Contracts are vital to the day-to-day operation of businesses. The contract terms dictate how and when a company gets paid and define the obligations and expectations of a business’s relationship with its employees, customers, and suppliers. Contract disputes are bound to happen even when businesses use well-drafted contracts and engage in good business practices.
At Woods Lonergan PLLC, our Manhattan-based attorneys have successfully represented many clients in contract disputes in New York City and statewide. Our attorneys will attempt to negotiate a satisfactory settlement for our client when possible. When negotiation is impossible, and it’s in our client’s interests, we will tenaciously protect their rights through trial and the appeals process, as necessary. Contact Woods Lonergan to schedule an initial consultation.
When Does a Breach of Contract Occur?
The majority of contract disputes involve a breach of contract claim. Contracts that are incomplete or unclear can lead to preventable disputes. Each party interprets the contract’s language differently, typically for its benefit. As a result, one party fails to fulfill its obligations under the contract.
There are four types of contract breach recognized by the law: minor breach, material breach, actual breach, and anticipatory breach. A material breach happens when one party ends with something significantly different from what the contract specified. For example, if a business hired a graphic design firm to create a website for selling used books, and the designer created a website for selling candles. The type of contract breach will determine what remedies are available for the non-breaching party. When a material breach occurs, the non-breaching party is no longer legally obligated to perform its end of the deal and can pursue remedies.
A dispute can arise anytime one business doesn’t uphold its end of the agreement. Contract disputes frequently involve specific deadlines, deliverables, the amount of items in question, and any other standards that pertain to understanding the contract. When businesses are involved in a breach of contract claim, determining appropriate remedies can be complicated, making it essential that you work with an experienced attorney. At Woods Lonergan, we will pursue all available remedies, making compensation a priority if your business reputation or output has been injured.
Partnership Contract Disputes
Partnership disputes are another common type of contract dispute. When partners disagree on what is in their company’s best interest, disputes can arise. In some cases, partners never drafted and signed a formal contract agreement, making resolving the dispute more complicated. Partnership disputes can also include:
- Breach of contract
- One partner reveals confidential business information
- Financial management disputes
- Ownership rights dispute
- Shareholder disputes
- Disputes related to a partner exiting the partnership
- Real estate disputes
Partnership disputes do not need to end your partnership if you want to maintain it. The attorneys at Woods Lonergan can help you take steps to resolve the issues you’re facing. Perhaps you and your partner can agree to mediation with a neutral third party. Doing so would allow you to keep the dispute private and help you brainstorm creative solutions. In other cases, dissolving the partnership does become necessary and our attorneys can help you legally dissolve it while protecting your rights. If a contract dispute has occurred, we can advise you of and pursue all available remedies.
Many disputes involve some type of disagreement between an employee and the employer. Disputes may arise over the terms of an employment contract that an employee signed. In other cases, a business may have asked an employee to sign a non-compete agreement at the beginning of his or her employment, or as part of a severance package.
A non-compete agreement requires the employee to refrain from competing against the employer by engaging in similar business practices in a specific geographical area within a set period of time. When non-compete agreements are too broad, the court may deem them unenforceable. If your company needs to terminate employment, it’s possible that a disgruntled employee will claim that the non-compete agreement wasn’t clear. Working with an attorney to create an airtight defense can help you resolve the issue quickly.
Customers or Client Disputes
Customer service is a priority for any business. It’s essential to settle agreements with customers and clients out of court. Businesses value privacy when resolving disputes with clients to protect the business’s reputation. When an out-of-court settlement can’t be achieved, the business may need to defend itself in court. The attorneys at Woods Lonergan will work to prevent the dispute from escalating.
We Offer Our Clients Timely Solutions to Contract Disputes
Every contact dispute is unique and requires a customized legal strategy using the facts of the case. At Woods Lonergan, we approach each case individually. We also understand that businesses need to avoid costly litigation when possible. Our attorneys take a business-minded legal approach to representing clients in contract disputes. We also understand that contract interpretation is critical.
Misrepresentation of contracts is often at the heart of contract disputes. The party that allegedly engaged in a breach of contract may have misunderstood or misread its rights and obligations. Sometimes we can help our clients preserve a valuable business relationship by resolving the misunderstanding and remedying the breach.
In other cases, the party who breached the contract may have failed to fulfill its obligations under the contract. They may have failed to deliver materials or products, failed to pay you on time, or been unable to complete work to the required standard. Our attorneys will work with clients to pursue a timely solution in these cases. Our trial-ready attorneys are prepared to take a case to trial if it cannot be resolved.
Discuss Your Case With an NYC Contract Dispute Attorney Today
If your business is facing a contract dispute, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Woods Lonergan can help you resolve your issue as quickly as possible while working to prevent unnecessary expenses and costs. We can help you navigate your case while protecting your interests and assets. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about our commercial legal services.