If you’re facing a breach of contract scenario, you’ll need the right lawyer to handle your case.
Technically, the vast majority of practicing attorneys can handle a breach of contract case, but should they? Contracts can be highly complex documents. You want to have an experienced attorney in this type of proceeding fighting for you and your interests. That’s why you should look for some specific qualifications when looking for an attorney. In this article, ZinnLaw will examine breach of contract cases in Florida.
What does breach of contract mean?
First, let’s discuss what constitutes a breach of contract. A contract is a formal agreement entered into by two parties. It can be written or verbal. If the terms of the contract aren’t upheld by a party, the other party has the option to pursue legal action. Simply put, if one party doesn’t do what they promised to do in the contract, the other party could sue.
There are two types of contract breaches:
- In a material breach, one party does not perform his or her promised action, rendering the contract irreparable. The affected party can sue the party who has breached the contract for damages.
- An immaterial breach or minor breach does not change the terms of the contract. Both parties must fulfill the terms of the contract after a minor breach occurs, but the party who has not breached the agreement can sue the other party for damages.
Florida law only recognizes a material breach of a contract. What is a material breach according to Florida Law? To establish a material breach, the party alleged to have breached the contract must have failed to perform a duty that goes to the essence of the contract and is of such significance that it relieves the injured party from further performance of its contractual duties. Material breaches can include:
- A failure to perform the obligations laid out within a contract
- A failure to perform contracted obligations on time,
- Failing to deliver goods or failing to deliver the right goods
- Failing to pay for goods or services
- Divulging proprietary information covered by a confidentiality agreement
- Violation of a non-compete agreement in an employment or business contract
- Misrepresenting the value of collateral used to guarantee the repayment of a loan
That said, breaches of contract aren’t always that clear-cut. A party can still bring suit against the other party even if the terms of the contract are fulfilled. Here’s how. If the terms of the contract weren’t met on time or completed to the contract’s specifications, one party could still be held liable for breach of contract.
Most of the law governing contracts has developed over time, through precedent set by other cases. That’s why it is important to have an experienced contract law attorney, like those at ZinnLaw in your corner if you are dealing with a potential breach of contract.