The business litigation process in Santa Fe can be complicated, especially when there is a serious issue in dispute like…
Slate Stern, having served as General Counsel to northern New Mexico’s largest private conglomerate, has extensive experience handling breach of contract matters before judges, juries, arbitrators, and mediators around the country.
New Mexico Breach of Contract Attorneys in Santa Fe
Every business requires contracts, and contracts are essential to any New Mexico business’s operations. Businesses rely on contracts with many different parties, from contracts between and among owners of the business to employment contracts with employees to contracts with other businesses that provide goods and services. When a party to a contract breaches the agreement, the business that is relying on the terms of the agreement can be harmed. Indeed, a breach can result in a loss of profits, and it can also affect the operations of the company more generally depending upon the nature of the contract and the breach. In a breach case, it is critical to seek advice from a Santa Fe breach of contract lawyer to seek a remedy.
What is a Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract is the failure to perform any part, or the whole of, an existing agreement without a legal excuse. Generally speaking, breaches of contract can be material or minor.
A minor breach , as the name suggests, occurs when one of the parties breaches a term or aspect of the contract, but the other party still receives the goods or services specified in the contract. A common example of a minor breach is a time delay where one party providing goods or services delivers what was promised one week late. The affected party may still be able to recover damages in a breach claim, but must perform its agreed terms in the contract since the breach does not affect the ultimate delivery of the goods or services promised in the contract.
A material breach occurs when one of the parties fails to perform a clause within the contract, or the whole of the contract, such that the other party never receives the goods or services promised or receives goods or services that are significantly different than those promised in the contract. With most material breaches, not only can the affected party seek damages through a breach claim, but the affected party is not required to hold up its end of the agreement once a material breach has occurred.
Examples of Common Breach Cases in New Mexico
Examples of contracts that are commonly involved in breach claims include but are not limited to the following:
- Employment contracts;
- Partnership agreements;
- Commercial real estate leases;
- Franchise contracts;
- Purchase contracts;
- Sales contracts; and
- Construction contracts.
Remedies in Breach Cases
The available remedies in a breach case will depend in part on the specific facts of the case and the harm resulting from the breach. In general, however, parties may be eligible to seek monetary damages or equitable remedies.
Monetary damages may include the following:
- Compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the affected party for its losses and can include economic damages such as compensation for lost profits;
- Liquidated damages, which may be specified in the contract, can be awarded for damages that are more difficult to quantify or determine; and
- Attorney’s fees, which cover the costs of the affected party’s attorney’s fees and other court costs associated with bringing the breach of contract claim.
Equitable remedies do not provide the affected party with money as compensation for losses. The most common equitable remedy is specific performance, which is a remedy that a judge can order to require the breaching party to fulfill its promise under the contract terms. In some cases, specific performance is necessary if monetary damages are insufficient to compensate the non-breaching party for losses.
Litigation and Alternatives for Resolving a Breach of Contract Claim
Depending upon the type of breach and how it affects your business, it may be possible to resolve a breach through the following means:
- Litigation, or filing a breach claim against the breaching party; or
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options, including arbitration and mediation.
Contact Our New Mexico Breach of Contract Lawyers Today
Breach claims can have a wide variety of causes, from a current or former employee violating a clause of the employment contract to a partner violating a term in the partnership agreement to another business that provides goods or services to your business failing to deliver as promised. Anytime a breach issue arises, it is important to seek advice from an experienced New Mexico breach of contract attorney who can help you to resolve the case in a cost-effective and timely manner. Our firm has been representing businesses in breach claims for years, and we can begin working with you today on your case. Contact Slate Stern Law for more information.
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