Contracts are the lifeblood of commerce. Employers use contracts to establish working relationships with their employees. Landlords use leases to ensure tenants pay rent and comply with residency requirements. These agreements result from negotiations in which each of the parties gives something valuable to gain something else.
A poorly drafted contract can confuse parties trying to interpret their rights and obligations, and a breach can occur under even the most meticulously drafted contracts. If you have reached a stalemate over a business disagreement, a Phoenix commercial contract disputes lawyer could help you settle it. Having a legal professional in your corner can make all the difference in situations like these, so do not hesitate to contact a commercial litigation attorney at our office to go over your options.
Requirements for Business Contracts in Phoenix
To be legally enforceable, the parties entering into a contract must both agree on the negotiated terms—one party cannot coerce the other. The court will rule a contract is illusory if it does not contain an exchange of something valuable, also known as adequate consideration. For example, by signing a confidentiality agreement, a new employee gives up the right to discuss the employer’s business in exchange for a job.
A contract must identify in writing the parties involved. The contract should define the duties and obligations of all parties and give assurances through warranties that the parties can perform their duties. If a contract includes a payment for goods or services, it should state in writing the payment and delivery details. Parties often sign an agreement to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information acquired through the due diligence process.
Provisions for terminating a contract are essential. In the event of a breach—when one party does not fulfill their contractual obligations—the parties should agree upfront on the remedies for such a breach. When a commercial contract dispute arises, check with our local attorneys to review the terms of the agreement.
Restrictive covenants can be included in more comprehensive agreements or stand on their own. A company should consider requiring a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement whenever it shares sensitive information, or an employee has access to sensitive information on the job. A non-compete agreement could limit where a former employee may work if they leave to take a job with a competitor. A non-solicitation agreement deters departing employees from taking customers and other employees with them when they go.
Examples of Breaching a Contract
Whenever parties fail to live up to covenants or terms they legally agreed to, the non-breaching party can approach the issue through arbitration, mediation, or filing a lawsuit, depending upon what the contract allows and requires. Some actionable breaches include the following:
A residential tenant fails to pay rent.
A commercial tenant uses the leased space in an unauthorized way.
A new home buyer learns the seller cannot provide a clear title.
A construction company fails to pay independent contractors.
A homeowner parks vehicles in their front yard, violating the rules of their homeowners’ association.
When someone in Phoenix suspects a contract they are a party to is being breached, violated, or ignored, they should connect with our commercial contract dispute attorneys about their legal options for resolution.
Shareholder Direct and Derivative Lawsuits
A stakeholder in a corporation could bring a direct lawsuit if any director or officer of the firm breached a duty that harmed the stakeholder directly. Shareholders can file a derivative lawsuit if the corporation could have sued officers or directors but did not; for example, if the company’s board of directors released fraudulent financial statements resulting in a massive sell-off and loss of share value, but the firm did not bring suit against them, shareholders may want to consider a derivative action.
A Phoenix Commercial Contract Disputes Attorney Helps Settle Breaches
Our Phoenix commercial contract disputes can protect and defend your interests when a disputed contract requires resolution through arbitration or mediation. When a contract dispute requires litigation, our attorneys negotiate and litigate on your behalf. Call today to learn how Giles Law can help protect your business interests and legal rights.