A contract plays a pivotal role in avoiding conflict, whether it’s between a landlord and tenant or two business partners. Therefore, when a contract is breached, a dispute is bound to arise. However, that dispute does not necessarily have to escalate to a lawsuit, and it certainly does not have to leave you without a remedy for the problem.
With these three steps and help from an experienced contract dispute attorney in Miami, a resolution can be within reach.
1. Review the Agreement
Before you can remedy a breach of contract, you must first determine whether a breach has actually occurred. Review the contract carefully, looking for evidence that one of these four breaches occurred:
- Minor breach: Occurs when the other party has fulfilled some of the contractual obligations, but not all of them.
- Material breach: Occurs when the other party’s breach is so significant that it invalidates the contract.
- Fundamental breach: Occurs when the other party refuses to perform the contractual obligations.
- Anticipatory breach: Occurs when the other party expresses an intention to break the contract.
2. Address the Breach
Once you have confirmed that a breach did in fact occur, you need to discuss it. First, you should discuss the contract dispute with a contract dispute attorney in Miami, who can best advise you of the next steps. Depending on the situation, there may be informal actions you or your attorney can take with the other party to resolve the issue. For instance, your lawyer might bring the breach to the individual’s attention by sending a “Before Action” letter, which outlines the issue and advises that legal action will be taken if the stipulations noted are not met. At this point, the other party might opt to remedy the issue by perform his or her contractual obligations, offering damages to avoid a lawsuit, or canceling it altogether.
3. Weigh Options for Resolutions
If initial attempts to resolve the dispute prove to be ineffective, your next step is to explore alternative dispute resolution methods. These are short of a formal contract, but can still be an excellent means of bringing the matter to a close. These alternatives include:
- Negotiations, which can go through attorneys or the individuals involved
- Mediation, in which negotiations are overseen by a third-party
- Arbitration, in which one or several third-party individuals (often with industry-related knowledge) hear both sides and pass a binding judgment
If these are not viable options, or they too prove to be ineffective, the next step is to sue the other individual. Your attorney can advise you of whether this option is practical or not.
Are you facing a dispute over a contract? If so, you do not have to face it alone. Contact our office today to speak with a member of our team about your legal options for seeking justice. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants in contract disputes, and can assist you whether you’ve been wronged by the other party, or wrongfully accused.