Home > Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer
Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer 2018-05-02T23:58:02+00:00

Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer

Brad Denton of Denton Peterson is a Martindale Hubbell AV Pre-eminent Rated lawyerBrad Denton has 10 5 star reviews on AVVODenton Peterson has 10 5 star reviews and counting on Google maps!Denton Peterson has a 5 star rating on YelpDenton PEterson is an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau, and has an A+ rating

What do I need to know about Breach of Contract Litigation?

Contracts are an essential part of the foundation of our society, whether we like it or not. No matter who you are, we all enter into contracts and we all depend on the ability to uphold our contracts. If you are an individual and have purchased tickets for a movie or concert, you have had a contract with the theater. If you are a small business restaurant owner, you likely have contracts with food suppliers. If you are a corporation, you might have a sophisticated licensing deal for your intellectual property.

Regardless of the size and sophistication, a contract is simply an agreement between two (or more) parties. Each party agrees to perform and carry out the terms and conditions stated in the contract. These agreements are made enforceable through the law. A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill any designated obligations under the contract. Such a breach can occur, depending on the specifics of the contract, when a party fails to perform on time, does not perform in accordance with the terms of the agreement, or does not perform at all. If this happens, then the non-breaching party may file a lawsuit and seek legal relief.

Call Denton Peterson to talk with an experienced Arizona litigation lawyer about your needs.

(480) 325-9900

Here’s a simple example of how these situations play out.

Suppose that you hire a contractor to do a bathroom renovation in your home. The contractor, takes your money, rips out your bathtub, and then promptly takes a month long vacation. Not only has he not done the job you paid him to do, he has left you without a bathtub. You decide to sue under a theory that the contractor broke the contract. You, the plaintiff, must prove all of the following elements to prevail on your claim for breach of contract:

1. A valid contract existed. In order for you to even start a breach of contract suit, you must be able to show that a valid contract existed between you and the other party. If you have a written contract that has been signed by both parties, then this is relatively straightforward. However, if you only had a verbal agreement or some other handshake agreement with the contractor (which may still be valid contracts), you may have a more difficult time proving the existence of an enforceable contract because it is not written down.

2. You performed your obligations. In order to succeed in a breach of contract action, you must be able to show that you held up your end of the bargain under the terms of the contract. In this situation, you paid the money to the contractor. This qualifies as fulfilling your obligations.

3. The other party did not perform their obligations (breach). It seems pretty straightforward that in order to win a breach of contract suit, you must prove that the other party breached the contract, meaning that they did not do what they promised to do. Here, you will need to show that the contractor did not complete the bathroom renovation.

4. Lastly, you must be able to prove you were harmed by the contractor’s breach—these are referred to as your damages. The payment of damages — payment in one form or another — is the most common remedy for a breach of contract. There are many kinds of damages, including the following:

  • Compensatory damages aim to put the non-breaching party in the position that they had been if the breach had not occurred.
  • Punitive damages are payments that the breaching party must make, above and beyond the point that would fully compensate the non-breaching party.
  • Punitive damages are meant to punish a wrongful party for particularly wrongful acts, and are rarely awarded in the business contracts setting.
  • Nominal damages are token damages awarded when a breach occurred, but no actual money loss to the non-breaching party was proven.
  • Liquidated damages are specific damages that were previously identified by the parties in the contract itself, in the event that the contract is breached. Liquidated damages should be a reasonable estimate of actual damages that might result from a breach.

In the case of the vacationing contractor, you may need to hire another contractor in order to complete the job that the first contractor failed to do. This would be a compensatory damage. In addition, if you incurred expenses bathing elsewhere, you would want to show those costs as well. Again, this would be another compensatory damage—a damage to fully compensate you for your out of pocket expenses as a result of the breaching contractor.

Denton Peterson P.C.

Mesa Location
1930 N Arboleda #200
Mesa, AZ 85213
Scottsdale Location
7272 E Indian School Rd #540-132
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Office: 480-325-9919
View Map | Get Directions
Email: service@dentonpeterson.com
Office Hours:
Sometimes damages are inadequate as a legal remedy. If the vacationing contractor were the only one capable of finishing the bathtub, you would want him to come back to work and do the job. If damages are not an adequate legal remedy, the non-breaching party may seek an alternative remedy called specific performance. Specific performance is best described as the breaching party’s court-ordered performance of duty under the contract. Specific performance may be used as a remedy for breach of contract if the subject matter of the agreement is rare or unique, and damages would not be sufficient to place the non-breaching party in as good a position as they would have been had the breach not occurred.

Although you may be able to prove all the elements of your case, it is still not time to head to the courthouse. In the American legal system, many more cases and controversies are settled before court than are those cases that are litigated to conclusion. Often times, the best solution to a problem is to simply sit down with the other side and talk about the problem to see if a resolution can be reached without resulting in court action. Additionally, mediation services have become quite popular and prevalent, and free and low-cost mediation can often be found in major cities. Mediation is a great way to have a neutral, third-party sit in on a conversation and suggest ways that a problem could be solved.

In fact, you may even be required to try mediation or arbitration before heading to court if your contract contains an arbitration clause requiring the parties to attempt to mediate or arbitrate a dispute before filing lawsuits. Similarly, many courts encourage parties in a lawsuit to mediate their differences before setting an actual trial date.

Selecting a Lawyer for Litigation and Lawsuits | Denton Peterson PC
One last thing to consider before filing a breach of contract lawsuit is your ability to collect money from the defendant if you are successful. This might feel like putting the cart before the horse but it will do you no good to win a lawsuit against someone that has no possible way of paying a monetary judgment to you. Being right and having a strong case will not fix your situation or pay your court fees. Courts only have the power to tell you that you are legally entitled to a monetary judgment—you receive a piece of paper at the end of the lawsuit saying that you won and the other side owes you money. This piece of paper is called a “Judgment.” The court will not collect the money for you. If the opposing side is not willing to write you a check, then you have to collect the money through various legal processes. Lawyers can assist you with this process.

To demonstrate a possible solution using our bathroom renovation example, if you obtain a judgment against the contractor and he refuses to pay, you have a number of options. If the contractor is personally responsible for his business, you may be able to garnish his wages or place liens on his property. In addition, if the contractor is licensed, you may be able to get the state licensing board to revoke his contractor’s license until the judgment is satisfied. After considering all possible courses of action to collect, it may or may not be in your best interest to file a lawsuit.

In short, it is definitely recommended to consult with an Arizona business attorney when you are considering breach of contract litigation. Remember that the example of the vacationing contractor was a simple one. There are often complicated issues regarding where you are even allowed to file the lawsuit, or the timing of when you may file the lawsuit. Also, in Arizona under many circumstances, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs associated with litigation that arises out of a breach of contract. Furthermore, contracts are often the basis of valuable, ongoing relationships, and so settling a dispute in a way that’s mutually agreeable to both parties can help preserve the relationship that could potentially benefit both parties in the future. Each case comes with its own unique facts and circumstances and the applicable laws and statutes at play may impact the manner in which you want to proceed with resolving your problem. An experienced attorney can help guide you with a roadmap of the best options available to you.

Contact Us

Please be aware that client attorney confidentiality does not exist
until we have been retained. We value your privacy.

Best Way To Reply:


Highly Recommend!

Tempe
“We have had an ongoing relationship with Brad Denton at Denton Peterson PC for more than seven years. The firm has represented our various companies in all kinds of different areas of business law, contract law, litigation, and so forth.”

5 Star Client Reviews - Denton Peterson PC

Top Notch Team!

Phoenix
“Fantastic law firm. Denton Peterson's legal knowledge and attention to detail really sets them apart as a legal team.”

5 Star Client Reviews - Denton Peterson PC

Related Litigation & Lawsuit Posts By Denton Peterson PC

Winning Your Case Before Trial – Part 2

Winning Your Case Before Trial – Part 2 You have just been sued in federal court and someone has served you with a complaint. The complaint demands that you return and file an answer addressing each of the allegations that ...
Read More
Winning Your Case Before Trial

Winning Your Case Before Trial – Part 1

Winning Your Case Before Trial – Part 1 You have just been sued in federal court by someone serving you with a complaint. The complaint demands that you return and file an answer addressing each of the allegations that have ...
Read More
I FILED A LAWSUIT, BUT NOW I WANT TO DROP IT

I Filed a Lawsuit, But Now I Want to Drop It. . . . Can I Do That? [Voluntary Dismissal of Lawsuits in Arizona]

I Filed a Lawsuit, But Now I Want to Drop It... Can I Do That? (Voluntary Dismissal of Lawsuits in Arizona) At one point you made the decision to file a lawsuit against someone (or a business) that committed a ...
Read More
You have been served - what you should do?

You were served with a lawsuit. What should you do?

You were served with a lawsuit. what should you do? “Being served” is simply the term describing the actual delivery of the lawsuit to you. Did you receive the lawsuit in the mail? Or, was it delivered to you in ...
Read More
Which lawsuits can be determined In federal courts

Which Lawsuits Can Be Determined In Federal Courts?

>Which Lawsuits Can Be Determined In Federal Courts? Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Unlike State courts, which have general jurisdiction and have the power to hear most cases arising under the state or federal law, Federal courts can ...
Read More
Litigation – how does it begin

Litigation how does it begin?

Litigation - how does it begin? Litigation always starts with a dispute. The dispute can take a variety of forms. The dispute could arise from claims of breach of contract, defamation, copyright infringement, quiet title, other torts, and many other ...
Read More
When to litigate and when to settle

When to Litigate and When to Settle

When to Litigate and When to Settle It is well known within the legal world that most cases settle before they ever get to trial. Generally, less than 3% of civil cases reach a trial verdict. So, around 97% of ...
Read More
Should I ask for a jury in my court case

Should I Ask for a Jury in my Court Case?

Should I Ask for a Jury in my Court Case? When it comes to trying your case, there are several critical procedural decisions that you can make to give yourself an advantage. One of those crucial decisions is whether you ...
Read More
helpful tips for depositions in az

Helpful Tips for Depositions

Helpful Tips for Depositions Depositions are often a vital part of a lawsuit as they allow a witness to relay key facts related to the lawsuit. Depositions are a discussion between an attorney(s) and a witness (the deponent) related to ...
Read More
discovery litigation denton peterson

Discovery – what is it?

Discovery – what is it? Litigation involves a phase called “discovery.” During this time, the parties can request and exchange information related to the case. There are several elements of discovery – interrogatories, requests for production of documents or inspection, ...
Read More
Mesa Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer | Chandler Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer | Gilbert Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer | Scottsdale Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer | Phoenix Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer | Tempe Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyer