What to Do if a Contract is Breached

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What to Do if a Contract is Breached

While contracts are a necessary part of doing business, there are times when parties simply do not live up to their responsibilities under a legally binding agreement. Customers may fail to pay for goods or services that they purchased, vendors could fail to deliver the supplies they promised, or another business may fail to share the profits it agreed to share in a joint venture. Or perhaps a business associate or partner has accused you of breaching the term of a contract in some way. Whatever the case may be, breach of contract cases can be complex and, particularly where a lot of money is at stake, they may end up in court for resolution.

If you have entered into a contract with another party, and you believe that the other party has failed to comply with its terms, you may have a claim. There are different forms of relief. You might sue for the damages caused by the breach. You can ask the court for specific performance, which is an order for the other side to perform the contract. Or you may decide that now that the contract has been breached, it makes no sense to continue, and you just want to rescind it and move on.

On the other hand, if another party to a contract claims that you have breached in some way, there are potential legal defenses. Perhaps the breach was immaterial or caused no damages. Or maybe the other side waited so long to complain so that, even though you could have made it right, it is now too late. In short, it is very possible that there is a valid legal defense to the claim against you.

Whether you are plaintiff or defendant, under Arizona law, the prevailing party in a breach of contract claim is entitled to recover their attorney fees from the other side.

If another’s breach has harmed your business, or if you have been accused of breaching a contract, it is very important to contact an experienced business litigation attorney right away. It is important to know, early on, whether there was a breach, whether the breach was material or minor, what options are available to enforce the contract provision, and whether there are any defenses. Even pre-lawsuit, it is important to get legal advice before responding to threats or accusations, or before you decide whether to file a lawsuit. What you do before a lawsuit is filed is critical to its outcome.

No two breach of contract cases are the same. When contract disputes arise, you need experienced legal representation and advice. Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., is a law firm focusing on contract disputes and business divorce. Contact us at (602) 256-9400 and schedule a time to meet with us today.

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