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What are the elements of a breach of contract?

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2020 | Business Law And Litigation |

Contracts can be implied or documented

Many businesses in Texas operate on contracts. These can be both implied or documented, but most implied contracts are very general in nature. Contracts that are designed with specific wording spell out the responsibilities of all the involved parties. If someone fails in their responsibilities, this could lead to a breach of contract legal dispute. While some of these disputes make their way to court, many do not. Instead, they are often settled through mediation or arbitration rather than litigation.

Has your situation met these standards?

Contracts typically run for a stated term and expire at the end. However, this does not mean that all parties fulfilled their obligations by the end date. Many contracts are actually ongoing agreements that are routinely renewed, but problems can still arise when conditions change for either contracted party. There are four criteria that must be met if a dispute actually goes to court. Those conditions are:

  • Contract must be a binding and enforceable
  • Plaintiff must have fulfilled all contractual duties
  • Respondent must be notified of potential breach
  • Plaintiff must take steps to settle the dispute beforehand

Breaches must fall into three distinct categories for a valid claim. The breach can be either partial, material or anticipatory. A material breach generally alleviates the plaintiff from fulfilling their responsibilities in an agreement, but this may not apply in a partial breach. Anticipatory breaches, which are more evasive and difficult to prove, are relatively rare.

A lawyer can help resolve the issue

Depending on the type of breach, an experienced small business disputes Texas litigation lawyer could craft a defense based on either fraud, duress, undue influence or a basic mistake. While some disputes are mere mistakes and rectifiable, others contain more toxic material elements by the plaintiff that must be defended specifically.