Just got served with a summons and complaint or a demand letter? Is there someone alleging that you breached a contract with them? Have no fear, Fry Law Corporation is here! For general info, see another blog about responding to a lawsuit in general here.
Contracts are not always as straightforward as they appear. Complying with them is not always as easy as it appears. Genuine contract disputes happen every day. Having a deep knowledge of your rights and obligations will only make your life easier.
First off, contracts can be 1) in writing; 2) oral or verbal; and 3) implied-in-fact by words and/or conduct. Check back later for an entire piece on this as it is complicated!
Once we determine there is a contract, we have to determine if it has been breached. Contracts can also be breached in many ways. Again, we could write an entire piece on breaches.
At this point, let’s presume that there is a contract, and it was breached. Do you have any defenses?
Well, before getting into that, the first way to defend a breach of contract lawsuit is to prove that you did not breach the contract. That is the easy way, just prove that you did not do what they said you did or prove that what you did, is not a breach of the agreement.
Even if you can’t prove that, there are some common defenses to breach of contract lawsuits. Here they are: the agreement lacks consideration (i.e. there was no exchange of anything valuable – option contracts are what come to mind); the contract was entered into by fraud, duress, etc. (if you can prove the agreement was not freely signed); frustration of purpose, impracticability (read more here); mistakes of facts or law (the parties made a mistake or misunderstood something in the contract); statutes of frauds (various contracts, like contracts relating to real estate, must be in writing to be enforceable); illegality (contracts that’s purpose is against the law are not enforceable – i.e. contract to commit criminal act in exchange for money); and, unconscionability (the contract is so one-sided, that the Court cannot enforce it).
Knowing these defenses and how they apply to contracts and the facts and circumstances surrounding a dispute, will help you deal with any claims that you should be liable for breaching a contract.
Call or write today to find out if Fry Law Corporation can help you!