HOUSTON BUSINESS LITIGATION ATTORNEYS
Serving Clients in Houston, West Houston, Southwest Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, Copperfield, Memorial, Spring, Northwest Houston, Northchase, Spring Cypress, Champion Forest, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, Lake Houston, Midtown, Memorial, West Oaks, Royal Oaks, Clear Lake, League City, Westchase Business District, Harris County, and Galveston County.
HOUSTON BREACH OF CONTRACT LAWYERS
Experienced Houston Commercial Litigation Attorneys West Houston Business Contract Lawyers
Breach of Contract
If you are a business owner, it is highly likely that you enter into contracts as an everyday part of your business. The fact is that people enter into contracts on a regular basis, yet fail to understand fully the rights and obligations conferred in these agreements. For an agreement or a contract to be enforceable, it must contain some vital elements. Without these elements, the contract may not be enforceable in total or in part.
The Houston Business Contract Attorneys and the West Houston Breach of Contract Lawyers have over 50 years of combined business experience in various industries. Our Houston Contract Drafting Attorneys and our Houston Contract Litigation Attorneys have over 10 years of combined business litigation and commercial dispute experience. Should you feel that there has been a breach in a business or employment contract, or whether you are anticipating that there will be a breach, please contact the Houston Business Litigation Attorneys and the Houston Contract Litigation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham to set up a personal consultation. After consulting with our experienced Texas Business Dispute Lawyers and our West Houston Breach of Contract Attorneys, you will have a better understanding with respect to your rights and obligations.
Enforceability of Contracts
An enforceable contract must have an offer and an acceptance of that offer. If the original terms of a contract are not accepted, the contract is said to be rejected. If new terms are offered, a “counteroffer” has been made and it is up to the party to accept or reject the counteroffer for a contract to be made. To be enforceable, the contract must also have consideration. That is, the parties must each give up something in order to get something. For example, party one is willing to give up money to have his yard mowed. Party two is willing to give up his time and perform manual labor (mowing the yard) in exchange for pay. In this example, there is a bargained for exchange where both parties get something of value. A variation of this theme is a unilateral contract wherein party one states that if you mow my yard, I will give you money. In this example, only one party has stated an agreement while the other party is under no obligation to perform. Only if party two performs will he get paid, but he is under no obligation to do so. The contract becomes enforceable when party two performs and only then.
The amount and value of consideration is not a factor in the enforceability of a contract unless the consideration is so one sided as to be unconscionable. In a case such as where one party’s consideration is merely nominal, the court may not enforce the contract. Most of the time, however, a court will not consider a contract unenforceable due to an unequal exchange of consideration.
In addition to the above, a contract may not be enforceable if the terms of such contract are so vague or ambiguous that the court could not determine the reasonable interpretation of one party against the equally reasonable understanding of the other party. Sometimes, the court will construe the meaning of contract against the drafter, especially in boiler-plate contracts in which the adverse party often times would not be able to obtain the services without agreeing to all the terms and conditions of such contract. Finally, a contract may not be enforceable if it falls within the Statute of Fraud or if such contract is a violation of certain statutes. Please see below for more detail. You should contact a Houston Business Drafting Attorney prior to signing any contract, even if you think that you understand the terms and conditions of such contract. Our West Houston Contract Lawyers can review the document(s) and consult you on your rights and obligations, and whether such contract is enforceable.
Forms of Contracts
Contracts can be oral or formed by the actions of the parties, yet be unwritten. For example, an implied contract is one where, through the parties’ acts or omissions, a contract forms and therefore binds the parties. An example of an implied contract is one wherein a party loans another party money on a regular basis with the expectation of repayment. By way of the parties’ actions, the lending and repayment, a contract has formed such that in the event party one lends party two money and party two fails to repay the loan, party one can sue for breach of contract to recoup the loan. This scenario is very much like the agreement between a credit card company and the cardholder. Oftentimes, there is no signed contract or agreement, but by use of the card and establishment of repayment, an enforceable contract is formed.
Even if a contract is in writing and signed by both parties, it may not be enforceable. For instance, if one party is a minor, the contract is voidable. Another example is when the contract is for an illegal purpose. The illegality of the purpose renders the contract unenforceable. If the contract is ambiguous or open to more than one reasonable interpretation, all or part of the contract may be unenforceable. An example of a partially enforceable contract is an employment agreement that contains a non-compete clause. In Texas, if the non-compete portion of the contract is found unenforceable, the rest of the agreement is enforceable, but the non-compete section will be revised by the court to comport with established law. In drafting a contract to ensure that if one part of the agreement is found to be unenforceable, the rest of the contract is enforceable, contract attorneys often insert a “savings clause.” A savings clause “saves” the rest of the contract when one section is found unenforceable.
Reducing Contracts Into Writings
Sometimes business people who transact with friends or relatives choose not to enter into formal contracts. By failing to reduce the agreement to writing, the parties run the risk of not fulfilling their respective obligations thereby rendering the business relationship perilous. If for no other reason, parties in this scenario should reduce the agreement to writing in order to remember the terms of the agreement. Over time, memories fade thereby making performance under the oral agreement difficult or even impossible. If you are considering entering into an agreement with someone, relative, friend or otherwise, it is a good idea to consult the Houston Business Contract Attorneys or our West Houston Contract Drafting Lawyers to ensure that the agreement is enforceable. A Houston Contract Attorney at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham will be able to help you in determining whether the other party to the transaction has the authority to do so, there is consideration in the deal, or whether the terms of the contract are specific enough for each party to understand his rights and obligations under the agreement.
If you have entered into a contract and believe the other party may have breached the agreement, a Houston Contract Dispute Atttorneys or a Southwest Houston Business Litigation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham can offer our legal opinion regarding the alleged breach and suggest a course of action to resolve your legal issues. While contracts may appear either black or white, in reality most contracts contain various shades of gray that are left to interpretation by the parties and perhaps ultimately by a court. If you have questions about what the contract means, do not enter into the agreement before you have consulted a competent West Houston Contract Attorney or a Houston Westchase District Business Drafting Lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham
Each commercial litigation suit is unique depending on the fact and the contract, if any, in which you agreed and signed with the opposing party. You should NOT rely on the information on of this web site in replacing a personal consultation with an experienced Houston Business Litigation Lawyers and the West Houston Commercial Litigation Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham There may be legal issues in which you may not be aware. Please feel free to contact our Houston Civil Litigation Attorneys and our Houston Business Dispute Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.