In Mississippi and across the nation, contracts are a fundamental part of doing business. When there is an agreement in place, each side must understand its consequences and do what it set out to do based on the terms of the agreement. Unfortunately, even the most well-crafted and well-intentioned business agreements can sometimes go awry. This can lead to allegations that there was a breach of contract and an extended dispute in trying to get the matter settled to the satisfaction of each party. When formulating the contract, it is imperative to understand what it means if there is a contract breach and what remedies there might be. Given the complex nature of these cases, having assistance from the outset is advisable.
Fundamentals of contracts, when they might be breached and how to address it
If there is a contract and a party does not complete the obligations stipulated without good reason, then it is a contract breach. Breaches are not necessarily based on a party simply not completing the tasks they were supposed to. That is one part of it – failing to perform the contract. There are, however, other ways in which the contract will be breached. That includes preventing the other party from performing the terms of the contract and repudiating the contract meaning that the party simply states the intention not to do what the agreement required to fulfill it.
Regardless of the way in which the contract was breached, it may behoove the parties to try and negotiate a solution to the problem without extending the disagreement and going through the time, trouble and cost of going to court. The party who did not have the terms of the contract fulfilled can ask the other party to simply do what the contract stated. If it is another business that is failing to adhere to the terms, the authorities can be contacted to step in and help. A conference can be held to negotiate an agreement. Perhaps the contract can be changed so it better suits the parties and will then be completed. Litigation is also possible. This can be complicated and should generally be used when all other alternatives have been exhausted.
Football coach provides a prime example of breach of contract allegations
A recently discussed, high-profile example of an allegation of a contract breach involves the head football coach of Mississippi State, Mike Leach, though it occurred in Texas and not Mississippi. Mr. Leach had been dismissed as the head football coach at Texas Tech University in 2009 after he was accused of mistreating a player who had a concussion. He denied the allegations, but was terminated for cause and was not paid a significant portion of his multimillion dollar contract. The coach still mentions the dispute and how he feels that he should have been paid for some of the contract even after the termination. A lawsuit he had filed after the firing was dismissed because the court decided the school had sovereign immunity and did not need to pay. He still has investigators assessing the case to try and recoup some of what he believes he is owed.
Navigating contract disputes can be complicated and having help is key
Whether it is a general business agreement, is linked to sales or is an employment contract, the terms are expected to be followed. If they are not, then it could be a major challenge personally, financially and professionally. When crafting the contract, it is essential to ensure that it covers all the bases and the parties are protected. If there are assertions that there was a breach of contract, it is even more critical to have assistance with examining the terms and trying to find a workable solution that the parties can be satisfied with. If business litigation is necessary, it is also wise to have experienced help to pursue that avenue to reach a positive outcome.