Contractual Disputes

After two parties have signed a contract, the responsibilities and obligations of each side are supposed to be clearly defined. When one party fails to honor the terms of the contract, it will frequently result in civil litigation.

Whenever a dispute arises with one of these agreements, the contract will be the first place that both sides immediately look at for evidence to support their views. If these disputes are not properly handled, they have the potential to have a significantly negative impact on entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes.

Tampa Lawyer for Contractual Disputes

If you believe that there is any type of disagreement concerning a contract you signed which either has or could soon become a problem, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Germain Law Group represents clients and small business owners throughout Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Brevard County, and Pinellas County.

Tampa attorney Michael B. Germain understands the complexities of contractual agreements, and he can review your agreement to make sure it is interpreted in the most beneficial way for your interests. You can have him evaluate your case by calling (813) 835-8888 right now to set up a free initial consultation.

Florida Contractual Disputes Overview

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Types of Contractual Disputes

Individuals and businesses enter contracts in a variety of scenarios. Our firm’s experience with legal agreements allows us to pursue the solutions that allow clients to avoid costly, drawn-out disputes.

Some of the types of contracts and agreements we handle include the following:

  • Asset-purchase contracts
  • Business and commercial contracts
  • Buy-sell contracts
  • Commercial lease contracts
  • Commercial loan agreements
  • Construction contracts
  • Distribution contracts
  • Employment contracts
  • Entertainment contracts
  • Financing contracts
  • Franchise contracts
  • Insurance contracts
  • Intellectual property contracts
  • Lease and purchase agreements
  • Licensing agreements
  • LLC operating agreements
  • Loan agreements
  • Non-compete and confidentiality agreements
  • Partnership agreements
  • Property or real estate contracts
  • Services contracts
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Supplier contracts
  • Trade secret protection
  • Vendor agreements

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Issues Involved in Contractual Disputes

While many contracts are similar in style, the parties entering into them are often different. Every party can also have different expectations or interpretations of what the contracts mean.

A few of the types of issues that are the sources of contractual disputes include:

  • Bad faith claims
  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Detrimental reliance
  • Enforcing the terms of binding contracts
  • Failure to comply with terms
  • Failure to deliver promised goods
  • Failure to pay for goods delivered or services performed
  • Failure to perform
  • Failure to render promised services
  • False promises
  • Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUPTA)
  • Fraud in the factum (the words of a contract)
  • Fraud in the inducement
  • Fraudulent misrepresentation
  • General partnership disputes
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Nonpayment for goods or services
  • Open account claims
  • Statutory fraud
  • Unjust enrichment

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Remedies for Contractual Disputes

In most contractual disputes, courts will typically award damages to the party that was wronged. These are referred to as legal remedies which are intended to make the party that was harmed whole again.

In these types of case, such damages may include:

  • Compensatory Damages — These are intended to compensate the wronged party for losses that resulted from the other party’s failure to honor the contract. There are generally two types of compensatory damages. Expectation damages are intended to cover what the injured party expected to receive had the contract been fulfilled. Consequential damages reimburse the wronged party for other indirect damages not directly related to contractual loss; such as a loss of profits.
  • Liquidation Damages — These are pre-determined damages specifically stated in some contracts. The parties that enter such contracts typically determine this amount during negotiations for situation in which damages may otherwise be difficult to determine.
  • Punitive Damages — These damages are intended to punish the party that violated the contracts and deter future misconduct. Punitive damages are fairly rare in contract cases, but they can be awarded in cases with certain fraud or tort implications.

When financial damages cannot adequately cure the injured party, then it is possible that equitable remedies may be imposed. Equitable remedies may include any of the following:

  • Specific Performance — Parties that violated contracts are required to perform their part of the agreement indicated in the contract.
  • Rescission — The injured parties are allowed to cancel their responsibilities under the terms of the disputed contracts and the disputed contracts are canceled.
  • Reformation — The disputed contract is rewritten with to reflect the true intent of both parties.

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Florida Resources for Contractual Disputes

Legal and Binding Contracts – The Florida Bar — This Florida Bar article provides an overview of how contracts work and why disputes may arise. It touches on understanding key terms, the “cooling-off” period, and arbitration. The article also makes strong points about why it is in a person’s best interest to consult a lawyer before signing any contract.

Contract Law – How to Create a Legally Binding Contract — This post on the United States Small Business Administration’s Managing a Business blog discusses how small businesses can comply with local requirements and ensure contracts are legally valid. It covers ins and outs of reaching an agreement and the importance of exchanging something of value including how long offers should stay open and what happens when counteroffers are made. Numerous other contracting resources can be found on this website, including responsibilities, regulations, and resources.

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Find a Contractual Disputes Attorney in Hillsborough County

Has another party failed to fulfill its obligations of a contract you agreed to? Or are you concerned that another party is going to pursue civil litigation because you allegedly violated the terms of a contract?

Germain Law Group helps individuals and businesses in communities all over Hillsborough County, Sarasota County, Charlotte County, St. Lucie County, and Indian River County. Michael B. Germain is a Tampa civil litigation attorney who has more than a decade of experience with complex legal agreements, and he can review your case as soon as you call (813) 835-8888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.