Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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Legally addressing and resolving breach of contract disputes

Most Nevadans entering into a legal binding contract expect the other parties involved to honorably uphold their end of the agreement. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If the terms of a contract aren’t upheld for one reason or another, it could be a breach of contract. What establishes a breach of contract will depend on how the document is worded and what was agreed to by the relevant parties.

How contract disputes are handled legally will depend, in part, on whether a breach of contract is classified as material or immaterial. For instance, if one party makes a delivery a day late because of unforeseen circumstances, the contract violation would likely be deemed immaterial. However, if the contract stated that a timely delivery was absolutely essential, the breach of contract would likely be deemed material. After a contract violation occurs, there are several possible resolutions. One party may simply insist the other hold up to their end of the bargain or provide reasonable compensation for any financial harm.

If initial resolution attempts fail, a contract dispute involving minor financial losses may be taken to small claims court. Another legal option is to agree to allow a mediator to review the circumstances of the dispute. With binding arbitration, the parties would agree to abide by the decision of an impartial arbitrator. The non-breaching party also has the option to sue for damages related to the contract violation. Specific performance is another type of legal remedy that may be requested if contract terms are fairly unique. One other option is for the non-breaching party to cancel the contract and pursue legal action for restitution.

Because of the wide variety with legal remedies for breach of contract, it can be helpful for an affected party to seek input from an attorney. Legal counsel could make initial attempts to resolve the dispute without escalating the matter. If such efforts fail, the attorney would likely discuss other legal options or provide representation in court.

John P. Aldrich
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