What to Know About Maryland Contract Disputes

A contract is an agreement between two parties that is intended to be enforced by either or both of them. It could be in writing or it could be oral.

There are many different types of contracts such as commercial contracts, service contracts, real estate contracts, and contracts for anything depending on what the party’s interests are. Settlement agreements are contracts, business contracts, agreements, and more. They are all just specific to the objective of the parties. Written contracts are written agreements, at least at some level, memorialize what the parties are expected to do on one side or the other. It really does not matter what the topic is, so long as it is not an illegal endeavor.

All the components of all valid contracts must be present before a contract is endorsable or enforceable.  The contract should include all of the material terms of the agreement, such as what each side is supposed to do and what the consideration is being offered in return for the services.

Read below to learn more about what to know about Maryland contract disputes. If you have any questions, consult with an experienced contract disputes lawyer today.

Valid Offers

A valid offer is an expression of intent to bind the offeror; that they will perform that which is being offered (whether in goods or a service), some expression by that individual and entity that they want the other party (the recipient of the offer) to accept it.

It could be accepted by performance, it could be accepted silence in certain circumstances, and there are occasions that the party accepting an offer would rather express rejection.

How Can an Offer be Terminated?

If an offer to provide services or goods has a timeline in which the parties are to agree or be rejected by the other party and that time has passed without a response from the other party, an offer could be considered to be terminated. However, the other party could counter-offer which effectively terminates the first offer. It also could be expressly rescinded or revoked.

Promissory Estoppel

Promissory estoppel relates to position-taking. If one party takes a position in a certain matter and relies on their opponent’s position, the opponent will be prevented later on by the court in taking another position that is contrary to the one they took initially and which caused the first party’s reliance. It is the defense really that prevents a party from arguing both sides of the coin.

Definition of Contractual Capacity

The parties have to have the legal authority to enter into the agreement that they are signing. Sometimes one party can lack capacity (the mental state to enter into a contract, that includes being a minor) or lack authority to sign a legal document. Capacity in terms of a legal contract would also include if they are operating illegally in a state or if they are signing for someone else without actual authority to do so. That is contractual capacity.

What is the Covenant Not to Compete Doctrine?

The ‘Covenant Not to Compete’ is a provision of a contract that precludes one party from taking action that would be in competition with the other parties to the agreement.

Delegating a Contract

Any party retains the right to have someone else perform the duties of the contract by delegation. The idea is that the person, entity, et cetera performing the duties is an agent of source of the contract.

Voluntary Consent Used as a Defense to Enforce a Contract

Every contract has to be entered into law fairly and, therefore, a defense to a contract would be if they were put under duress to enter that agreement. For example, someone put undue illegal pressure on them to sign the contract. The contract is not an acceptance of the terms of the contract and is not a voluntary acceptance of the terms. That is really what every contract comes down to. Every party to the contract voluntarily agrees to the terms in one way or another without any illegal pressure put on them to accept the terms of that agreement.

An illegal contract is one that is for an illegal purpose; two parties are negotiating to do something that the law describes as criminal or could be an enforceable contract that simply lacks consideration (one party does not actually give something to the other). A non-enforceable agreement has no consideration between the parties. If it has not been accepted by one of the parties, it is unenforceable.

What is Anticipatory Reputation?

Anticipatory reputation is when one party to the contract receives information, usually an expressed statement, that the other party will not perform the terms of the agreement or is unable to perform the agreement. When the non-performing party tells the other that there will be no performance, the first party can declare the contract terminated.

The Frustration of Purpose Doctrine

The ‘Frustration of Purpose Doctrine’ means that one of the parties has taken steps to actually undermine the agreement, to frustrate the very purpose of the parties’ contract. The other party cannot perform the tasks because they have taken some action that makes it unfeasible for them to do so.

Common Misconceptions of Contracts

People do not appreciate how important it is to memorialize the terms between the involved parties and to have it legally witnessed and notarized. If not for a signed agreement, there is little legal recourse if things fail. Also, people wrongly think contracts are clear and not subject to multiple interpretations.

Call an accomplished lawyer today about what to know about Maryland contract disputes and how an attorney could help you.

Maryland Contract Disputes Lawyer