Breach of Contract Attorney Alexandria VA
Disputes & Violations
Did you breach a contract? Society is built upon contracts. You may not realize, but every time you step outside your house you create contracts every step of your daily routine. When you buy your coffee, that’s a contract. When you go to work, you are preforming a contract. When you get a new client at work, you are entering a contract on behalf of your employer. When you get gas, get groceries, pay bills, it’s all contracts. Not all of these contracts require lengthy legal writings with signatures on them. Rather, only important contracts need to be several page written documents. All of these contracts however can be breached or violated.
So what happens if you breach a contract or the other party breaches or violates a contract? For most situations, the answer is not to go immediately to court. Litigation is expensive and often diminishes the value of the contract. Furthermore, in most cases you will not receive your money back for court costs and attorney’s fees. The best resolution therefore is negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. Litigation should be a last resort to most contract disputes.
If you are in the middle of a contract dispute, the first thing you should do is to reach out to the other side and see what both of you want. If there is a way for both parties to leave the dispute moderately happy, then they should. If the other side is being unreasonable or difficult, at this stage you should consider hiring an attorney to continue the negotiation process. There is no need to escalate if the matter can be resolved amicably. If you are in the middle of a contract dispute in Virginia please find a lawyer who can help you if you live near Fairfax, Loudon, and Arlington and Prince William counties.
Mediation and Arbitration
If progress is not being made in the dispute process, you should next consider bringing in a neutral third party. The benefit of having someone neutral help you resolve the dispute is that they can tell parties that they are being unreasonable and find middle ground. The difference between mediation and arbitration is that arbitration can be binding and be as strong as a court order. In arbitration, the neutral party has the power to make a final decision that binds all the parties where, in mediation, the third party can only make suggestions.
Litigation should be your last resort as the outcome can be somewhat unpredictable. Some courts reads a contract as if it were a religious text. They do not consider anything outside the contract, just the words in the contract. If you agreed therefore to deliver red goods and you deliver blue goods, then you have breached the contract. The court will consider this a breach and award the other party damages. Other courts will consider the performance of the contract. If you have been delivering blue goods for the past year with no complaint, they will award you damages. Further, some courts will destroy the contract as if it did not exist, consider certain provisions waived, or deem some parts immaterial. In these scenarios, it is often the case that no part gets what they want. It all comes down to the Judge and what arguments persuade him to do what. Therefore, litigation should be your last resort so that all parties can leave happy.