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NYC breach of contract attorneysNo matter what your line of work is, when your business entails the creation and signing of a contract to document a service agreement, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid a potential breach of contract. Many individuals and entities will not hesitate to sue for what they believe to be a breach of contract, and in many cases, these claims are embellished or in some cases entirely fabricated, depending on the plaintiff’s motives. Such allegations are usually a big source of anxiety for business owners, as these claims can not only affect their livelihood and income but also their reputation in the community, as well.

Are You at Risk for Being Accused of Breach of Contract?

Whatever service you agree to provide a paying client, you are technically at risk for being sued for breach of contract if you fail in any way to perform the service as promised or fail to adhere to any specific standards or criteria required as stated in the terms of your contract. 

Here are three common breach of contract scenarios business owners may encounter:

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Manhattan contract law attorneysContracts are an inevitable part of life for most people, and business owners, in particular.  Contracts also take many different forms, from express written commitments such as a signed lease to unwritten but enforceable oral contracts. Examples of oral contracts include when you call a plumber to fix a problem in your home, and he or she does, but you do not have this in writing. You cannot, in such a case, refuse to pay because the contract was not in writing. Whether a contract is in writing or oral, if you fail to perform as agreed, you can be sued for breach of contract.

Breach of Contract in New York

For someone to sue you in New York for breach of contract, he or she must show that you committed a “material breach” of the contract terms. A material breach is generally deemed to be doing or not doing something that significantly frustrates or altogether defeats the purpose of the contract. In addition to the breach, the person suing you must show that he or she suffered a monetary loss as a result of the breach.

For example, assume you are a window replacement contractor, and you are hired to replace ten windows in someone’s home at a price of $1,000 per window. The homeowner paid you $5,000 before you did any work, and you sent your workers to start the project. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, you discover that your team will not be able to complete all ten windows. At the time you realize this, your workers have only been able to replace only two windows.

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New York breach of contract lawyersAmerica has the reputation of being the most litigious country in the world. The common belief is that you can sue or be sued for anything. This is, in fact, not true and by that we mean you cannot sue or be sued for anything. In order to file a civil lawsuit in New York, there are basic requirements that you must satisfy.

Elements of a Breach of Contract Case

In a breach of contract case, the following elements must be established even before a case proceeds to trial:

  • A valid and enforceable contract exists;
  • The plaintiff’s performance of the contract;
  • The alleged breach by the defendant; and
  • Damages or remedies being sought.

You must have evidence in the form of documents and witnesses to prove each one of these elements. If the evidence is not enough, the person or business you are suing can seek to have the case dismissed without a trial. 

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Brooklyn civil litigation lawyer judgment collectionIf you have a breach of contract dispute with a customer, business partner, or employer involving a substantial sum of money, you can file a lawsuit against them in New York civil court. After winning your case, you will have a court order called a judgment specifying the total amount the defendant must pay you, which may include interest, legal fees, and court costs on top of your specific financial damages. But how do you actually enforce the judgment and get the defendant to pay you--especially since the defendant’s refusal to pay you was what forced you to file a lawsuit in the first place? New York law provides a number of possible remedies, including garnishment of wages, liens, and seizure of property. These options are defined in the Laws of New York, Civil Practice Law and Rules, Article 52 - Enforcement of Money Judgments.

Finding the Debtor’s Assets

The first challenge is to determine what income and assets the debtor has that can be used to satisfy the judgment. Your attorney can ask the court for an information subpoena to be served on the debtor, their employer, their bank, or any other person or business that may have information on the debtor’s income and assets. The information subpoena is a court order that must be answered. 

Once you have the debtor’s financial information, you will need to hire an enforcement officer, either a county deputy sheriff or an independent marshal, to execute any of these procedures.

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NYC breach of contract lawyer

Contracts are a part of daily life, governing everything from our auto insurance to agreements with home improvement contractors. If you run a business, you have contracts with your suppliers as well as your customers and even your business partners. Most of the time, everything goes according to plan: one party delivers the expected goods or services and the other party pays on time. But when the other party to a contract fails to live up to their obligations, and you suffer a significant financial loss as a result, you may have to sue them for breach of contract to get what you rightfully deserve.

Breach of Contract in New York

In order to sue someone for breach of contract, you must be able to show the other party committed a material breach of the contract terms and that you suffered a monetary loss as a result. A material breach is a substantial failure to perform as agreed, one that significantly defeats the purpose of the original agreement. 

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