Contracts are important to have. It’s a big part of doing business today. They help protect each party involved and set forth the expectations and terms that everyone agrees on. Even though contracts exist for specific reasons, sometimes contract disputes can still occur. These disputes can become a legal matter and end up costing both parties financially as well as impacting relationships long term.
If you become involved in a contract dispute, you need to know your rights, be able to protect them, as well as know how to resolve contract disagreements effectively. Let’s look at different kinds of contract disputes and some steps you can take toward a solution.
Contract Disputes Explained
Contract disputes can often occur because of simple misunderstandings or a lack of understanding of the terms of the contract in the first place. If one party does not live up to their obligations, a contract dispute can quickly arise.
There are all kinds of contracts that are agreed upon (and disputed) every day. Contracts can be arranged between businesses, individuals, or other types of organizations. When one party fails to do their expected part of the contract, then consequences will likely follow.
Different Types of Contract Disputes
- Misunderstandings – If the contract does not explain or describe certain parts very well, there can be disagreements or misunderstandings of what the text really means. Vague writing can mean trouble down the road. Usually, an attorney can help avoid these misunderstandings simply as a third party reading the contract as an outsider. When misunderstandings happen, the intent of the contract is thoroughly examined to help come to a resolution.
- Misrepresentation – When one party misrepresents something in order to convince the other party to agree to the contract, this is called misrepresentation. The misrepresentation doesn’t always have to be on purpose or intentional misrepresentation, but if there was a false representation that influenced the other party to enter the contract with them, there could be a big problem. In these cases, the party that made the false statement could be held liable for fraud or other legal charges, as well as termination of the contract.
- Breach of contract – When one party does not fulfill their part of the contract, there is a breach of contract. Maybe someone doesn’t pay for something they received, or payment could have been made and then the goods not received. There are many ways that someone can fail to meet their contractual obligations. The other party of course can seek to terminate the contract as well as seek compensation for damages.
- Unreasonableness – If one party of the contract claims they were under pressure to sign the contract or were forced in some way to sign before wholly understanding the contract terms, this would be considered unreasonable.
Things to Do Before Moving Forward with Legal Resolution
There are a few important steps you should take before you start the process of contract dispute resolution. These steps can save you time and money and make it more likely that a resolution can be met.
Thoroughly review the contract – By reviewing the contract, you can get a complete picture and understanding of each party’s requirements and agreements within the contract. While the contract is reviewed, specific parts can be pointed out for potential dispute topics to prepare each party for upcoming arguments.
Isolate the main cause of the disagreement – Understanding the main problem and cause of the disagreement can help parties discover possible solutions. It can also help parties avoid making the same mistakes later on, which may have caused the disagreement in the first place.
Gather evidence – Gathering relevant evidence is key in establishing your legal position during negotiations and possibly in court. Prove your position by making careful documentation of your case, every step of the way.
Seek legal counsel – Consulting with qualified legal counsel experienced in contract resolution can make all the difference in the world. They will be able to study the contract, pick out important points for your case, and offer possible solutions. Helping you navigate the complex negotiation or lawsuit process so that you are protected and well represented.
The legal team of Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. are veterans in contract disputes and resolutions. Therefore, you can be confident that they will support and help you reach your desired outcome.
5 Tips for Successful Resolution
- Keep communication open – Listening to the other party instead of just jumping to your own assumptions may help you find common ground and make it possible to come together to resolve issues.
- Keep your eye on the target – Don’t forget your goal during the dispute and resolution process. Keep thinking about the outcome you desire and stay focused on it. Do your best to keep emotions out of it to stay on track and move forward.
- Be organized and prepared to support your argument – Have your evidence gathered and ready and educate yourself on your legal options to make the best decisions.
- Be ready to compromise a bit – Getting your way on every point of contract disputes and negotiations is not always possible. Be ready with ideas on how and where you’re willing to compromise so that you can reach an agreement.
- Consider a mediator to help – Sometimes, it’s too hard to resolve contract disputes on your own or even with legal counsel’s help. Consider involving a mediator to help bring an impartial view and help aid communication.
Experienced Contract Dispute Lawyers
We’d like to think that once a contract is signed, all matters are agreed upon and in order. It doesn’t always happen that way, though. If you find yourself in the midst of a contract dispute, Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. can help make sure that you know your rights and that those rights are protected. Give our team a call at (504) 522-2304 to set up a free consultation today.