Contract Dispute Attorneys
If you face a contract dispute, contact the Law Offices of David L. Powell immediately. You need an experienced lawyer to represent you in your case. We can create the right strategy to protect your rights and interests. Whether you’re negotiating the terms of the agreement, modifying a current contract, or pursuing a lawsuit, you can count on us to help.
A contract is a vital part of various relationships. Two or more parties negotiate the elements of the binding agreement to outline their rights, obligations, and other factors. Discussing all aspects of a business relationship or transaction is necessary to ensure that every party is on the same page. Contracts can also address potential issues and provide solutions to problems without expensive and lengthy litigation.
Disputes might arise when people enter into any type of relationship requiring a contract. When that happens, you should not hesitate to consult the Law Offices of David L. Powell. Our contract dispute attorneys in Fort Smith, AR, know how to resolve disagreements amicably. We can explore all available options and try to reach a result that satisfies you and the other party without compromising your rights.
Call the Law Offices of David L. Powell at 479-222-6773 today for a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.
Common Types of Contracts
Typically, the most effective way to avoid conflict while drafting a contract is to hire a lawyer from the very beginning of the process. You should start with a legal team by your side to guide you through every step and advise you about the decisions that can best protect your interests. However, the cases the Law Offices of David L. Powell takes often involve enforcing a contract someone refuses to acknowledge. We can file a lawsuit or negotiate new terms to address specific changes.
The Law Offices of David L. Powell handles a range of contract cases for our clients, such as those involving:
- Residential purchase agreements
- Non-compete contracts
- Shareholder agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Operating agreements
- Residential lease contracts
- Commercial lease contracts
- Employment contracts
- Equipment lease and sales agreements
- Business sale or purchase agreements
This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the contracts we handle for our clients. We’re familiar with contracts in various areas of law and relationships. We understand the unique nature of each case we represent and use a personalized approach to meet our client’s needs.
Common Types of Contractual Disputes
You can encounter multiple types of disputes regarding an existing contract, but disputes can occur even before you sign on the dotted line. Sometimes, disagreements arise while negotiating the terms or outlining each party’s responsibilities. That’s why hiring an experienced lawyer is valuable when you’re drafting a contract in the first place. With proper planning and execution of the document, you could avoid future problems.
The most common types of contractual disputes include:
One of the most common disputes involving contracts is whether it’s valid. Contracts must meet various requirements to be valid and enforceable. One of the requirements is for all parties to have the legal ability to enter into the contract. That means no one can have any sort of issue with executing the legal agreement and understanding their role. For example, a person’s mental incompetency at the time of signing the contract could render it invalid.
A valid contract must also include elements, such as:
- Legal consideration – Every party involved in a contract must exchange something of value. The legal consideration could be paying for the other’s services or providing goods to the other. Either way, each person must offer and receive something from everyone else signing the contract.
- Subject matter – The content of the contract must be straightforward. Everyone must understand the language in the agreement. The words and phrases shouldn’t be vague or easy to misinterpret. They should have the same meaning for each person.
- Mutual agreement – Each party must agree to the negotiated terms within the contract. However, if everyone signs, the contract is valid. It becomes an issue if anyone refuses to sign because they’re not comfortable with the terms discussed or want to make changes.
Each party must sign the contract. If there’s a missing signature, the contract isn’t valid. Although you might be able to enforce an oral agreement, having a written contract is more beneficial, especially if you need to refer to the terms should a dispute arise.
Breach of Contract
A breach of contract happens when one party that signed the contract does not fulfill their agreed-upon duties and obligations. Pursuing a breach of contract claim typically requires these elements to exist:
- Each party executed the contract
- The contract required all parties to avoid or perform specific actions
- One party met the requirements of the contract
- The other party didn’t fulfill the obligations in the contract
“Breach of contract” covers a wide range of circumstances. There must be proof of someone failing to perform or doing something they’re not supposed to do based on the content of the contract. A breach of contract can also involve a party refusing to meet a deadline or falling short of an agreed-upon payment for services rendered.
Fraud or Coercion
Fraud is a valid reason to dispute a contract. Since a contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more people, everyone must be on the same page. Fraud occurs if someone convinces another to sign the contract by knowingly making false statements or stretching the truth somehow. This prevents the unwitting party from having the choice not to sign the contract because they don’t have all the information.
Contract fraud can also involve misrepresenting the facts. The fraudulent party might misrepresent what the contract is designed to do to get the other person to sign something they wouldn’t otherwise agree to.
A poorly written contract often leads to disputes. That’s because the language isn’t clear to the parties. Disagreements can arise regarding what specific terms mean. If you don’t draft a contract thoroughly and correctly, it leaves room for interpretation. One party might sign because they believe a section of the contract means one thing when it really means something else to another party.
Another problem occurs when the contract everyone signed includes the topics each person wanted to address, but the terms aren’t correct. For example, you arranged for a contractor to perform work on your home for a specific price, but the promised tasks don’t align with the costs mentioned in the contract.
At the Law Offices of David L. Powell, our contract dispute attorneys in Farmington, AR, have experience with a variety of contractual disputes. We can review the elements of your case and determine what we can do to resolve the issue you face.
How to Handle a Contract Dispute
You might not want to rush to litigation when a dispute arises. Sometimes, you can resolve disagreements outside of court using various methods. However, you shouldn’t forego hiring a lawyer. Whether someone challenges you on the validity of a contract or you believe a party breached the terms of your contract, you should contact the Law Offices of David L. Powell. One of our contract dispute attorneys in Fort Smith can investigate and determine whether you have a case to pursue.
It’s critical to avoid discussing the matter with anyone other than your lawyer. What you say could come back to haunt you and even negatively affect the outcome of your case. Let us handle communications while we prepare your case.
We could schedule mediation to resolve the issue with an impartial third party. Mediation is often a less costly and time-consuming option than filing a lawsuit.
During mediation, each side meets with a mediator to talk about their positions and what they hope to achieve in negotiations. The mediator will have conversations with both parties and relay relevant information between them. The mediator can also offer potential solutions so you can avoid taking the matter to court. However, they don’t make the final decision. It’s up to you and the opposing party to reach an agreement.
If you can’t reach an agreement during mediation, other options might be available. You might find relief from your dispute through arbitration. Arbitration is similar to mediation. However, instead of an unbiased third party offering suggestions, the arbitrator is the person who makes the decision based on the evidence, witness testimony, and additional factors.
Litigation is a common next step when alternative methods of resolving a dispute don’t work. Even if you choose to file a lawsuit, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go to trial. You might find a way to settle with the opposing party. You could schedule mediation or arbitration at any time before the trial begins.
The Law Offices of David L. Powell is ready to represent you in your case and fight for your rights. Whether you want to dispute a contract you signed or face legal action from another person, you can count on us to handle the complicated aspects, so you don’t face the burden of trying to understand confusing legal procedures. We will create a plan to protect you during the proceedings and try to resolve the matter favorably for you.
If you encounter a contract dispute you don’t know how to resolve, call us at 479-222-6773 for a consultation with one of our Fort Smith contract dispute attorneys.