What Steps do I Take when A Breach of Contract Occurs?

Fotolia_69411638_Subscription_Monthly_M-300x200Contracts are essential to any business deal. No matter how close the parties and no matter how clearly the terms are spelled out, there is always a possibility of the other party breaching the contract. Whether a contract is with a vendor, another business, an employee, or any other party, a breach can cause financial harm to your company.

Fortunately, a contract should also dictate your rights and options to seek legal remedies in the event of a breach. Our experienced business and contract attorneys can help you through each step of this process to ensure the matter is resolved as efficiently and favorably as possible.

  1. Talk to the other party. Sometimes, a party to a contract may not even realize they are in breach of the agreement. If the breach involves non-payment, there may be ways to agree on a payment plan or another arrangement to fulfill the contract without taking legal action. It is always a good idea to speak with a party – or have your lawyer do so – to explore options to resolve the issue.
  2. Know your statute of limitations. You do not have an unlimited amount of time to take legal action to enforce a contract or recover for your losses. Under California law, you only have up to four years to file a breach of contract claim for written contracts, in most situations. Some written contracts only have a two-year time limit. You should never wait too long to speak with an attorney since the statute of limitations is running.
  3. Know your damages. You must seek specific relief in a breach of contract claim. Such relief can sometimes include specific performance, when the court orders the party to fulfill their obligations under the contract. In most cases, a breach will result in monetary losses, and you can seek damages for profits lost or unnecessary costs due to the breach. You must determine and prove your damages as part of your claim. Courts often order monetary compensation whenever possible instead of specific performance.
  4. Consider ADR. Not every breach of contract case goes directly to court. In many cases, the matter can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. In fact, some contracts require that any litigation be brought to arbitration or mediation first. ADR generally can save time, money, and can keep the matter confidential. It is also a less adversarial process, so you may avoid burning bridges.
  5. Prepare for a lawsuit. Our lawyers can advise you when alternative options have been exhausted and your best option is to file a lawsuit for breach of contract. Before filing any documents with the court it is also important to determine where the complaint can be filed because many contracts have a choice of law and venue provision. We can analyze the contract to determine proper jurisdiction and venue, prepare a persuasive complaint, handle the discovery process, and engage in settlement negotiations to obtain the relief you deserve after a breach.

Contact Our San Jose Business Attorneys For Assistance Today

Structure Law Group has a team of attorneys committed to assisting businesses of all sizes with a wide variety of legal matters, including breach of contract claims. If you would like us to evaluate your situation, please call 408-441-7500 or contact us online for more information today.