Disputes may arise with respect to the performance of contracts, including parties disagreeing about the terms of the contract or whether the other side has fulfilled its obligations. These disputes may lead to litigation, in which case an experienced lawyer will be necessary to help you understand and protect your rights.
Why Matthews Eastmoore?
We represent both businesses and individuals in bringing and defending against contract cases. Our attorneys are experienced in litigating all types of contract disputes, including acquisitions, real estate, construction contracts, employment contracts, and much more. Matthews Eastmoore attorneys have experience on both the side of the plaintiff and the defendant, which gives us an advantage.
Elements of a Contract Dispute
To win a contract case, the plaintiff must prove these elements:
- Contract formation: There existed a contract between the parties. The contract does not always have to be in writing to be enforceable.
- Performance: The plaintiff performed what was required under the contract, such as making payments for the goods offered by the other side.
- Breach: The other party failed to perform its end of the bargain, for example, by doing a poor job constructing a home or failing to deliver the goods specified under the contract.
- Damages: As a result of the other party’s breach, the plaintiff suffered damages. For example, if a person contracted for home repairs, but the repairs were not done well and the person had to pay for another repair, damages may be available.
Once the four elements above are proven, a party is entitled to relief. There are two basic types of relief available in Florida in contract litigation: monetary damages and equitable remedies.
Monetary damages include:
Compensatory damages to restore the position the plaintiff would have been in if not for the breach.
Liquidated damages, or automatically triggered contract damages. These are triggered by a breach as specified in the contract. Liquidated damages are not always enforceable. To be enforceable, two elements must be true:
- Damages from the breach are not easily determined
- The liquidated damages amount specified is not grossly disproportionate to the actual damages
Attorneys’ fees and costs for the litigation if provided for by contract or statute.
An equitable remedy, as opposed to a monetary damage award, is a court order for a person to act, or not act, in a certain way. These include:
Specific performance, such as for the sale of the specific unique item contracted for like real property.
Rescission, which voids the contract. Both sides are then released from the terms of the contract and usually money paid under the terms of the contract is refunded.
When You May Sue
In Florida, most breach of written contract claims must begin within five years of the breach, or four years in the case of contracts for the improvement of real property. There are exceptions to this rule, so it is best to speak to your attorney as soon as possible to assess your claim.
At Matthews Eastmoore, our attorneys have years of experience litigating contract disputes in many areas. If you feel that your rights have been violated, or you need to defend a breach of contract claim, call us at 941-366-8888 or schedule a free consultation. We will work with you to get the damages you deserve or vindicate that the actions you took were proper.
Contact Our Team of Experienced Attorneys
The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. We do not undertake representation of your claims until all parties involved have entered into a signed agreement. If we have not entered into a signed agreement with you, you may want to speak with other attorneys regarding your claims since statutes of limitations may apply.