Understanding Contract Disputes in Virginia

A legal definition of a contract is an agreement between two parties that is supported by consideration to perform or to provide services, supplies, or do not take certain actions.

There are oral contracts and written contracts. Written is an agreement between two parties that is written down. An oral contract is one in which there has been an offer and exceptions made orally, and someone acts based on that understanding between the parties.

Understanding contract disputes in Virginia is crucial to coming to a resolution. For help with your dispute, contact an experienced contract dispute lawyer today.

Valid Offers

An offer is valid when it is definite enough and defined enough for someone to be able to accept it. If they understand what the terms are, what is being offered, and they agree to those terms, then it is a valid offer. However, they cannot be used to do something that is illegal. For example, they cannot offer it to hire someone to be a drug dealer.

What is the Mailbox Rule?

The mailbox rule is a presumption that if a notice is sent in the mail to the proper address, that it was delivered, and that it was accepted or rejected.

Promissory Estoppel

Promissory estoppel is basically a reliance issue, that a person promises to do something. They rely on that promise and begin work with regards to the contract. At that point, they cannot say there was no arrangement. It is similar to an oral contract.

Contractual Capacity

Contractual capacity requires that a person be over age 18 years, have the right mental state, and have the capacity to understand what they are entering into a contract. Also, they have to appreciate what their obligations are, and have authority if they are signing for someone else.

Statute of Frauds

The statute of frauds is an evidentiary rule that helps determine which contracts have to be in writing and which do not. For example, land transactions have to be in writing pursuant to the statute of frauds.

Duties of the Parties Involved in Commercial Transactions or Contracts

The duties of the parties involved in commercial transactions or contracts are whatever they agreed to do. Usually, it is the delivery of services, payment for services rendered, delivery of a product, or whatever the business produces. It could be for the land transaction between two corporations or entities, but the obligations are what is included in the contract, usually to pay or to provide access rights and intellectual property.

What is the Covenant Not to Compete Doctrine?

A do-not-compete obligation is an agreement between two parties setting limitations as to when one can compete with the other in the marketplace. They can be individuals or they can be businesses that agree not to compete against another, or to solicit any business that would be considered in competition with the other party.

Delegating a Contract

A contract can be delegated when two parties agree that a third party or person will undertake what is required. Delegating is a concept of agency, and says that another person is going to perform as the agent for the primary parties to the contract.

Voluntary Consent

There is a defense of duress, that their entry into the contract was not voluntary. It can be used to void the contract, although it is very difficult to do so. If the court finds that there is duress and it was not a voluntary decision on their part, there is no agreement.

Enforceable Contract

An unenforceable contract is one that is subject to duress, that is illegal, or lacking in considerations, and one that the other party breaches first.

Breach of Contract

A breach of contract is nonperformance without justification.

What is Anticipatory Repudiation?

An anticipatory repudiation is when only one party says they are not going to perform the agreement because they anticipated the other party is going to do something in violation of the agreement, they are not going to perform as expected, so the first person is not going to perform as expected.

Mutual Rescission

A mutual rescission is when both parties to the agreement decide to rescind whatever is agreed to.


A novation is when the contracting is bringing a new contract to replace the old one. It is more than an amendment but along the same line.

In What Scenario Would a Contract be Discharged by Accord and Satisfaction?

If, in fact, each party performs as they said they would, there would not be a breach, or there could be some other way to perform that worked as well as what was contemplated in the contract. Therefore, there was accord and satisfaction. It was not 100 percent perfect, but substantially satisfied the obligations of the parties to the agreement.

The Doctrine of Impossibility of Performance

The doctrine of impossibility of performance is whatever terms of the contract cannot be performed. Either there was some act of God that destroyed part of the factory that was required or the minerals that were required are no longer available anywhere in the world. It merely means that what is said in the contract was impossible to perform through no fault of one of the parties.

Call today to speak to a legal professional who has a great understanding of contract disputes in Virginia and how to help you.

Virginia Contract Disputes Lawyer