Life's a Breach: Avoiding Commercial Disputes in Colorado - Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC

Life’s a Breach: Avoiding Commercial Disputes in Colorado

breach of contract Commercial disputes are challenging for any type of Colorado business. The good news is that many can be avoided by understanding potential conflicts, having a well-written contract, and having legal counsel to help provide advice when conflicts emerge.  

Common Commercial Disputes 

At Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC, our attorneys represent clients in many different common commercial disputes, such as: 

Breach of Contract  

In short, a breach of contract is a violation of a contractual obligation. In contract law, the breach of duty arises from the agreement which the parties entered into freely. The parties are only responsible to each other because of the contract. 

When two parties enter into a business contract, they are obligated to its agreed-upon terms and conditions. If one party violates any material clauses, there could be a viable civil claim against them for breach of contract. A material breach of contract occurs when one party doesn’t perform in a legally excusable manner. The non-breaching party has been harmed to the point that they must seek help from the courts or some other legal remedy. Breach of contract can occur by rejecting a promise, not acting upon a commitment, or interference with the other party’s actions. 

Example: Your company relies on a transportation company to help your clients get around town. No one from that company has responded to your requests for pick-ups in the last several days. You call them and learn that they are short on drivers and hope to resume your services soon. You have a contract with them because they rely on your services, but their actions have caused a contract breach.  

Breach of Fiduciary Duty 

An individual with a fiduciary duty, or fiduciary to another party, known as the beneficiary, is obligated to perform in a way that will benefit the other party. When the party with fiduciary duty doesn’t act in this manner, the beneficiary can seek damages from them. Examples include improperly using or not accounting for employer funds, concealing vital information from partners, or board members voting for unreasonable compensation for themselves. 

General Tort Claims  

A tort is an act or omission that results in harm to another person or party. In this context, an injury is an invasion of a legal right, and damage describes the loss suffered by the aggrieved party. 

General tort claims can include: 

  • Fraud 
  • Negligent misrepresentation 
  • Interference with contractual relations or tortious interference 
  • Interference with prospective advantage 
  • Injurious falsehood 

For instance, general tort claims can cover: 

  • An employee or contract worker who falsified hours (fraud) 
  • A vendor offers a business unreasonably low prices, and as such, the buyer violates their contract with their vendor (tortious interference) 
  • A salesman telling a potential buyer that a product is brand new when they have no reason to believe that it is (negligent misrepresentation) 

Avoiding Disputes: Tactics for Business Owners  

The best way to deal with contract disputes is to avoid them altogether. Doing so relies heavily on a detailed and comprehensive legal contract.  

Your contracts should include a specific time for performance. Avoid relative terms like “soon.” You could interpret that one way and the party you are contracting with another method. 

Include the level of quality you expect and be specific. It’s imperative for a contract to specify a required quality and who will determine if that quality level is met. 

Ensure your contracts are legal. Adding your own terms or using a DIY approach risks the possibility of a document that was invalid to begin with.  

Draft provisions for early termination. Such a provision allows either party to end the contract for a pre-determined percentage or amount of money that would typically be paid over the original contract’s duration. 

Have a business attorney review and help write your contracts. In the excitement of a new business relationship, the parties shouldn’t forget to create an explicit warranty and address any potential conflicts. Much trouble and expense can be avoided by thinking about these issues when the agreement is drafted and not having them first come up at a late date. A review by an experienced business attorney to help prevent possible litigation in the future is essential. 

Enlist a Business Lawyer to Help Protect Your Company 

Managing a business while ensuring that you are putting yourself in legal hot water and staying within the red tape can be challenging and overwhelming. There are many complexities to navigate, and one small mistake could end up costing you your business. To help avoid this and unburden yourself from legal tasks, enlist the help of a business lawyer from Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC. We can ensure that your agreements include the necessary terms and draft your agreements with Colorado business laws in mind. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can help your business be successful.