As a business owner, contracts help protect your interests and establish fair terms with partners, employees, outside vendors, and other parties. As a result, a breach of a business contract is a serious matter requiring the assistance of an experienced commercial litigation lawyer.
Attorney Raymond E. Areshenko has extensive experience in business and commercial law cases. Start building your case by calling 775-353-6611. We serve clients in and around Reno - Sparks and throughout Nevada. REA Law also has offices in Sacramento servicing the greater Northern California area. For cases in California, call 916-800-6090.
What Is a Breach of Contract?
Business contracts specify obligations for the parties entering into the agreement, as well as liabilities should the terms of the contract not be upheld. Not all breaches are the same; minor breaches of contract occur in the regular course of business, and can generally be handled without litigation (and, possibly, without legal action).
However, a material breach of contract may require a lawyer’s help to remedy. A material breach represents a significant violation of the contract, nullifying some provisions and potentially undermining the basis of the contract itself.
Sometimes a party violates the contract or specifies that it will not meet the terms of contract by an agreed-upon deadline. This is known as an anticipatory breach of contract.
What to Do after a Breach of Contract
In the case of an anticipatory breach of contract, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible to review the terms of the contract and the potential remedies available. If a material breach of contract has occurred, you should also speak to an attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your rights and minimize the impact on your business operations.
To prove a material breach of contract, your lawyer must be able to demonstrate that:
- The language in the contract is clear
- The violated terms of the contract were agreed to in advance
- The other party failed to meet the obligation(s) specified in the contract
If you’re considering legal action, it is extremely important to consult the terms of the contract before proceeding; some contracts include clauses requiring mandatory arbitration or specifying the type or amount of damages available in the event of a breach of contract. Contact REA Law for a hands-on, informed evaluation of your claim.
Damages in a Breach of Contract Case
Provided the terms of the contract don’t specify the amount or type of damages that can be recovered, you may be eligible for the following damages:
- Compensatory damages: Like most civil claims, the plaintiff is compensated monetarily for losses incurred as a result of the contract being breached. This may include restitution for financial expenditures, as well as expectancy damages stemming from, for example, the loss of projected business associated with the breach of contract.
- Nominal damages: Awarded when no actual financial loss has occurred; typically a very small amount confirming that the court finds that the contract has been breached.
- Punitive damages: Awarded in cases of significant misconduct resulting in a breach of contract. Punitive damages are only available in select instances involving fraud, bad faith, and other extreme bad actions.
During contract negotiations, the parties may agree to a set amount of damages in the event of a breach. Known as liquidated damages, this step can act as a disincentive to breaches of contract on either party’s behalf. In order to be found valid by the court, liquidated damages clauses must be fair and reasonable, and agreed to by both parties in good faith.
Contact a Breach of Contract Lawyer Today
At REA Law, it is our mission to provide you with honest legal advice guided by outstanding experience. Attorney Raymond E. Areshenko has worked extensively in business law, and he can help you with breach of contract cases and other matters.
Call 775-353-6611 for an initial consultation with Mr. Areshenko. REA Law is proud to serve clients in and around Reno, Sparks, and nearby areas of Nevada.