Contract Disputes

Contract Disputes

A contract is any agreement between two or more people. This can be something as common as a vehicle purchase to more complicated matters such as insurance or business purchase agreements.

In order for a contract to exist, there must be an offer, acceptance, and consideration. An offer can be as simple as: I would like to buy your car for $5,000.00. When the other person says or signals I accept, the first two steps of the contract are complete. The final step (consideration) is what each party must give up as part of the agreement. In this case, the purchaser gives up $5,000.00 and the seller gives up the car. Consideration can be a tangible item like money or property, or consideration can be a promise to do or pay something in the future. Because the law requires that a contract must have consideration to be enforceable, courts will not enforce completely one-sided agreements.

Many people are not aware the contracts can be verbal (oral) or written. Because verbal (oral) agreements are more subject to dispute and disagreement than written agreements, a doctrine known as the Statute of Frauds protects both parties by requiring certain contracts to be in writing. For example, if a contract deals with the purchase or sale of real estate, or the terms of the agreement cannot be performed within one year, the Statute of Frauds requires that the agreement must be in writing in order to be enforceable. If you are entering into a verbal agreement with another party, you must make sure that your agreement is not subject to the Statute of Frauds. If it is and you don't have a written agreement, the contract will not be enforceable.

For every agreement, there are many ways in which the agreement can be compromised or threatened. If you have a contract dispute, one of the methods to resolve the dispute is litigation (a lawsuit). However, depending on how the contract was written, there may be other options as well which may include arbitration and/or mediation.

Too many times businesses will write their own contract. This may work for years before there is ever a problem. However, once a problem arises, the situation is typically much more difficult. At Owens and Perkins we strongly encourage each of our business clients to have their contracts reviewed by an Attorney. These contracts are the foundation and key to the success of your business. Learning about the defects in your company's contracts after a dispute arises is really too late.

If you are interested in contacting Owens and Perkins about drafting, reviewing or revising a contract or obtaining representation to resolve a Contract Dispute, click here.

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