Contracts are the legal basis of our economic system. They can be as simple as a retail sale involving the purchase of an item in exchange for cash, or as complex as the merger of two or more mega corporations. Contracts can be oral or written, but sometimes the law requires that certain type of contracts such as those involving real estate be in writing in order to be enforceable. Whether simple or complex, all contracts share the same elements: mutual promises of the contracting parties supported by consideration. Without consideration (i.e., something of value), promises are not enforceable under the law. Although contracts are private transactions, they can be publicly enforced through the court system by an aggrieved party claiming to have been deprived of the fruits of his bargain.
A breach of the contract arises when one of the contracting parties fails to live up to its obligations under the agreement. The non-breaching party can seek redress from a court when the breach is material and causes damages. A breach is deemed material when it affects some fundamental aspect of the contract.
Contract disputes reach courts due to many circumstances. Sometimes, there are ambiguities in the text of the agreement that need to be resolved. Equally common, there are disputes as to whether a breach has occurred or not. Another area commonly litigated, even when a breach is undisputed, is the amount of damages that stem from the breach.
Our attorneys can help you assess your rights under a contract and devise strategies to enforce those rights in negotiations, mediations, arbitrations or court cases. Our offices in Manhattan are within easy access of the federal and state courts in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. We also have easy access to the federal and state courts in Central Islip, White Plains, and Northern New Jersey (Bergen and Essex counties).