Contracts are essential to many types of legal relationships, but especially those that are created to do business. Most of the time, when a contract is made between parties, everything works out as it’s supposed to. However, if one party fails to honor the bargain, a difficult and messy legal situation can occur. To learn more about contract law and how to properly protect yourself and your business, continue reading.
If you or someone you know has been accused of breaching a contract, you may need to seek legal representation. The attorneys at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, P.C. are experienced and comfortable in dealing with contract law issues. Feel free to reach out to us for a case review.
What is Contract Law?
Contract law deals with agreements. A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties, containing certain conditions to which each party must adhere. A contract typically requires an offer of terms by one party, an acceptance of those terms by another party, and some exchange of “consideration” (usually something of value, like money) between the parties. This can happen in many ways, including in writing, or in some cases verbally. If one of the parties fails to uphold their side of the bargain, this is called a “breach” of the contract.
People and companies usually enter into contracts because they want to form a relationship with the other party that will benefit them in some way. Most of the time, contracts are mutually beneficial, assuming both parties uphold the bargain. There are several sections of contract law including: contract litigation, contract drafting and negotiations, and breach of contract.
Contract Drafting and Negotiations
Contract drafting is the process of writing down the terms of the contract. Drafting and negotiating often go hand-in-hand, as both parties must agree to the terms of the contract for the contract to be legally binding.
The most common way to show agreement to a contract is for the parties to sign it, though contracts can be formed in other ways. Negotiations may go back and forth between the two parties for several sessions before the contract is agreed upon. If you are in a situation where you must engage in contract negotiation, you may wish to involve an attorney to protect your interests and increase the chances that you will end up with the deal you are hoping for.
Breach of Contract
Breaches of contract happen when one (or more) of the parties involved in a contract fail to perform the obligations they took on as part of the contract. This may be a failure to pay money, to provide goods or services, or can involve any number of other scenarios. If a legally enforceable contract is breached, the result is usually dissatisfaction by the other party, which often–but not always–leads to litigation.
Litigation is simply a word that refers to the process of parties suing one another. Contract Litigation—litigation related to a dispute with a contract—can take many forms, can be handled in a variety of different courts, and the expenses associated with it can range from low to very high. Our attorneys typically attempt to find a more economical and efficient approach first, rather than to advise jumping feet-first into contract litigation. However, sometimes the only way to solve the problem is with a lawsuit. In that case, it is important to be represented by a competent lawyer who will advise you according to your best interests.
Do You Need a Contract Lawyer?
If you are in need of legal representation in connection with a contract-related matter, consider reaching out to us at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, P.C. We can help to create contracts, negotiate and/or mediate disputes before they become unresolvable, or represent parties in litigation in the unfortunate event that the dispute ends up in court. We will help you navigate the often-treacherous waters of the legal system. For more information about our contract law services in Ogden, UT, or to schedule a consultation for your case, feel free to reach out to us at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, P.C. today.