ADR, or alternative dispute resolution, is a method of resolving conflicts without going to court that is frequently quicker and less expensive. Keeping the specifics of a dispute private and assisting in maintaining significant commercial and personal connections that could be destroyed by court proceedings are additional potential advantages.
The courts do require people involved in civil and business litigation to take steps to resolve the disagreement, even though ADR may not be appropriate in every case. If one of the parties to a dispute unreasonably refuses to negotiate, the court has the authority to impose consequences, typically financial fines.
Our skilled ADR lawyers at Pearl Lemon Legal consistently look for the most practical and economical means to settle conflicts. Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are just a few of the Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques in which we excel. When ADR fails or is not a good fit for a client’s situation, our team and other associates to whom clients may be referred have a very strong track record of success in court procedures.
The number of different reasons that contract disputes occur are as numerous as the different types of contract that you might be called upon to sign. However, at Pearl Lemon Legal, as we specialise in working with business contracts, the contract disputes our team work with most often can be broken down into two basic buckets:
A material breach of contract, also referred to as a total breach, results in the affected parties no longer being compelled to uphold their responsibilities and gives them the option to sue the breaching party or parties for damages. These disputes are often very complex, can become very contentious and are usually best dealt with by a contract dispute lawyer, or, at the very least, with their expert advice.
The terms and conditions of the agreement are not fully void in the event of a minor breach. For instance, a modest violation of a confidential information agreement may cause some harm for which a party may file a claim. However, it does not imply that the party who violated the agreement is now no longer required to fulfill its responsibilities.
In many cases of a minor breach of contract, it will be in the best interest of both parties to come to an amicable solution that avoids a contentious court process. As a part of our contract dispute lawyer team, we offer the services of a number of highly experienced and successful alternative dispute resolution lawyers who can help do just that.
When comparing material and minor breaches, it is quite simple to tell the difference by looking at the intentions and results of the activities. Let’s say, for instance, that a person or business completely changes the objectives of an agreement. A material breach would then probably be at fault.
A minor breach occurs when an objective is accomplished, but not in the manner agreed upon or under false pretenses.
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also called a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), guards sensitive information from being used for personal gain or revealed to the public.
To prevent the consultant from disclosing their proprietary technology or business practices to outside parties, for instance, the corporation can require them to sign a CDA or NDA.
If the contract issuer then claims that the signatory has shared, leaked, or stolen information, a contract dispute may result.
Partnerships with other people, and even other companies, are extremely important to modern businesses. A business may file a lawsuit for damages if it believes a partner has violated a partnership contract or agreement in some way, such as by failing to meet certain obligations.
However, a partnership’s terms and conditions must specify its goals, standards, and obligations clearly. Otherwise, it would be challenging for a business to demonstrate that a legal violation took place. This is why it is always a good idea to have any and all partnership contracts reviewed by a legal expert before they are signed.
In the case in which such contracts were not in place, and the wording of the contract that is disputed is unclear, calling in a contract dispute lawyer sooner rather than later – as in when matters have proceeded as far as applications for court dates – can help both parties avoid expensive litigation via alternative dispute resolution. When partnerships fail, the damage done to brand reputations can be as significant as any financial damage, and can be even harder to recover from!
Because of their open-ended nature and frequently ambiguous language, sales of goods contracts between suppliers and merchants are prone to disputes.
In a contract for the sale of products, the merchant relies on the supplier to deliver the goods to their clients. As a result, disagreements between wholesale merchants and their suppliers over the failure to deliver products as promised or even ship them are very common.
If a product is severely misrepresented, never shipped, or does not come as promised (SNAD). The supplier could be sued by the retailer for contract violation.
Things have become even more complicated in recent years, as the number of digital goods and services being sold across all kinds of industries and niches has increased tremendously, and determining just what constitutes non-delivery can be open to interpretation. It may take the intervention of a contract dispute lawyer to sort out these ambiguities and help both parties move towards contract dispute resolution.
There are always (at least) two parties involved in contract disputes, and a good contract dispute lawyer – like those on the Pearl Lemon Legal team – should be ready and willing to assist and represent either side.
For us, there are two main parties who approach us for help with contract disputes: businesses and individuals working with a business with whom they have a contract dispute.
Even the smallest businesses quickly find themselves entering into contracts, especially with suppliers and employees, even if those employees are working on a freelance, or ad-hoc basis. A contract dispute with either of these groups can quickly result in financial and reputational damage that a growing business can ill afford, not to mention stress and worry that no busy business owner needs.
Working with a lawyer to draft and evaluate your contracts is essential, whether your company is new or has been around for a while. When a knowledgeable and skilled attorney handles your contract requirements, they make sure that both you and your company are protected. While paying them may seem like just another expense you really don’t want to take on, the money and hassles they save you in the long run will be worth it.
At Pearl Lemon Legal, our contract dispute lawyers are not just there to represent you in court proceedings – although they can and will if needed – but to minimise contract disputes and even prevent them from ever occurring. This means working with you right from the start – when contracts are drawn up – and we’ll be happy to do so.
The rise of the ‘gig economy’ means that more people than ever are working for themselves as freelancers and independent contractors. There are lots of advantages in choosing to do so, and most people who do can reel all of those off very quickly.
There are downsides too, of course, and one of the biggest is that some businesses do not feel obligated to afford freelancers and independent contractors the same respect as a formal employee. Or follow the same rules when dealing with them. Far too often we see instances of this across all kinds of industries.
A fair, legally binding contract can prevent much of the abuse, but when a contract dispute does arise, an independent contractor or freelancer should not be left feeling like David facing off against Goliath, or forced to accept a resolution to a contract dispute that is unfair or inequitable, especially if doing so will damage their reputation and their finances.
These types of contract disputes are where Pearl Lemon Legal can offer a great deal of expertise that others may not be able to. After all, protecting those working in this way was one of the biggest reasons Pearl Lemon Leads was founded in the first place.
Whatever your contract dispute problem, the chances are very good that we can help. Contact us today and let’s talk.
For a free, no-obligation conversation about how we might be able to help with your current legal issues, please contact us today.