Breach of Contract

Atlanta Breach of Contract Attorney

Breach of Contract Litigation in Atlanta

Business contracts are binding and should never be breached without consequences. At Buckley Beal, the best interests of our clients and their businesses are our main concern. Our Atlanta contract breach lawyers are prepared to review a contract and help a business partner, employer or employee fight for their rights under that contract. Many breaches of contract are the result of negligence or ignorance, while others are intentional violations of the contract. No matter what the motive was behind the violation, an Atlanta business attorney from our firm can help you establish the intention of the contract and prove that the other party violated those terms.

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Examples of Actionable Contract Breach

Any kind of business contract can be breached. Buckley Beal can investigate your case and gather evidence to present a strong case and obtain the results you need. We can recover financial damages suffered due to a breached contract. Our team can also seek to enforce a specific performance that the contract requires, but was not performed by the other party.

Types of contracts that we can handle include, but are not limited to:

  • Business sales and merger agreements
  • Construction contracts
  • Franchise agreements
  • Investment and capital agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Lease agreements
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Real estate contracts
  • Supply contracts
  • Trade secrets
  • Vendor agreements

The Elements of a Breach of Contract

While it is ultimately left up to the courts to determine whether a breach of contract occurred, as well as the type of breach in question, generally speaking, there are three main elements that a plaintiff must be able to prove in order to have a successful claim for breach of contract:

  1. Existence of a contract: For a breach to be determined, there must first be a valid contract between the involved parties. This contract does not need to be in writing, though written contracts are often easier to prove. Enforceable contracts have three distinct elements: 1) an “offer” or an intent of the parties to enter into a contract, 2) the acceptance of both parties to the agreement’s essential terms, and 3) proper consideration, or the requirement that each party give and receive something of value. In many cases, one-sided contracts are not enforceable, nor are contracts based on past rendered services.
  2. Breach of the contract’s terms: At least one party must have broken one of the terms of the contract. With that being said, not every term of the contract must be taken literally. Only breaches that detract value from the non-breaching party can be significant enough to warrant a lawsuit.
  3. Damages resulted from the breach: The suing party must be able to show that the other party’s breach caused them to suffer some kind of harm, such as financial losses or lost time. If found to be in breach of contract, the breaching party will generally be required to pay for any expenses incurred due to the violation, as well as paying possible punitive damages if written into the contract. Likewise, the breaching party may be required to complete the terms of the contract, or void the contract and restore the wronged party to the condition they were in before the contract was formed.

Different Forms of Contract Breaches

Despite all of the intricacies involved with creating and upholding a contract, there are only four main and frequently-occurring types of breaches that can trigger a contract dispute. To get a better understanding of your own business dispute, you should know the definition and differences of each type of contract breach.

  1. Partial: Sometimes called a minor breach, a partial breach will only allow the plaintiff (non-breaching party) to sue for actual occurring damages, such as costs related to fixing the issue. If no monetary damage can be determined, the problem does not even constitute a partial breach. Example: Your landscaper plants one type of crabgrass over another. Both types look nearly identical and require the same upkeep. You could attempt to sue for the cost of the material because it is not what you expected but you have not been reasonably inconvenienced by the switch.
  2. Material: An issue noticeable enough to cause both monetary loss through damages and undue hardship, like making work for someone, a material breach is perhaps the most common breach of contract consequence. Example: An auto mechanic installs a third-party part when you were promised genuine manufacturer parts, resulting in your car breaking down. This would constitute a material breach in your contract between yourself and the mechanic because you paid for something you were not given and were inconvenienced further by the inability to use your car.
  3. Fundamental: When someone disregards a contract so significantly that its purpose becomes questionable, a fundamental breach has occurred. If given good reason, the plaintiff can not only sue the breaching party for damages, actual or otherwise, but can also break off the contract. Example: A contractor uses asbestos in your home’s insulation despite it being disallowed in your area. You fall sick due to the dangerous substance before you finish all payment installations to the contractor. You can both stop your payments without committing a breach of contract yourself and file a lawsuit for considerable damages related to the cost and your own health issues.
  4. Anticipatory: If your contract is being mistreated so obviously by the other party that you expect to incur damages soon, you can use an anticipatory breach to expedite the contract breakage. Example: A remodeler is hired to change the flooring in your bathroom and kitchen. Upon completing the bathroom, it is clear that they are inexperienced and have caused damage to the room. You can halt their work before they start on your kitchen, citing an anticipatory breach of contract.
  5. Nonperformance: If a party has failed to fulfill their obligations of the contract, they can be liable for damages caused by their failure to perform.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned examples pertain to small or individual contract breaches. Business litigation is generally concerned about breaches on a larger scale. They can, however, still be sorted into the four main categories in most situations.

How to Take Action After a Breach

Identifying that a breach of contract has occurred is only the first step in the legal processes that are yet to come. You will need to know what to do to address the suspected breach without overstepping your legal boundaries or upsetting a potentially innocent party or business partner. At Buckley Beal, we treat our clients like friends and family, always with a pleasant, open demeanor, but when it comes to business lawsuits or negotiations, you can depend on us to represent you with the utmost professionalism. It is our goal to be able to see you to a beneficial and fast conclusion to your breach of contract dispute without unnecessarily damaging the professional relationships you and your company have worked so hard to establish.

There are four main steps necessary to take legal action against a breach of contract:

  1. Collection: Gather as much relevant information as you can about the potential breach of contract. You will obviously want the original contract but also any amendments or changes and other documentation that could be interpreted as having the power to alter the contract’s terms. For example, if you are having a dispute with an employee over their employment contract, you should also prepare their employment history and personnel file.
  2. Counsel: Before you accuse any one of breaching a business contract, you should always seek professional counsel first. With the assistance and guidance of our Atlanta business litigation attorneys, you can ensure that you say the right things to the right people without worrying about whether or not you have legal grounds to do so.
  3. Discussion: Many breaches of contracts are not done with the intent to permanently severe your business propositions. Allow us to discuss possible resolutions and fixes with the legal counsel of the opposing party. We may be able to resolve the breach without needing to escalate the matter any further.
  4. Litigation: If negotiations and mediation in a conference room do not work, you should expect courtroom litigation to come next. Rather than worrying about the strength of your case, let us be your legal advocates and act on your behalf.

Hire a Business Attorney in Atlanta, GA – Call Us at (404) 471-3725

Buckley Beal is dedicated to providing exceptional representation and personal commitment to each client. We truly care for each of our clients and go out of our way to maximize the results of their case. Whether you need financial compensation or enforcement of an action for a contract breach, our Atlanta business lawyers can help.

The legal team at Buckley Beal shares more than 85 years of combined experience, including recognition by Georgia Super Lawyers® and an AV Preeminent® Rating with Martindale-Hubbell®.

Contact us at your earliest convenience.

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