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Contract Disputes

contract-breachIn any type of business, contracts play a significant role in how parties interact with each other. When contract disputes arise, they can result in significant frustration and negative impact to your company.

While you can take steps to minimize the possibility of contract disputes, the longer you’re in business the more likely they will arise. At some point, a contract dispute may require legal action up to and including litigation.

By understanding the basics of contract disputes, you can take action to protect your business and to respond appropriately should cases involving a contract dispute emerge.

What Laws Apply to Contracts?

Contracts in New York are regulated and enforced by the state. Depending on the type of agreement in question, contracts can fall under two categories of the law:

  • Common law governs most contracts, including leases, work agreements and most general agreements pertaining to business. Common law consists of the body of state laws, which constantly is updated by new legal precedent created in court decisions.
  • The Uniform Commercial Code covers contracts pertaining to the sale of goods. The code comes from a collection of rules governing commercial transactions.

Legally, a contract is created when one party makes an offer and another party accepts the offer. Several types of contracts exist, dependent on the way in which the agreement was created.

For example, an implied contract is created when one party behaves in a way that indicates the intent to enter into a contract even if no paperwork was signed. Conversely, an express contract involves spoken or written language that clearly lays out the stipulations of the agreement.

Avoiding Contract Disputes

The best way to handle contract disputes is to create clear agreements that all parties understand. Ambiguous language is at the heart of many contract conflicts.

As you negotiate with another party, make sure that the terms agreed to are reflected in the written documentation. By having a written record, you can track pricing, time frames and other terms that work for both parties.

Make sure that your contract and other documentation clearly define any technical language or terms specific to your industry. An experienced contracts attorney can assist you in crafting clear agreements that stand up in court.

Having your contract notarized is another important step for avoiding contract disputes. Working with a notary is an effective way to make sure a court recognizes the validity of your contracts.

Notaries are individuals authorized by the government to witness signatures on contracts. By having your documents notarized, you amass proof of the identity of the document signers.

Enforcing Contracts Effectively

If your organization becomes embroiled in a contract dispute, another party may accuse you of failing to uphold the terms of a business agreement — also known as breach of contract.

In the event that you are accused of breach of contract or feel that another party has committed breach of contract against your organization, you may wish to ask a court to enforce the contract. You also may be entitled to recover compensation for financial harm caused to your business by the breach.

By having an attorney draw up or review your contracts, you minimize the risk of contract disputes. Should conflict arise, your attorney can assist you with enforcement, whether through mediation or litigation. To speak to an experienced business contracts attorney, please contact Gertler Law Group, LLC.