Breach of contract cases comprise a large percentage of our firm’s business law matters. Nearly every attorney studies contracts in law school, but a much smaller percentage of lawyers have a strong grasp of contract law’s nuances. Obviously, most lawyers do not graduate near the top of their classes, and the attorneys who graduate toward the middle and lower tend to become generalists who dabble in numerous areas of the law. At Genesis, our attorneys typically received their law degrees from first tier schools and/or higher in their classes than our competitors, and we usually focus our practices in only one or two complex legal areas.
We also utilize cost-saving technologies that enable us to charge below-market hourly rates. We welcome you to call and discuss your matter with us, toll free, at 866-631-0028.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does a contract need to be in writing to be enforceable? Some contracts do, though there may be ways around the writing requirement even in those instances. Examples of contracts that generally need to be in writing include:
- Contracts for the sale of land;
- Prenuptial agreements;
- Settlement agreements, which are sometimes called CR 2A agreements; and
- Contracts for the sale of goods for a price of $500 or more.
Regardless whether a contract must be in writing, we encourage our clients to put all important agreements on paper or an electronic equivalent. It greatly reduces risk.
I didn’t receive something I was promised. Is that promise enforceable? The answer usually hinges on whether you gave something in return for the promise. To be a contract (a potentially enforceable agreement), each party must give up or promise something to the other. Stated in legal terms, a promise does not constitute a contract without “consideration.”
Can contract terms be implied or do they need to be specifically stated as part of the agreement? In some instances, contract terms can be implied. For example, contracts for goods may have terms that are implied by previous dealings between the parties or implied by custom in the industry in question, and there may be implied warranties that the goods fit their purpose and are salable.
My contract says the “prevailing party” can recover attorney fees from the non-prevailing party in any dispute arising from the contract. How is a “prevailing party” defined in a contract dispute? That is an often debated term, and case law does not provide a clear answer in situations where both sides win on countervailing claims, or where the recovering party receives substantially less than requested.
My contract says I have to go to arbitration rather than to court. Is that enforceable? Usually yes, though there are exceptions.
My contract refers to Article 2 of the UCC. What is that? The UCC is the Uniform Commercial Code, and Article 2 is law that applies to contracts for the sale of goods. Article 2 cases proceed under substantially different laws than other contract cases.
I keep hearing about the statute of frauds. What is that? The statute of frauds dictates that certain types of contracts must be in writing unless and exception applies.
I keep hearing about the statute of limitations. What is that? The statute of limitations is the time limit on filing a lawsuit after a claim has arisen. The statute of limitations for contract breaches can vary from one to six years, but there are means of overcoming or restarting the statute of limitations in some cases. For example, a partial payment can sometimes restart the statute of limitation pursuant to the debt revival statute, RCW 4.16.270.
Our contract contains a vague term. How will the court interpret or construe it? Unfortunately, that is a very complicated question that usually involves numerous layers of analysis and a great deal of gray area.