What is a Contract Dispute?
A contract dispute occurs when any party in a contract has a disagreement regarding any of the contract terms or definitions. In order for a contract to be valid, there must be a "meeting of the minds." This means that all parties need to have a solid understanding of every contract term, and must be in mutual agreement as to the terms. Without a mutual agreement, the contract is not legally valid and may be contested in court.
What are Some Common Contract Disputes?
Contract formation can often be a lengthy and involved process. There are many steps that need to be fulfilled along the way. In order for a valid contract to be formed, there must be: 1) an offer, 2) an acceptance of the offer, and 3) some form of consideration (or payment) for the goods or services at issue. Contract disputes can during any of these steps.
Some common types of contract disputes may include:
Issues with drafting and revewing a contract
Offer and acceptance disputes
Mistakes and errors concerning the terms of the contract
Disagreements as to the meaning or definition of a technical term
Fraud and coercion—there is no "meeting of the minds" if a person is forced or tricked into signing the contract
Even if a contract is properly formed, there may be disputes as to the performance of contract duties. If a party fails to perform their side of the bargain, it can cause a legal dispute. For example, if a seller fails to deliver goods that were purchased by the buyer, then the buyer my seek various legal remedies for "non-performance" of the sales contract.
What are Some Remedies for Contract Disputes?
Remedies for contract disputes are usually divided into two main options: legal remedies and equitable remedies.
Legal remedies usually involve a monetary damages award paid to the plaintiff for their losses.
Equitable remedies involve the parties taking certain actions to correct the contractual dispute. Examples of these include rewriting the contract to correct errors, or requiring the breaching party to perform their contract duties.
In most cases, the parties will be able to choose between either legal or equitable remedies.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Contract Dispute?
Contract disputes can involve many different legal concepts. These can sometimes be complicated and difficult to understand. You may need to hire a lawyer if you need assistance filing a lawsuit for a contract dispute. Your attorney can represent you in court and can help determine what types of remedies might be available to you under laws.