Atlanta Breach of Contract Attorney
Atlanta business attorney Stacey Carroll is a seasoned trial lawyer who has litigated hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of individuals and businesses alike. He has fought on behalf of companies to enforce contracts disregarded by unscrupulous business partners, as well as defended firms that have been unjustly accused of failing to meet contractual obligations or who have been threatened with unreasonable damages after a business deal has fallen through.
If your company has been wrongfully denied compensation after you have fulfilled or stood ready to fulfill your side of the bargain, you can trust the Carroll Law Firm to zealously pursue the damages you are owed. If you were unable to conduct some tasks associated with a business deal but were justified in your inability or refusal to perform, we are prepared to defend your business against unreasonable damages claims. A seasoned Atlanta breach of contract attorney at the Carroll Law Firm is ready to protect your business interests, your reputation, and your finances across a wide range of breach of contract claims.
Breach of contract is at the heart of many business disputes
A breach of contract is a failure, without a proper legal excuse, to fulfill a legally-enforceable promise. The majority of business litigation stems from some form of breach of contract, whether it is the failure to meet a specific provision in a written agreement or a failure to fulfill a promise that is enforceable even without a written document. We are prepared to handle a wide variety of breach of contract claims, including but not limited to matters involving the following:
- Business sale and merger agreements
- Employment disputes
- Lease agreements
- Partner and shareholder agreement disputes
- Construction contracts
- Trade secrets or other intellectual property claims
- Vendor agreements
- Non-compete agreements
- Real estate contracts
Requirements for a breach of contract claim
All breach of contract claims require some basic elements to be proven. The specifics vary, and there can be a surprising amount of complexity at any particular component, but the essential parts for a breach of contract claim are generally as follows:
- The existence of a contract. This may seem like a simple fact to prove: If there was a clear, written contract, demanding certain responsibilities of each party, then this element is clear. But many cases are hazy on this issue. A contract does not have to be written to be enforceable, depending on the type of obligation involved. Enforceable contracts must include the following elements: (1) an offer or intent of the parties to enter into a contract; (2) an acceptance of the offer, and a general understanding of each party’s obligations by everyone involved; and (3) proper “consideration,” meaning some form of payment owed in exchange for goods or services. One-sided contracts (i.e., a voluntary offer or agreement to do something for free) or an attempt to secure payment for past services are not enforceable.
- Breach of contract terms. To claim breach of contract, at least one party had to have failed to perform some task agreed to under the terms of the contract. A breach can be partial, meaning a failure to perform one element of a broader agreement, or material, meaning a violation so significant and essential to the contract that the entire business arrangement falls apart. Whether a breach is partial or material affects the damages available to claim. Moreover, not every technical violation of the language of the contract merits a breach of contract claim. If a “breach” causes no harm to the other party because, for example, the “breaching” party in essence fulfills the contract terms by other means, then there is no real breach.
- Damages resulting from the breach. As alluded to above, there is no claim for a technical breach of contract if no one was harmed by the breach. The aggrieved party must show that they lost something of value: money, property, reputation, time, etc.
Damages and other remedies in a breach of contract matter
Different states have different legal rules about the damages available in a breach of contract matter, and even within each state, the specifics can change case-by-case and court-by-court. A knowledgeable and savvy legal team is a vital asset in ensuring that you can fully recover after another company fails to honor its promises and harms your business as a result.
Nonbreaching parties can generally seek damages including the following: (a) compensatory damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses or losses incurred as a result of the breach; (b) consequential or incidental damages stemming from the breach, such as lost revenue, income owed under the contract, or other business deals lost as a result of the breach; (c) attorneys’ fees and court costs; and (d) liquidated damages, meaning a set amount or calculation of damages listed in the contract itself to be paid in the event of a breach. Liquidated damages, if enforceable, will generally replace the other available damages. The nonbreaching party must generally prove damages to a degree of relative certainty, rather than speculating. For example, it is much harder to prove lost future profits that are uncertain as opposed to harm actually suffered.
Remedies other than damages are also available: Depending on the circumstances, the nonbreaching party may sue for “specific performance” to force the breaching party to fulfill their side of the bargain — deliver the goods, sell the piece of real estate, etc. Specific performance is generally reserved for situations where money damages are inadequate to fully compensate the harmed party. The party may also be able to sue for “rescission,” meaning they are asking to cancel the contract and their own identified responsibilities as a result of the breach or fraud of the counterparty.
Get the Help You Need From Our Experienced Atlanta Breach of Contract Attorney
If your business has been harmed by a counterparty’s failure to fulfill its contractual obligations, call the Carroll Law Firm at 404-816-4555 to speak with our seasoned and professional Atlanta breach of contract lawyer.