When you own a business and have existing contracts with employees, clients, vendors, property owners, and other parties, the possibility of a breach of contract can be both anxiety-inducing and frustrating. If an employee breaches an existing employment contract, for example, by failing to abide by a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) or failing to abide by a noncompete agreement, your business can suffer. If a commercial property owner fails to uphold the terms of your commercial lease, your business can suffer in other ways. In short, your business relies on existing contracts when it makes operating plans, and a breach of contract can place your business in a difficult position. What can you do about it?
The following are some potential options for managing a breach of contract case and reaching a resolution that is favorable to your business.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution Options In Breach of Contract Disputes
When another party breaches a contract that affects your business, you may be able to resolve the issue through a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Generally speaking, there are two types of ADR that can allow a business to resolve a breach of contract case.
First, the contract that has been breached may have an arbitration clause that requires any disputes to be handled through arbitration. Typically, arbitration clauses are beneficial to businesses. With arbitration, a neutral third-party who is known as an arbitrator will hear from both parties, who will present their cases. The arbitrator will then issue a ruling, which is binding on the parties. Arbitration has some similarities to a courtroom proceeding in which a judge hears both sides of a case and issues a ruling. Unlike taking a case to court, however, arbitration allows the parties to keep the matter private, and the process can go much more quickly, with a faster resolution, than a lawsuit that goes before a judge.
Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution that may be an option for resolving a breach of contract case. Mediation has some similarities to arbitration in that it is quicker and less expensive than filing a lawsuit, and it is confidential. However, the mediator (a neutral third party) does not make a decision about the case or hear sides. Instead, the mediator helps the disputing parties to engage in dialogue to reach a resolution. Mediation is only binding if the parties agree.
File a Lawsuit Against the Breaching Party In A Breach of Contract Dispute
If ADR options are not feasible or if ADR does not result in a resolution, you should work with a New Mexico business litigation attorney to file a lawsuit against the breaching party. In filing a breach of contract claim, you can seek remedies that range from damages to specific performance, or requiring the breaching party to uphold its original agreement in the contract, depending upon the circumstances of the case.
While you might be assuming that the first step is to file a lawsuit against the breaching party, it is important to know that a business litigation attorney can help you to consider all options for handling a breach of contract.
Contact a Santa Fe Business Litigation Attorney
From alternative dispute resolution options to filing a breach of contract claim, our Santa Fe business litigation lawyers can assist you. Contact Slate Stern Law today for more information about how our firm can help with your breach of contract case.