Contracts are a key part of any business relationship.

A contract allows the parties to clearly define one another’s rights and obligations and set expectations about the transaction in question.

Whether the contract covers a one-time deal or an ongoing project, it allows each party to hold the other accountable for the promises they’ve made.

Unfortunately, contracts still cannot guarantee a smooth relationship. At some point, businesses will likely encounter non-performance or run into disagreement with the other party.

In these situations, hiring a Dearborn contract lawyer as soon as possible is crucial. They can help you protect your contractual rights and recover damages caused by the breach.

Michigan Contract Disputes

Contact disputes can occur for many reasons. In some cases, the parties may run into issues negotiating the terms of a contract’s renewal. In others, one party may refuse to deliver goods or make a payment promised in the agreement.

Regardless of how they occur, contract disputes can have significant consequences for the parties; in larger industries especially, there may be contingent or secondary contracts that depend on successful completion of earlier contracts.

As Dearborn business lawyers, we understand that simply resolving a contract dispute at all costs is not the right approach. Our clients are business owners, and as a result, we recognize the value of maintaining their working relationship when possible. We have years of experience representing clients at trial and in arbitration, and we will work to help resolve your contract dispute according to the needs of your business.

Breach of Contract Claims in Michigan

When someone breaks the promises they make in a contract, they breach that contract. However, proving breach of contract in Michigan is not quite that simple. Michigan law imposes certain requirements that breach of contract claims must meet:

  • There was a valid contract;
  • The other party failed to fulfill their contractual obligations, thus breaching the contract; and
  • You suffered damages as a result of the breach.

Legally speaking, a contract is a record of a “meeting of the minds” that demonstrates a genuine agreement between multiple people. This kind of agreement can take many forms, but to be enforceable, it must meet certain requirements. Once those requirements are met, a valid contract exists and the parties will be bound to it.

In general, you have a valid contract only if there is offer and acceptance, some benefit conferred on both parties (called consideration), and both parties have the capacity to and do understand the terms of the agreement.

In practice, proving the existence of a contract or that you suffered damages may be more difficult than it first appears. As a result, hiring a Dearborn contract lawyer is essential. Without the help of an experienced attorney, winning your case may be difficult or impossible, especially if the other party attempts to exploit loopholes within the contract.

Does a Contract Have to Be in Writing?

Not all contracts must be in writing. Under contract law, the “statute of frauds” defines specific categories of contract that must be in a signed writing. Four of these categories are particularly relevant to businesses, and cover contracts

  • For the sale of goods with a value of $500 or more;
  • For the sale of land or real estate;
  • That by their terms cannot be completed in less than one year; or
  • That guarantee the debt of someone else (a surety).

The statute of frauds also covers contracts involving marriage and executorship. Although it is best practice to put all agreements in writing, it is worth knowing the statute of frauds, since contracts outside of these areas may be made verbally.

If you have questions or concerns about whether you have a valid contract, our Dearborn business lawyers can assess your situation and advise you of your options.

Resolving a Breach or Contract Dispute

Typically, the solution to a breach of contract claim involves payment of damages to the non-breaching party. In some circumstances, a court can order “specific performance” and require the breaching party to fulfill their obligations under the agreement.

When it comes to resolving a contract dispute, however, the appropriate measure of damages is rarely obvious. A number of factors can play into contract damages, often interacting in complicated ways.

Speak with a Contract Dispute Attorney in Dearborn, MI

The Miller Law Firm, P.C., has decades of experience representing individuals and businesses of all sizes in complex contract dispute litigation. If you’re struggling to get what you are owed under a contract, our Dearborn contract lawyers may be able to help. To learn more, contact us today online or give us a call at 248-841-2200 to schedule a free consultation.