As a breach of contract attorney in San Diego, I know suing or getting sued for breach of contract requires three elements which may be compared to a camera’s tripod.  Like a tripod, if one element or “leg” is missing, then the tripod or case cannot stand.

The three elements that comprise a breach of contract are: 1) the existence of a contract; 2) a breach of one or more of the terms of the contract; and 3) plaintiff has suffered damages as a proximate result of the breach.

The first element should be easy to prove, especially if the parties entered a written contract.  The plaintiff just has to show a copy of the contract signed by both parties to prove this element of his case. Proving the existence of an or

al contract may be a bit tougher, but not impossible. Often times a receipt, an invoice, an ema

il or another form of communication can be used to demonstrate an agreement between the two parties.

The second element constitutes the very heart of the lawsuit.  One party did not honor his part of the agreement.  An athlete signed a multi-year, multi-million contract with his team.  The team however did not pay him on his last year.  A performer agreed to guest in a certain event and sing a number of songs with titles specifically requested by the client.  On the day of the event, the performer chose to sing a different set of songs.  As a result many of the event’s patrons demanded a refund.

The third element is that the plaintiff must have suffered damage as a result of the breach.  The damage may be financial or in kind.  In the two examples above, the athlete and the event organizer suffered damages.

The damage suffered is not always monetary.  For example, a couple rented a limousine service for their wedding. On the wedding day, the limousine did not arrive.  They quickly had to get a new limousine service.  The couple y got their limousine, but they were late for their own wedding.

It can be a different matter for a landlord and a tenant.  When a tenant fails to pay his rent, the landlord can say that the tenant breached the contract. However, what if the tenant paid the rent, but it was just late? Before any landlord can hail his tenant to court for non-payment of rent, he must prove that he indeed has suffered monetary losses.

As a landlord, before you contemplate filing a case against your tenant for breach of contract, talk to your business lawyer first.  He will determine if you have a viable claim against your tenant.  The third element or monetary loss is especially crucial.

For more information on business law, visit this page.

 

Fresno Branch:
466 W. Fallbrook,
Suite 102
Fresno, CA 93711
T: (559) 431-4888
F: (559) 821-4500

 

San Diego Branch:
10509 Vista Sorrento Pkwy., Suite 430
San Diego, CA 92121
T: (619) 399-7700
F: (619) 819-8400

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