Why Choose Our Breach Of Contract Lawyers in Los Angeles?
Our Los Angeles employment lawyers at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani, LLP, have successfully litigated business disputes for years. We are graduates of top Los Angeles law schools and we are leaders in our community. We are committed to giving excellent client service with the fundamentals: technical expertise, constant communication with our clients, and an emphasis on finding creative solutions to our client’s problems. If you need a business litigation lawyer in Los Angeles, contact us today.
What is a Breach of Contract?
Employees commonly enter into agreements with their employer, but what happens when those agreements are broken? First, it is important to determine if a contract exists. It is important that these agreements are between two adults, and that the conditions made were bargained for and agreed upon by both parties. It is also important that the obligations of each side be clearly defined in order for it to hold up in a court setting. For example, agreeing to work for compensation without specifying that compensation is not clearly defined, and any attempt to seek higher wages would most likely be unsuccessful.
It is possible to change the terms of a contract as long as both parties agree to the terms. When there is a dispute over a lawful contract and the differences cannot be resolved, one or both parties may seek legal action. Even if a contract is recognized to exist by the court, there are circumstances under which the court might choose not to enforce a legitimate contract. This typically occurs when the courts seek to protect people from unfair contracts or unfair processes that produced the contract.
A few of the defenses an individual can make for breaching a contract is that they were coerced into agreement, they were threatened, unusual persuasion, and they making of false statements. In order to receive anything other than punitive damages as a result of a breach of contract, the plaintiff needs to clearly demonstrate the loss of profit that occurred as a result of the breach.
Material vs. Immaterial
Depending on the type of damage caused, a breach of contract can be categorized as material or immaterial.
Material Breach of Contract
A material breach of contract is a significant violation involving the failure to fulfill a fundamental term or obligation essential to the agreement. A material breach typically undermines the purpose of the contract and deprives the non-breaching party of the benefits they were supposed to receive. The non-breaching party is usually entitled to pursue legal remedies, such as termination of the contract and seeking damages.
Immaterial Breach of Contract
An immaterial breach, also known as a partial or minor breach, involves the failure to perform a less crucial term or obligation that does not significantly affect the contract’s overall purpose. While an immaterial breach is still a breach of contract, it may not excuse the non-breaching party from their obligations or entitle them to terminate the contract. However, the non-breaching party may still be entitled to seek a claim for any actual damages they suffered as a result of the breach.
Resolving a Breach of Contract in Los Angeles
Resolving a breach of contract in Los Angeles typically involves a series of steps. Here is a general outline of the process:
Review the Contract
Carefully review the terms and conditions of the contract to understand each party’s obligations and identify the specific provision(s) that have been breached.
Communicate With the Other Party
Reach out to the breaching party and discuss the violation in a professional and constructive manner. Express your concerns and provide an opportunity for them to explain or rectify the situation.
The non-breaching party must mitigate or minimize any damages resulting from the breach. Reasonable steps must be taken to limit losses and any actions taken in this regard should be documented.
Negotiate a Resolution
If both parties are willing, engage in negotiations to find a mutually acceptable solution. This may involve compromise, renegotiating terms, or adjusting the contract to accommodate new circumstances.
Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution
If direct negotiations do not result in a favorable outcome, engaging a neutral third party, such as a mediator, can help facilitate discussions to resolve the issue. Mediation can be less formal and expensive than pursuing legal action.
If all other attempts fail or the breach is significant, legal proceedings may be necessary. Consult an attorney specializing in contract law to evaluate your options, rights, and potential remedies. The court may enforce the terms of the contract, order specific performance (compelling the breaching party to fulfill their obligations), or award damages to compensate for the losses suffered due to the breach.
Proving a Breach of Contract
In a breach of contract case, the burden of proof lies with the party alleging the breach, typically referred to as the plaintiff or claimant. To succeed, the plaintiff generally needs to provide evidence that satisfies certain elements of proof, such as:
- Existence of a valid contract: This can be established through written agreements, oral agreements (in some cases), or a combination of both.
- Performance of contractual obligations: This can involve the plaintiff presenting evidence of their compliance with the terms, such as the delivery of goods or services, payment of agreed-upon amounts, or meeting specific deadlines.
- Breach of contract: Evidence that the defendant (breaching party) has failed to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the contract.
- Damages: Evidence of the actual damages suffered due to the breach—for example, financial records, invoices, contracts, correspondence, or expert testimony to support the calculation of the claimed damages.
It is crucial to gather and present all relevant documentary evidence, such as contracts, invoices, emails, receipts, and any other communications or records, to substantiate the claim. In addition, witnesses who can testify to the terms of the contract, the breach, or the resulting damages may also be valuable.