San Diego Contract Litigation Attorney
What is a breach of contract? When one or more of the parties to a contract fails to perform their end of the bargain without an established legal reason, the contract is said to be in “breach”. A contract can also be breached by one of the parties failure to pay, or providing “notification”, declaring they do not intent to perform on their contracted responsibilities, or if one party blocks or prevents the other party from being able to perform.
What Happens When a Breach of Contract Occurs?
When one of our clients believes a business contract has been breached, or if they are accused of breach of contract there are many options to remedy the situation. The Watkins Firm is an experienced business and contract law firm serving San Diego and Southern California, and we work with our clients to identify all available paths to resolution. In most breach of contract cases the parties entered in an agreement they believed was mutually beneficial, and they wish to see it fulfilled.
The first and most obvious step is to notify the other party and express concern over the breach, and request immediate attention to and commitment to uphold the original agreement. We are looking for substantive corrective action, compensation and evidence of a course correction on their part that ensures our client that the contract terms will be met. If another party on your contract has caused the breach you are required by law to take prudent and reasonable action to mitigate the potential damages you may suffer due to the breach.
Negotiations may be required to remind the parties of their obligations and to establish a modified path forward to reach our client’s objectives. Mediation and/or arbitration are remedies that we include in almost every agreement we draft. The goal of mediation and arbitration is to move the parties through any issue or dispute that has arisen and help to establish grounds for a successful resolution. When all else fails, or if timing or the situation requires we will file a lawsuit and pursue all business litigation options available to protect our clients’ interests. We make our clients aware of the risks and benefits associated with each step along the way, balancing in the ramifications of costs and business realities.
Can You Force a Party to Perform on a Contract?
Forcing a party to uphold their end of a contract is known as “specific performance” in legal terms, and with the exception of real estate disputes, specific performance remedies are often impossible to compel, and this option may only be available in a rare number of situations. In most cases, the courts are looking for a monetary solution to a breach of contract. What was the result of the failure to perform on the agreement and how much of a financial award is required to make things right for the injured party. These cases can become quite complex, and it is often a challenge to calculate the financial impact of a breach of contract. Did the failure of your supplier cost you a major contract with one of your own customers as a result of the failure of your supplier to fulfill their part of the agreement? Is it possible to find another vendor to fulfill that portion of the contract, and what is the additional cost of that option?
In most cases the court will look for appropriate financial “damages” to compensate for the breach, as this is a much easier solution to legally and practically enforce.
Contact Experienced San Diego Breach of Contract Lawyers
If contracts form the foundation for all of business, then a breach of contract can cause significant disruption in your business resulting in lost revenues, productivity and opportunity. When business transactions don’t go smoothly it may not be time to hit the “Litigate” button, but your business and contract attorney has to be prepared to see the issue through. In many cases it is possible for our experienced attorneys to negotiate a solution that works for you and the other parties.
If you are concerned about the performance of a party in a business agreement, or if you have been accused of a breach of contract we invite you to call us for a free consultation at 858-535-1511 or contact us to schedule an appointment in person. We will work with you to develop options that help to accomplish your business and monetary goals, while fulfilling or offsetting the impact of the contract objective(s) established in the original agreement.