Breach of contracts can often times be settled out of court. It may take a little coaxing, a few reminder letters, and you may even have to threaten legal action, but often you can get an individual who owes you money through a breach of contract to pay. Regardless of whether you paid an individual for services that were never rendered, or an individual never paid you for services you rendered, there are options for legal recourse and they don’t always require an attorney. If they are low value and you can’t resolve them out of court, you may even be able to take the individual to small claims court without hiring an attorney.
Some situations are not so simple, however. What if someone owes you several thousand dollars and refuses to pay? What if you’re owed in excess of $15k-$20k and can’t get so much as a phone call from someone you once trusted? It’s time to take them to court and hire an attorney that can represent your interests best. Remember that a complaint with the court is simply a reminder that there are common-sensse obligations that should be respected. Lawsuits along with legal guidance gives you the highest chance at a favorable outcome in your dispute.
Things to Consider First
There are a few worthwhile things to consider before suing an individual or entity for breach of contract. One of them is your obligation to mitigate damages where responsible. This is somewhat like a landlord trying to recover from a tenant 11 months unpaid on a 12 month lease. If the landlord did not attempt to rent the space as soon as possible to another tenant, he/she may be unable to collect on the unpaid months as their obligation to make efforts to mitigate the damage was unfulfilled.
Now let’s look at a similar example for a breach of contract. Eddie Librarian is a property manager for a government library building. When the roof caves in from a winter storm, he hires Cameron Contractor to repair the roof, paying him $25k and stipulating the job most be completed on a Sunday. If Mr. Contractor fails to repair the roof on Sunday, Mr. Librarian has an obligation to attempt to hire a replacement contractor or follow Cameron Contractor’s counsel on how the situation will be rectified. He can’t simply wait a month until another storm ends up causing further damage when rain drenches all the books, then attempt to sue Mr. Contractor not just for the $25k, but for damages to library property. Like any legal situation, however, there are exceptions. If Mr. Librarian did not have the money to hire another contractor, as it was being held by the hired party, Mr. Contractor would be at fault for his negligence, especially if Mr. Librarian made efforts to get his money back or reschedule and Mr. Contractor did not exercise due diligence.
Another important consideration is the wording of the contract. Referring back to Mr. Librarian, there are many cases an individual will attempt to sue when, through their own negligence, they have violated a contract and thus forfeited a deposit or an entire paid balance. If Mr. Contractor did show up on Sunday and Mr. Librarian was not present as agreed, depending on the contract, Mr. Contractor may not be responsible for paying back whatever balance was paid to him to reserve the day for work, regardless of whether it was performed or not. Before consulting with an attorney, ensure you read your contract closely.
Not All Attorneys Are Created Equal
There are some attorneys who will represent a high value case promising you the stars, but the actual results are unlikely to be in your favor. If an attorney does not have experience handling a high value breach of contract case, you may be throwing your money away hiring them. There are some inexperienced attorneys who will take a case promising success, but they are usually the ones that fail to deliver. No case is guaranteed, but knowing the law and having experience gives you the best chance. Our law firm tells all clients that there is never more than an 80% chance of success, and never greater than 80% chance of losing at trial. An attorney that doesn’t acknowledge the reality of risk has not had the experience of a courtroom where the trier of fact is in the decision-making chair. Having experience handling cases that may only net $50,000 versus $1,000,000 or more are incredibly different in their approach and the complexity of their nature. We have experience in all these categories and our team stands by ready for battle.
It’s a huge amount of money hire an attorney that doesn’t have your best interests at heart. This is why hiring a reputable breach of contract attorney experienced in high valued cases is important. WB Law Group is the only choice for your best opportunity to secure a successful conclusion of your case!
Need an Attorney for a Breach of Contact?
WB Law Group is a reputable business litigation firm with experience in matters involving California law, such as a breach of contract agreements, particularly those valued at $25,000 or more. If you feel you need legal representation, we are happy to review your case and provide consultation.
For questions, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today at 559.431.4888 (Fresno) or 619.399.7700 (San Diego).