Contracts are key to any business. They allow parties to join in different types of agreements and understand the specific obligations that they’re required to fulfill. However, disputes can often arise after the contract has been drafted and agreed upon. When this happens, you want the best defense possible. The experienced Columbus attorneys at Katz, Pryor, & DiCuccio LLP are here to help. Whether you need clarification of the meaning of the contractual language, remedies to an aggrieved party, or more, our contract lawyers work with you to come to an effective resolution.
Contracts allow for parties in different types of agreements to understand their obligations under that agreement and understand exactly what to expect from the other party to the agreement. Without contracts, many transactions necessary to the functioning of our businesses and economy would not occur. As beneficial as contracts may be, disputes often arise after the parties have drafted and entered into the contract. When issues arise, the experienced attorneys at Katz, Pryor, & DiCuccio, LLP are here to help.
Some of the sources of litigation for contractual disputes include:
- Clarifying and determining the meaning of contractual language
- Correcting typographical errors in the contract
- Modifications of parties’ contractual duties
- Unforeseen circumstances rendering a party unable to perform their contractual duties
- Failure of a party to perform their contractual duties, known as breach
- Remedies to the aggrieved party after breach
The language and meaning of the words in a contract can be confusing. Sometimes issues arise over the meaning of highly technical words. Other times, disputes arise over the meaning attached to very simple words. For example, in one famous case, Frigaliment Importing Co., v. B.N.S. International Sales Corp., the parties disputed over, and the court was forced to answer, the question of “What is chicken?” This is one example of the many issues that may arise in determining the meaning of contractual language.
Typos in contracts should never happen but sometimes they do. Often times, a party’s intent is clearly shown through other circumstances or contractual language, so the effects of the typo are minimal. Other times, a typo may have an extraordinary effect on the parties and the contract. The typo may create an alternative meaning of contractual terms, it may render the contract nonsensical, or it may even alter a party’s duty in a way that makes the performance of that duty unfairly burdensome. In these instances, it is imperative that the parties consult an attorney to ensure that the contract is restored to its correct form.
Another area of post-contractual disputes is the ability of the parties to modify the contract. While most modifications made between the parties in good faith are enforceable, there are legal requirements that may make the modification non-binding. In other instances, an unforeseeable event may make a party’s duties unusually difficult, or even impossible to perform. In these cases, the party may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. They must either perform and cause themselves disproportional hardship, or choose to not perform, and be forced to pay remedies for breach of contract. Thankfully, the law has created remedies and defenses for parties in these circumstances to ensure a just result.
A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise that forms all or part of the contract. When a party breaches, it entitles the other party to a remedy. What type of remedy will be used, and if money damages are chosen, the size of that remedy, are frequently litigated issues. However, other issues frequently arise with a breach. What happens when a party performs most, but not all of their duties? What if one party causes another party to breach? There is a large body of law governing these issues, and each case is different and will be decided based on the specific facts of each case.
The attorneys at Katz, Pryor & DiCuccio, LLP can help you navigate your contract dispute and formulate a plan for success. Our attorneys will go through all options with you, including the pros and cons of each path. If you need assistance with a contract dispute, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.