Often, contract disputes occur because the contract language did not anticipate and answer all the possible questions that could reasonably arise. If the contract terms are not clear, there is a greater likelihood of misunderstanding or misinterpretation. However, there are other situations in which one or both parties fail to live up to certain terms of the contract. If you find yourself in a contract dispute, you should consult an attorney. Bergen County contract litigation lawyer Howard Leopold has the skill and experience to assist you.Contract Disputes
Contracts are written or oral agreements between two parties that are legally binding. Certain contracts, such as contracts involving the sale of land, contracts involving the sale of goods worth over $500, and contracts that would be impossible to satisfy within a year’s time, are contracts that may only be enforced when they are in writing.
Breach of contract is a common type of contract dispute. Breaches can be anticipatory or actual. A breach of a contract also can occur if one party makes it impossible for the other party to perform its obligations under the contract. In other situations, a third party interferes with one of the contracting parties’ prospective economic advantage, and in this case, damages also may be available.Breach of Contract
Breaches of contracts may be material or immaterial. Material breaches are major breaches. They tend to go to the heart of the contract, and if they occur, the agreement may be broken beyond repair. The court will examine whether the breach was an innocent mistake or not, as well as the extent of the plaintiff’s damages. It will also examine how large a problem it will pose to the breaching party if the court rules that the breach was material rather than immaterial. Remedies can include returning payments that were made to satisfy the contract, canceling the contract, and issuing monetary damages. A contract litigation attorney can advise Bergen County clients on the scope of the remedies available to them.
An anticipatory breach occurs when a party shows an unwillingness or incapacity to satisfy contract terms prior to the deadline set forth in the contract. To show an anticipatory breach, the plaintiff will need to show that the breaching party indicated that they do not intend to satisfy the contract terms or that there is no way for them to satisfy the terms. Actual breaches require you to show that there was a breach that already occurred.Damages for Breach of Contract
Damages that you may be able to recover if you can establish a breach of a contract include restitution, liquidated damages, expectation damages, and compensatory damages. Liquidated damages are pre-determined damages to which the parties agreed in case of a breach. Restitution is an equitable award to stop a breaching party from getting a windfall because of their breach. Expectation damages are damages meant to cover what the non-breaching party expected to get from the contract. Compensatory damages are meant to reimburse the injured party for losses that were reasonably foreseeable. A Bergen County contract litigation attorney can help you pursue any of these types of damages. The main purpose when awarding damages is to place a non-breaching party in the same position in which it would have been had the contract been performed.Tortious Interference with a Contract
Sometimes a third party interferes with a contract. The distinction between tortious interference with a contract and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage is the existence of an enforceable contract. To prove a claim for tortious interference with a contract, a plaintiff needs to prove actual and intentional interference with a contract by a defendant that was not a party to the contract, a lack of justification for the interference, and damages.
To establish tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, the court needs to consider protectable interest, malice, the likelihood that the interference caused the loss of a prospective gain, and damages.Discuss Your Situation with a Bergen County Attorney
Contract disputes can be time-consuming and expensive. It is important to retain a contract litigation lawyer in Bergen County who can keep your best interests in mind and strategize a strong approach to a dispute. At Leopold Law, LLC, we possess more than 30 years’ experience handling many different kinds of legal matters. Call us at 201-345-5907 or complete our online form. Mr. Leopold represents clients throughout Northern New Jersey, including in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex Counties.