A contract is a legally-enforceable agreement made between two parties. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or promises of any of those.
Contracts are a common occurrence in our day to day operations, whether it being personal or business. Many individuals and business owners, however, try to avoid hiring an attorney and instead use standard contracts; trusting that these “cookie-cutter” forms will adequately safeguard their rights. Unfortunately, since these forms are not personalized to your particular needs and concerns, they are likely to ignore important parts that may only apply to you.
Our attorneys at Aaronson Law expertly negotiate terms and conditions when drafting custom contracts to meet the specific needs of our clients. We will review and revise proposed contracts drafted by other parties to ensure that your rights and interests are well-protected. By offering you the highest degree of personal attention, we maintain our commitment to the highest quality.
An offer is a promise to act or refrain from acting, which is made in exchange for a return promise to do the same.
Acceptance of an offer is the expression of assent to its terms. Acceptance must generally be made in the manner specified by the offer.
Each party to a contract must provide something of value that induces the other to enter the agreement. The law calls this exchange of values “consideration.”
When properly executed, contracts can help avoid future issues by specifically outlining the rights and obligations of each party involved in the matter, irrespective of how large or small it may be. Contracts are also used to decrease the number of lawsuits and as well as limiting one’s liability. Address contingencies and unforeseen events in writing protects you when unexpected events occur.
A contract is breached when one of the parties fails to perform any obligation as specified in a contract. At that time that party is said to be in “non-performance.” In order for the no breaching party to claim damages, they must have performed the obligations required of them under the terms of the contract or have a valid legal excuse for non-performance.
There are several defenses that are commonly used when a contract is breached. These defenses include:
The legality of the contract: A contract is valid only if it is for legal purposes.
The capacity of the parties: Parties to a contract must be competent to enter into a legal agreement. Underage, mentally ill, and intoxicated persons are usually not bound by the contracts they enter.
Mistake: A mistake by both parties concerning an important issue of the contract makes it unenforceable.
Duress: The use of physical force or mental pressure by one party to make the other party agree to the contract makes the contract voidable.
Fraud: the contract is voidable if there was an intentional misrepresentation of an important issue in the contract.
An injured party is entitled to recover the benefits that he or she would have received if the contract had been performed. Remedies include:
Compensatory damages compensate the injured party for the economic loss caused by the breach of contract.
Specific performance may be awarded when money damages are inadequate and requires the breaching party to perform his or her obligations under the contract. This remedy is usually available when the contract involves some kind of unique property or other benefits.
Liquidated damages are damages specified in the written contract and act as an incentive not to break the agreement (they must be reasonable and cannot act as a punishment)