Texas Contract Law Attorney
Protect Your Business with a Team That Handles High-Stakes Situations
Contracts are an integral part of any business; a well-written contract can have a significant impact on the success of your company and help you avoid potential problems. If you are starting up a new business, a contract will help establish and define your business needs and guidelines. If you are in the process of acquiring a new company or need help revising or drafting additional contracts, our Houston business attorneys can help.
Our legal staff has experience in the development of numerous contracts and agreements, including:
- Business sales
- Purchase and sale of goods and services
- Brokerage agreements
- Agency agreements
If you are a small business owner, you may be tempted to copy another company's contracts. However, most companies are better served with legal documents drafted to suit them. In fact, a contract can help you avoid potential lawsuits, employee problems, and other conflicts. To learn more about protecting your interests with a competent contract lawyer, contact our team at Arnold & Itkin for a free, confidential consultation.
Breach of Contract Attorneys in Houston, TX
To understand a breach of contract, you have to understand a contract's parameters. A contract is a legally-binding agreement made between two parties, obligating one or both parties to specific duties. Contracts can be verbal or written. When they are verbal, they are difficult to define. If both parties understand that the contract was binding and a party does not uphold their side of the contract, a breach has taken place. A breach of contract is a legal cause for action taken against a party; if convicted, they will be said to have committed a civil wrong.
There are four main types of contract breaches:
A minor breach is a type of breaking of promise that does not include failure to perform all the duties of the contract. The contract at its very foundation was not broken in whole, but rather in part. This is in direct contrast to a material breach.
This type of breach is so substantial that it nullified the contract in whole. For example, if a business owner paid a contractor to install porcelain sinks in every bathroom, but the contractor did not complete any part of this action, whether by statement or by avoidance, then the business owner can file a breach of contract to either cancel the contract or even sue.
Also called a repudiatory breach, this can warrant termination of contract or suing for damages.
This takes place when the promising party refuses to uphold their side of the contract by the declaration of intent. This happens before the promising party refrains from upholding the contract and instead states that they do not intend to do so.
When individuals are the victim of a breach of contract, they normally don't call it that. They normally call it by what it feels like: a "broken promise," a "failed commitment," a "betrayal." A venue double-books your reservation. A travel agency promises you a certain package, but gives you a lesser one. An employer or business partner robs you of a benefit that you had been promised. You're contractually entitled to payment by a certain date, but the business keeps dodging you. These are all betrayals—and are common examples of breaches of contract.
The Consequences of a Breach of Contract
Failure to fulfill contracts is not just an inconvenience, either. Unscrupulous companies may breach a contract because they believe that you won't pursue litigation, essentially robbing you because they can. Entrepreneurs and homeowners alike can be financially ruined by a breach of contract. People's livelihoods and futures depend on contracts—they're the framework all businesses rely on. The heart of modern life relies on trusting in contracts. If people can't be trusted to keep their word, we all lose.
Pursuing litigation helps people recover what they lost, but our clients also find that it brings them closure. When organizations mistreat us or don't keep their word, it makes us feel powerless and unheard. Holding them accountable gives people their power back, as well as the material losses they suffered. Our goal is to, using legal terminology, "make you whole," to bring your life back to where it was before.
Contract Law FAQ
What are the key elements of a valid contract?
For a contract to be legally binding, it must have certain elements. Because contracts play such an important role in business transactions and operations, you must be certain that your company’s contracts are sound—and protect your interests.
There are five key elements to a valid contract:
- Mutual assent, achieved by a shared understanding of the contract.
- Offer and acceptance, in which both parties communicate their intent to enter a contract.
- Consideration, wherein both parties mutually exchange something of value to make the contract legally binding. Some contracts can be one-sided, however, with one party offering a promise and the other consideration.
- Capacity, which means both parties are of sound mind and are legally able to enter a contract.
- Legal purpose, meaning the contract should be created for a legal reason, not an illegal one. A contract to commit a crime, for example, would not be recognized in a court of law.
As Houston contract law attorneys, we know precisely how to draft, review, and litigate contracts in such a way as to protect our clients’ best interests.
What should I do if I’ve been accused of a breach of contract?
The first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Allegations of a breach of contract are extremely serious and may put you at risk of facing a lawsuit that would demand restitution for the supposed breach. Attempting to defend or explain yourself may only backfire, giving the opposition more ammunition to use against you. Even if you are in the right, you need a legal professional who can develop and present your case in a clear and convincing manner. That’s what our team at Arnold & Itkin does for our clients—and we may be able to do the same for you.
What are some remedies for a breach of contract?
If you were the victim of a breach of contract, various remedies might be available to you. These may come in the form of monetary damages and equitable relief, depending on the type of breach and the losses you’ve experienced. Compensatory damages, punitive damages, and restitution may cover financial losses that you’ve experienced. If monetary damages will not properly remedy the situation, the court may order the at-fault party to do or to refrain from doing something. These equitable remedies may include specific performance, contract performance, or contract rescission (cancellation).
Protection During Disputes & Breaches of Contract
If you want your business to remain strong and insulated from disputes (which almost always come up if you do business for long enough), creating a strong contractual framework is key. Most entrepreneurs and veteran business owners alike see their venture in the long-term; few owners want to build a short-term business.
But the reality is this: most businesses will end due to outside circumstances, and contract litigation is one of the most fatal events a business can suffer. Start-ups and first-time business owners sometimes talk themselves out of getting a contract lawyer during the early days of a major deal to "cut costs." We'll be the first to tell you: there's nothing more costly than having to hire a lawyer because a contract was unenforceable, weak, or non-existent.
Changing Your Business Contract
If you have existing contracts but feel they may need to change to suit the evolving needs of your business, our business attorneys can review the documents in question and provide a thorough evaluation and clear set of recommendations. Our business law attorneys can identify potential problems that are not adequately covered in any contractual documents and help you minimize risks before they create complications down the road. We are experienced and ready to handle all of your business and commercial needs. If you need representation or have questions, we can help provide you with the right recommendations to protect your company.
Talk to a Houston Contract Law Attorney
If you have entered into a legally-binding contract with someone, whether the relationship was business or personal, and the promising party did not uphold their side of the contract, you may be entitled to file a breach of contract claim. These can potentially cause a major detriment to the receiving party that they need compensation for. If you have entered into an agreement with someone and they breached that contract, then seek the help of a firm that deals with commercial litigation. At Arnold & Itkin, we have extensive experience in business litigation cases and know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Contact a Houston business lawyer for a free case evaluation.