The business litigation process in Santa Fe can be complicated, especially when there is a serious issue in dispute like a material breach of contract. For business owners who are considering the possibility of filing a breach of contract claim or who are anticipating that they will soon need to defend against a breach of contract lawsuit, it can be difficult to know exactly what to expect from the process. In a breach of contract lawsuit, for example, can you settle like you might in another type of civil case? Are remedies only monetary in a contract dispute, or can the court order other types of remedies? And if the remedy is largely or entirely monetary, what kind of financial damages award should you anticipate based on the specific facts of your case?
Our New Mexico business litigation lawyers want to tell you more about remedies in contract dispute and breach of contract cases.
Settlement Agreement Before a Trial Verdict or Court Ruling: Remedies Before Trial including Resolution of the Dispute?
Once a breach of contract claim is filed, it is still possible to negotiate a settlement or reach an agreement before the court decides the case. You can work with your attorney to negotiate a settlement agreement, or you can reach a mediated settlement agreement by going through mediation with the other party. New Mexico court rules allow parties to enter into a mediated settlement agreement, followed by a dismissal of the court case. If you can reach an agreement with the other side, you may be able to save money and time.
If parties do enter into a settlement agreement and one of the parties breaches the terms of that agreement, the affected party can ask the court to reopen the case and to enter a judgment.
If the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement and the case goes to trial, a court can award compensatory damages to the party that has suffered the legal harm as a result of the breach of contract. Compensatory damages are aimed at compensating the injured party for losses as a result of the breach. There are two different types of compensatory damages that may be awarded in a breach of contract case — general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for direct losses resulting from the breach of contract. Special damages are awarded less commonly and compensate for additional losses due to special circumstances. To award special damages, the court must find that the breaching party actually knew about these special circumstances when entering into the contract originally.
In some breach of contract cases, the party who has been harmed by the breach might not want monetary damages as a remedy. Instead, the party who has suffered a legal injury might want the breaching party to abide by the original terms of the contract. In limited cases, New Mexico law does allow a court to order specific performance as a remedy if monetary damages are insufficient. However, this type of remedy is ordered much less frequently than compensatory damages in a breach of contract case.
Contact a Santa Fe Business Litigation Attorney Other remedies beyond those listed here may be appropriate in a breach of contract case. One of our experienced Santa Fe business litigation attorneys can provide you with more information and can represent you in your