Houston Business Litigation Lawyers
Breach of Contract
In the spirit of doing business and making a profit, businesses often rush into agreements which ultimately lead to genuine disputes regarding the “deal.” In many instances, contracts are often drafted without consultation from an attorney, which can lead to improper or unenforceable provisions. Sometimes, the parties believed that it had bargained for something different than what is articulated in the actual contract. Sometimes one or more parties in a contract intentionally or unintentionally violate or fail to fulfill the terms of the contract. When this happens, it can bring business to a screeching halt. When your business is in jeopardy because someone is in breach of a contract, you need answers fast and need a resolution even faster. Our firm can help with both.
What Is Legally Considered A Contract?
In the state of Texas, a contract exists if the following elements are present: (1) an offer (2) an acceptance (3) a meeting of the minds (4) a communication that each party has consented to the terms of the agreement; and (5) execution and delivery of the contract with an intent that it become mutual and binding on both parties. Within each of these elements, there are various questions that must be considered to determine the validity of the contract. Indeed, because of the various elements necessary to establish a binding contract, disputes over the terms of a contract are almost guaranteed to arise.
Under Texas law, contracts can be verbal rather than written out, but there are a few exceptions. The law requires the following contracts to be written out:
- Sales of securities, including stocks
- Marriage certificates
- Leases for real estate for terms longer than one year
- Contracts for selling real estate
- Contracts for selling goods over $500
- Contracts to assume the duty of another
Why Breaches of Contract Happen
The elements of a breach of contract claim are: 1) existence of a valid contract; 2) performance or tendered performance by the plaintiff; 3) material breach by the defendant; and 4) damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of that breach. Not all breaches of contract are intentional. In fact, most breaches occur when one party is simply unable to perform its contractual obligation in a timely or cost-effective manner. A party may have provided a bid to deliver a product on a specific date but, do to certain unanticipated circumstances, meeting that deadline becomes impossible. Sometimes, breaches occur because one party is economically unable to fulfill the contract, but other times breaches occur due to genuine business dispute over what the contract actually requires. Regardless of the underlying circumstances leading to a breach of contract, it can lead to emotionally charged situations because time and money is involved.
Resolving Breach of Contract Disputes
For high-stakes contracts, a single missed deliverable or delay could bring a business toppling down without the means to rectify the breach. In such circumstances, it is important that your breach of contract dispute is handled by experienced attorneys able to quickly assess the situation and offer direction to you or your company. Our lawyers are a quick study and can assess the situation and determine the best course of action specific for your ultimate goal.
If you are in a situation in which a breach of contract has occurred or if you know a party is likely in an imminent breach of your agreement, the business attorneys at Walston Bowlin can help. Our attorneys are headquartered in Houston, Texas but have nationwide experience with over 30 years of combined expertise and can fight to protect your best interests. We also offer creative fee agreements to best suit our clients’ needs. Don’t wait to talk to one of our experienced lawyers about your breach of contract dispute and call us today. Seeking legal advice as early as possible in such situations could affect the ultimate outcome of your case.