What is a Breach of Contract?
Hi, I’m Chad Walker. I’m a partner with Regan Atwood, a Florida law firm with offices in Orlando and Jacksonville.
Breach of contract is one of the most common types of claims that we pursue in our firm.
Disputes Over Contracts
Disputes over the terms and performance of contracts arise in all three of our primary practice areas, construction law, business litigation and real estate litigation. That makes sense if you think about it, because in the modern world, the modern business world, almost all transactions involve an agreement, typically a written agreement.
Failing to Perform an Obligation
As most people in the fields of construction, business and real estate know a breach occurs when one party fails to perform an obligation under the contract or agreement and contracts and agreements are really the same thing. Those terms are used interchangeably.
Typically, the agreement is written as I mentioned earlier. However, there are also certain types of verbal contracts that are enforceable.
What is an Implied Contract?
Even in the absence of an express, written or verbal contract, there are certain types of claims that are based on what’s known as an implied contract. You could have contracts implied in law and you can have contracts implied in fact.
Taking the first one, a contract implied in law, that occurs when it would be unjust to allow someone to keep a benefit without paying for the benefit.
To give you an example, if I ask a plumber to fix a leak at my law office, I never receive a work order, but I let him go forward with the work.
The law will recognize that I received a benefit without paying for it. I should have known the plumber was performing the work with the expectation of being paid.
I should be held responsible for the reasonable value of the work that the plumber did.
Parties Involved in the Contract
An implied in fact contract, on the other hand, is when the circumstances indicate that the parties who were involved in the transaction reached an understanding.
I’ll give you another example again, using the same plumber. I request again the plumber fixes a leak. The plumber arrives. I receive a work order but I don’t sign it, but I tell the plumber to proceed with the work.
Assistance in Identifying Claims
If the circumstances indicate that we had an understanding as to the essential terms, which in this case would be scope and price, then the law may determine that there’s a contract implied in fact.
In construction, contracts implied in law and contracts implied in fact most often occur with respect to claims for additional work, extra work, or changed work. All of the attorneys in our firm are experienced with claims arising under both express or implied contracts. We can assist clients in identifying the types of claims that are available and pursue the best relief available on their behalf.
If you have a Florida contract dispute, it’s important to talk with a skilled business attorney.
Chad Walker has practiced law since 2001. He is Florida Bar board certified in construction law. A partner with the law firm of Regan Atwood, Chad is based in Orlando, Florida. Regan Atwood also has offices in Jacksonville.