote to have been foreseeable, it is unlikely to be recoverable.
Contact Our Seasoned Contract Dispute Lawyer in Austin, TX
Gray & Becker, P.C. is the first choice for many business owners in the Austin, TX community if they are faced with contract litigation. Our contract dispute lawyer Austin, TX clients recommend offers a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Contact our office today.