Breach of Contract
Contracts are legal agreements between parties that establish their obligations and rights. They can require one party to take certain actions or refrain from taking certain actions, or they can require a party to lease or convey title to real property or provide a product. When a party signs a contract, it takes on the duty of fulfilling its obligations under the contract, and it is entitled to expect the other party to also meet its obligations under the contract. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. The San Jose contract litigation lawyers at SAC Attorneys can represent you in a breach of contract lawsuit if your business has suffered harm because another party did not comply with the terms of an agreement.Disputes Based on Contract Breaches
If one of the parties to the contract fails to perform its obligations, this is considered a breach of the contract. For example, if an agreement required one business to sell 600 items to another business, and the seller did not, this would be a breach of the contract. Breaches may be minor, or they may be material. When there is a failure to perform, the non-breaching party to the contract can seek damages in court.
To recover damages in a breach of contract case, you will need to show that the defendant and you entered into a contract, and you substantially or fully performed your obligations under the contract, or were excused from doing the things that you did not do. Also, the conditions to trigger the defendant’s performance must have occurred (or have been waived), and the defendant must have failed to meet its obligations or must have done something that it was prohibited from doing under the contract. Finally, you must show that the defendant’s breach was a substantial factor in causing damages to your business.
If you have been sued for allegedly breaching a contract, the contract litigation attorneys at our San Jose firm can explore the defenses that may apply. A party is not considered to have breached a contract if it is legally justified in its failure to perform. For example, if a contract mandates the sale of a beachfront property, but a storm destroys the property, this may serve as justification. Sometimes it is appropriate to challenge the timing of the lawsuit; maybe the statute of limitations has expired. There also are situations in which there is a statutory defense. Another potential defense is accord and satisfaction, whereby the defendant claims that no breach occurred because the parties to the contract already reached an agreement satisfying their obligations.Damages
If a breach of a contract occurs, a non-breaching party may have various remedies available. It may be appropriate for the non-breaching party not to perform its end of the bargain. Moreover, if there are concrete losses arising out of the breach, our San Jose contract litigation attorneys can help a business sue to recover monetary damages. The purpose of a breach of contract lawsuit is to place a plaintiff in the position in which it would have been had there been no breach.
California Civil Code section 3300 provides that damages should be the amount that would compensate the plaintiff for the detriment legally caused by a defendant’s breach, or the amount that would be likely to be caused by the breach in the ordinary course of matters. As a plaintiff, the lawsuit is supposed to approximate an agreed-upon performance and put you back in the position in which you would have been but for the defendant’s breach. You might receive compensation for lost profits and costs, or you might receive liquidated damages if those are specified by the contract. In some unusual cases, you might be able to ask for specific performance of the defendant’s obligations. However, it is more common to obtain monetary damages.Consult an Experienced Contract Litigation Lawyer in San Jose
Failing to comply with a contract can cause substantial harm to a business in Silicon Valley and the surrounding area. If you believe that you may have a breach of contract claim, or if your business is threatened with a breach of contract lawsuit, SAC Attorneys is ready to protect your interests. Call (408) 436-0789 or contact us via our online form.