A contract is an agreement enforceable in court. Many contracts need not be in writing to be enforceable, and still others require more than just a writing. While a contract is meant to symbolize a “meeting of the minds,” reducing uncertainty for the foreseeable future, the reality is that we can only ever know our own minds, and even the best-intentioned agreements can go sour. When that happens, the resulting lawsuit is for “breach of contract,” meaning that one dispute party has contravened the contract, and could be liable for damages, liquidated damages, or court sanctions.
A contract dispute tends to get nasty quickly. Neither party to a contract believes they are wrong, and they will often stake everything they have on it. A skilled attorney knows how to try diplomacy first, attempting to settle the matter and restore everyone to good terms without the need for an unyielding “win/lose” decision in court or arbitration. Failing diplomacy, a skilled attorney knows when it’s time to take the fight to the other party. Litigation over contract disputes is one of the oldest forms of legal battles, and the case law on the subject is enormously vast. An attorney must know how to find and apply the case law to your particular set of facts, and to your particular contract. Further, an attorney must know how to distinguish the case law used by the opposition. This is a very volatile area of law.