Bradenton Breach of Contract Dispute Lawyer
Businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on contracts for every phase of their operations. Individual consumers are in the same boat. However, a contract is usually a snapshot. It reflects the prevailing market factors and individual preferences at a specific time. These conditions change, but contracts don’t change. Therefore, breach of contract actions are rather common.
At the Cahall Law Firm, our diligent Bradenton breach of contract dispute lawyers work hard to represent your interests. Contact law is quite complex. So, whether you want to enforce an existing contract or avoid responsibility under an unfavorable agreement, legal options are usually available. You just need the right lawyer who can not only identify the legal issues but also fight hard for you.
Elements of a Contract
Contrary to popular myth, a legal contract is more than a written agreement. Furthermore, some contracts are only enforceable in some situations. For example, a contract between parents to modify a child support obligation is only enforceable between the parents. It’s unenforceable in court. Generally, the elements of a fully-enforceable contract are:
- Offer and Acceptance: One side must unequivocally say “I offer” and the other side must unequivocally say “I accept.” Any ifs, ands, or buts, or any other conditions, usually disprove the offer and acceptance element.
- Mutuality: Lawyers often call this element a meeting of the minds. Both sides must agree to the same thing at the same time. Mutuality is often an issue in “contracts” which are email or text message strings.
- Consideration: Both sides must give up something of value. If Tim agrees to mow Bill’s lawn for $50, Tim gives up his time and Bill gives up his money. Usually, the consideration must be of roughly equal value.
- Capacity: People under 18 cannot legally make contracts. Additionally, a third-party beneficiary does not have the capacity to end a contract. If Tim is a paperboy who delivers the Daily Herald to Bill, the contract is between Bill and the Daily Herald. Tim has no capacity. Principal/agent authority issues sometimes arise as well.
- Legality: Illegal contracts are always and automatically void. If Tim marries Bill and Tim is already married to someone else, the Tim/Bill marriage is illegal and therefore void. Many medical supply contracts, like drug sales, are only semi-legal.
Film magnate Samuel Goldwyn once supposedly said that “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.” That’s not exactly true. Oral contracts are enforceable, as long as they meet the aforementioned requirements. It’s just more difficult for a Bradenton breach of contract dispute lawyer to prove or disprove the terms of the contract in court.
The elements of a contract are clearly established in Florida law. So are the possible remedies for a breach of contract.
Compensatory damages are, by far, the most common remedy in breach of contract disputes. Aggrieved parties are usually entitled to expectation and consequential damages.
Assume Sam agrees to sell a bus to a tour bus company for $100,000. Sam backs out of the deal. The bus company finds another bus, but must pay $110,000. Furthermore, because of the delay, the bus company had to refund $50,000 to customers who literally missed the bus. The company’s damages would be $60,000 ($10k expectation and $50k compensatory).
If money damages cannot adequately compensate the aggrieved party, specific performance might be available. In the above example, a bus is normally a bus, but Prince’s former tour bus is a unique item.
Other remedies, which don’t arise very often, include rescission, injunction, liquidated damages, and nominal damages.
Contact a Dedicated Manatee County Lawyer
Aggrieved consumers usually have legal options in Florida. For a free consultation with an experienced breach of contract dispute lawyer in Bradenton, contact the Cahall Law Firm, PLLC. We routinely handle matters throughout the Sunshine State.