The contract is the fundamental agreement that businesses of all sizes rely on in how they conduct their daily operations. Contracts are legal sources of the fundamental responsibilities of multiple parties in enormously important business decisions.
When one party fails to live up to its obligations of such a contract, the action (or inaction) may constitute a breach. Parties aggrieved by these breaches can suffer significant financial harm because of the offending party’s violation of the terms of the contract.
Breach of contract claims can become enormously complicated legal disputes for companies to handle, which is why it is always in the best of interest of any business of any size to immediately retain legal counsel when it believes it has a breach of contract dispute.
Elements of a Breach of Contract Claim
Virtually all breach of contract actions will require a plaintiff to prove four things:
- Valid Contract — the contract must be a valid agreement between the two parties according to state law. In California, an agreement is generally deemed to be a contract when it involves both parties agreeing to the same identified terms and something of value is being exchanged between the parties.
- Breach — the defendant did something that violated the terms of the contract. The defendant may have done something expressly prohibited the contract or failed to perform a certain action required by the contract.
- Harm — the plaintiff needs to show that he, she, or it suffered some kind of loss. In most cases, this is a specific monetary amount. Breaches can be material or immaterial (also known as minor breaches).
- Causation — the defendant’s breach needs to be a substantial cause of the plaintiff’s loss.
Breach of Contract Resolutions in California
Legal disputes relating to breach of contract claims can become immediately complicated by certain provisions of the contracts in question. For example, some contracts contain forum selection clauses—contract language that typically establishes that any dispute must be resolved through a specifically designated forum.
Even when one party is allowed to pursue a breach of contract claim in a California civil court, the types of damages that may be awarded can also be very complicated. Depending on numerous factors, a plaintiff could be awarded compensatory, liquidated, or punitive damages. Courts can also order defendants to pay restitution. Some cases may involve other equitable remedies.
Find a Business Litigation Attorney in California
Do you think that another party breached a legal contract it had with you or your company in California? You will want to contact the Leiva Law Firm as soon as possible.
Canoga Park business litigation lawyer Marlene Leiva has more than a quarter-century of experience practicing law in the greater Los Angeles area. Our firm can assist you in any civil litigation or arbitration matters, and we will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most desirable possible solution to your particular case.
Call 818-519-4465 today to take advantage of a free consultation that will let Leiva Law Firm review your case and answer all of your legal questions.