CONTRACT DISPUTES

Breach of Contract Disputes

It is not unusual for businesses or business partners to have disputes amongst themselves. Contractual disputes can easily arise when the bargaining position of one company or individual with respect to the other is not equal. Consequently, there is usually a situation where one party takes advantage of the other. Or, one party may misuse its influence, size disparity, or resources to either breach a contract or deceive the other entity. Contract litigation attorneys handle breach of contract disputes for small businesses against larger corporations, as these are often sophisticated breaches and fraud claims. This unequal bargaining issue can also arise among individuals. Professionals such as business entrepreneurs, real estate agents, construction professionals, lawyers, doctors, accountants, and many others may need representation from an attorney when they want to effect a “business divorce.” In a business divorce, splitting assets can be messy and challenging. Parties who are in litigation may have widely differing views on who contributed more to the company, who provided the bulk of the initial and seed funds to begin the business, who ultimately contributed to its growth, and so on.

Breach of Contract vs. Fraud

A breach of contract case is not the same as a case of fraud. In fact, they are very different. Breach of contract is not always accompanied by fraud. In court, a breach of contract by an offending party is not always viewed as a fraud at the inception of the contract. Fraud is essentially a lie that misrepresents one party to another.

Parties in litigation over contract breaches should consider the long-term cost and aggravation of a lawsuit. If these considerations are taken into account, attorneys can usually get the parties to the negotiating table early on in the litigation process. However, depending on the issues at hand, aggressive litigation may be the only way to resolve breach of  contract disputes favorably.

Business Divorce

The laws surrounding business disputes depend mainly on the specific agreements between the parties, to the extent that it complies with the law. Numerous other laws exist that govern business relationships, as well. In a “business divorce,” the court is generally reluctant to dissolve a profitable business. However, courts understand that some parties cannot remain “married” in the business forever. Attorneys can help to bring the opposing parties to the negotiating table through an alternative dispute resolution system. Then, they can work out their differences or divide up the assets. Mediation or binding arbitration usually saves the parties involved tens of thousands of dollars in fees and forgoes a contentious litigation process.

Restructuring

Attorneys can also help a company reorganize of roles and responsibilities. If the parties involved agree that the business is profitable and should keep going, a restructure can take place. This includes restructuring the management of the operations, appropriation of funds, personnel, and more. In some circumstances, restructuring resolves differences. Litigation is typically the last resort. However, there are options to prevent it from being a long, drawn-out, and contentious process, and that’s where a knowledgeable and experienced attorney comes in handy.

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