Virginia Contract Disputes Lawyer

Business owners rely on contracts to sell their services, obtain raw materials, or collect payments from customers. No matter whether it’s a person or a business that signs the contract, once they sign, they are bound to follow the contract. An apparent failure to fulfill these terms can lead to a breach of contract allegations and potential legal trouble.

A Virginia contract disputes lawyer may be able to help you if another party failed to uphold your agreement or if you face allegations of breaching a contract. Skilled litigation attorneys could help analyze the language of your agreement and represent your interests during negotiations or trial.

What Does it Mean to Breach a Contract?

Entering into a contract creates a legal bond between two or more parties. In short, a contract obligates a party to provide goods or services to another. In exchange, the other party or parties must either provide their own object of value, called consideration, or perform the task called for in the agreement.

A breach occurs when one party fails to perform its duties under the contract. However, not just any failure constitutes a violation. To prevail in a breach of contract claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s breach constituted a “material breach.” According to the Code of Virginia §59.1-507.1, a breach is material if:

  • The contract defines a particular action as a material breach,
  • The breach is a substantial failure to perform a term that is an essential element of the agreement, or
  • The circumstances of the agreement and the character of the breach indicate that the breach caused or is likely to cause substantial harm or loss of an expected benefit.

In other words, the breach must run contrary to the intent of the contract. Examples can include not receiving full or timely payment, not providing goods on time, or providing a service that was of insufficient quality. A Virginia contract disputes attorney could help determine if a failure to uphold the terms of a contract constitutes a material breach.

Working to Demand Appropriate Remedies

Once a party demonstrates that a material breach of a contract has occurred, they can demand a remedy from the other party. The simplest way is for the breaching party to cure the defect and perform as required in the contract, but if that does not solve the problem, the parties may need to execute another agreement which sets forth how the dispute will be resolved. If the two parties can agree to steps that satisfy the aggrieved party, the contractual dispute disappears, and the case comes to a close. A Virginia contract disputes lawyer could help both plaintiffs and defendants reach negotiated settlements concerning contract disputes.

Both parties also have the option of asking a Virginia civil court to review the dispute and make determinations about what the contract required, whether there was a material breach and whether damages resulted. However, courts can only order remedies specified within Commonwealth law. For instance, VA Code §59.1-508.11 allows plaintiffs to demand specific performance only if the agreement provides for that remedy, if the contract was for a unique purpose, or if the court considers it otherwise proper. Instead, courts prefer to award monetary damages.

A Virginia Contract Disputes Attorney Could Help You

Every party that enters into a contract immediately gains rights under the law. However, that same party also takes on duties to fulfill the terms and perform its role under the agreement.

If you face breach of contract allegations or another party failed to uphold the terms of a contract, a Virginia contract disputes lawyer may be able to help. An accomplished attorney could represent your interests during settlement talks or even at trial, if necessary. Contact an experienced legal team today to schedule an appointment.

Virginia Contract Disputes Lawyer