Contract Disputes Attorney in Elizabethtown, Kentucky
No matter how careful you think you are when running your business, you may eventually face a contract dispute that requires legal representation. Dealing with such disputes can be a frustrating, time-consuming ordeal. At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, we know that your time is better spent running your business than trying to resolve a contract dispute.
That’s where our firm comes in. As an experienced business law attorney in Elizabethtown, I am committed to helping you protect your bottom line and pursue the most favorable resolution to your dispute. My team and I have earned a reputation for providing clients with zealous representation and innovative solutions.
With a law office in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, I proudly serve clients in the surrounding areas, including Louisville, Radcliff, Bardstown, Hodgenville, Shepherdsville, Brandenburg, as well as the counties of Nelson, Jefferson, Meade, Hart, Hardin, LaRue, Bullitt, and others. Set up a one-on-one consultation when you’re ready to get started.
Common Causes of Contract Disputes
There are many reasons why contract disputes occur. The most common ones include:
Breach of contract. In the majority of cases, a contract dispute occurs when one party breaches the terms outlined in the contract or when one party believes that the other failed to fulfill its contractual obligations.
The contract was poorly written. When a contract contains ambiguous language, does not clearly outline the rights and obligations of the parties, or is otherwise poorly written, contract disputes are almost always inevitable.
Lack of understanding or misinterpretation. Most contracts are written in legalese, which can be difficult to understand for a layperson. This could result in misinterpretation of the contract terms.
All of these disputes can be avoided if parties seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney when reviewing, drafting, and negotiating contracts prior to signing any papers. This approach can help save time and money in the long run and preserve business relationships.
Elements of a Breach of Contract
Contracts can be written and oral. While oral contracts may be acceptable under certain circumstances, in most cases, any agreements between contractual parties must be put in writing to be enforceable and legally binding. In fact, the existence of a valid contract is one of the key elements of a breach of contract claim. Overall, there are four elements that typically must be established to prevail in a breach of contract case:
The existence of a valid contract between the parties;
The plaintiff (the party filing a claim) performed as specified in the contract;
The defendant (the party accused of the breach) failed to perform as specified in the contract; and
The plaintiff suffered actual damages due to the alleged breach of contract.
In response to the plaintiff’s allegations, the defendant can raise various defenses, including:
The contract is not legally binding
The defendant warned the plaintiff that they were not going to fulfill their contractual obligations
The defendant has a valid excuse for non-performance
The contract was revoked before the breach occurred
The contract is poorly written and contains ambiguous language
The contract is invalid because it contains illegal provisions
The defendant was forced or coerced into entering the contract by duress or fraud
There may be other defenses available to the defendant in a breach of contract case depending on their unique situation. If you are being accused of or sued for allegedly breaching a contract, contact an attorney to discuss your options.
Contract Dispute Resolution Options
Going to court, while always an option, is not the only way to resolve contract disputes. In fact, litigation should usually be left as a last resort, considering that it can be a more adversarial, expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable alternative to other dispute resolution options. Common alternatives to litigation when resolving contract disputes are:
Mediation. Mediation involves a neutral, third-party mediator who assists the contractual parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the mediator’s role is to guide the parties toward their own resolution as opposed to making a decision for them (as a judge would in litigation).
Arbitration. While arbitration is another common alternative to litigation, it is more formal than mediation. Unlike mediators, arbitrators have the authority to make decisions about the dispute at hand and their decision is final and legally binding.
Negotiation. In some cases, the parties may be able to resolve their contract dispute without the need for mediation, arbitration, or other dispute resolution methods. The parties may attempt to negotiate with the help of attorneys on each side. However, negotiation may not be a viable option if there are imbalance in bargaining power, a lack of trust between the parties, or the adversity between the parties is too strong to overcome.
The longer your dispute with the other party goes on, the less likely you and the other party are to resolve the dispute amicably without court intervention. Consider contacting a contract dispute attorney the moment you notice that “friction” points during the business relationship start piling up—and preferably before a disagreement turns into a full-fledged conflict.
Whether you need help seeking remedies in a contract dispute or require a defense against breach of contract allegations, I’m ready to stand in your corner. At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, I offer effective advocacy and diligent representation for business owners, contractors, and individuals in Elizabethtown and surrounding areas in Kentucky. Reach out to us to set up a free meeting.