Two or more people may enter into an agreement to achieve specific business goals. This is called a contract in legal terms. A contract is an agreement between two or more persons that has specific terms. It promises to do something in exchange for a valuable benefit. A breach of contract occurs when this agreement is violated.
In a perfect world, all parties would agree to the terms of the contract and then proceed to perform their respective parts. This is often not the case. A breach of contract could be caused by financial difficulties, a party’s inability to pay, or an unanticipated event. A New York business lawyer can help you defend your claim when this happens. Let’s first discuss what a contract breach is.
What is a Breach of Contract and How Does it Affect You?
As we have stated, entering into a contract means that both parties are responsible for fulfilling their responsibilities. A breach is when one of the parties fails to fulfill these responsibilities. A breach of contract can occur, depending on the terms, if one party fails to fulfill an obligation at the agreed time, doesn’t fulfill it completely, or fails to fulfill it satisfactorily.
A breach of contract generally falls under one of two categories: a material or an immaterial breach. A material breach of contract refers to a contract that causes irreparable harm and renders it unenforceable.
A person could, for example, complete all paperwork and make payment to the seller to purchase a car. However, the seller suddenly changes his mind and refuses the sale. This is considered a material breach. An immaterial breach, on the other hand does not affect the fulfillment of the contract.
What Options Are Available if a Breach of Contract Occurs?
Many people believe that the court is the only recourse for contract breaches. These are not the only options. You must assess the extent of the damage after an agreement is breached. This is done to determine if legal action would prove too expensive. You will often find that an alternative dispute resolution is more advantageous.
Talk to the other side if you are a victim of a contract breach. Although you might want to take legal action, most contractual disputes can be resolved without resorting legal actions. Civil litigations can be expensive and take a long time.
Ask the other party why they were unable to perform their contract. You should choose this option if the reason they are unable to do so is minor and can be resolved out of court. There are instances when the erring party refuses to talk or avoids any attempts to reach a reasonable settlement.
You can take the legal route in this instance. You can then file a civil lawsuit for breach of contract. A New York business lawyer can assist you in filing the lawsuit. You can also choose to arbitrate or mediate the dispute.
Mediation is a process where a third party assists the disputing parties to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion. The mediator is impartial and does not have any ties to the parties in dispute. Both parties can speak freely until their conflicts are resolved by the mediator.
Like mediation, arbitration requires a third party. Arbitration involves the submission of a matter to an arbitrator who then makes a decision. The arbitration process is very similar to a trial, in that all parties are heard before the arbitrator makes a decision. The similarities end here as appeals are not available beyond arbitration. You cannot appeal an arbitral decision in New York after 30 days.
New York Business Lawyers Can Help You in Breach of Contract Situations
You are likely to enter into contracts as a New York business owner with employees and other businesses. You may be surprised to learn that contract breaches can happen. Rosenbaum & Taylor’s business lawyers can assist you in these situations.
Based on your particular case, we would recommend the best course. You may also find yourself named as a party to a breach-of-contract lawsuit. It is best to consult qualified business lawyers about the next steps in such cases. Get in touch with us today to find out how our lawyers could help you.