Contract Law and Contract Defense

The Doyle Law Offices has time-tested experience with contract law and contract defense cases on not only an individual level but a commercial level as well. We have successfully handled many such cases over the last 23 years. Some of the industries we have worked with in our contract and business litigation practice include:

  • Real estate
  • Building and contracting
  • Finance
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Consulting
  • Retail
  • And many others

Contract issues and disputes that typically arise include the following:

  • Supplies and suppliers, including quality of goods and timeliness of delivery
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Construction defects
  • Real estate disputes
  • Debt, debt collections, and defenses
  • Franchise disputes
  • Rights of first refusal
  • Revenue provisions
  • Trading contracts, including ISDA forms
  • Shareholder issues
  • Partnerships and LLC membership and operating disputes
  • Non-competition
  • Commercial notes and debts/financing
  • Implied agreements, unjust enrichment, and quasi-contract

These cases can be intimidating and strenuous to work through, and we know that. For two decades, attorney Hank Doyle has been representing clients in civil litigation cases such as contract breaches, contract defenses, and more in Cary and surrounding areas.

There are a number of types of contracts that must be in a signed writing to be enforceable in North Carolina. This is known as the doctrine of “statute of frauds.”  These types of contracts are:

  • Leases for real property lasting longer than 3 years
  • Marriage
  • An ownership or other interest in real property
  • Surety agreements
  • Easement agreements to last longer than one year
  • Mortgages and deeds of trust
  • Executor’s promise to pay estate debts from personal funds
  • Merchants sale of goods of greater than $500.00
  • Covenants not to compete

Cary Contract Law and Contract Defense Introduction

Civil Litigation Attorney in Cary NC Aside from a handful of agreements that are subject to North Carolina’s “statute of frauds”, nearly every other agreement may be carried out in written or oral form. North Carolina does indeed recognize each type of contracts and, against contrary belief, an individual does not need written documentation recording an agreement in order to begin a breach of contract civil lawsuit. In other words, you’re still able to take an instance to court if a party fails to make a payment that was mutually agreed upon. Hank Doyle. If you’re experiencing a contract defense and/or contract law case and are in need of legal assistance, contact your Cary civil litigation attorney today by filling out the form below or calling (919) 228-4487.

What types of contract defense damages are available?

For simple and straightforward collections on accounts receivable, the damages usually consist of the principal amount owed, the contracted for an amount of interest (or the “legal” rate which is currently 8%), and potentially attorney’s fees if the statutory requirements are met. North Carolina courts have ruled that appropriate attorneys’ fees for such collection cases are limited to 15% of the entire amount due. Additionally, in more complex cases, such as prolonged disputes between multiple businesses, you could recover any economic losses incurred which were foreseeable at the time the contract was negotiated.

What is an “unjust enrichment” claim?

Sometimes the legal formalities required to establish a valid and enforceable contract in law are not present in a particular agreement.  In certain of these cases, equitable relief and be achieved under a “quasi-contract” theory.  Most often used of these is the theory of “unjust enrichment.” This applies to claims when an individual has given something of value to another individual or to a business and it would be unethical and unfair if they retained the benefit without payment. In other words, a person who has been enriched at the expense of someone else and does not give any value in return for that enrichment, it can be perceived as unjust under North Carolina law. No person should be entitled to unjustly profit at another person’s expense without making restitution for the reasonable value of any service, property, or benefit.

How do I handle a breach of contract claim?

In the state of North Carolina, it is imperative to file a lawsuit within three (3) years of the initial breach. If that timeframe is not met, chances are you will lose any legal right to receive compensation. Providing an unjust enrichment claim can be difficult but is absolutely possible as long as certain criteria are met. If you have questions regarding filing an “unjust enrichment” claim and want to determine your best route, contact your Cary civil litigation attorney today by calling (919) 228-4487 or filling out the form below.

What types of contracts are you experienced with?

The main three types of contract cases we have taken on have been fixed-price contracts, cost-reimbursable contracts, and time and material-based contracts. Though these contract types may sound broad, cases we have taken on almost always fall into one of these categories.

What is a fixed-price contract?

A prime example of a fixed-price contract would be when a housecleaner is hired to clean your beloved North Carolina home. As the homeowner, you hire the housecleaner to provide services for an agreed upon, set price. The housecleaner accepts the responsibility of the work and is expected to complete the job for the compensation that was agreed upon, no matter how long it takes. The most common issue with fixed-price contracts is the ambiguous timeframe associated with a job or project. In other words, if the housecleaner agreed to clean your home’s kitchen area for $250.00 but realizes the job will take much longer than he/she expected start-to-finish, he/she may request for a higher compensation than the two parties had originally agreed upon. This example, of course, is on a smaller scale when compared to the average fixed-price contracts The Doyle Law Offices P.A. typically deals with.

What is a time and materials contract?

Time and material contracts differ from fixed-price contracts, as they generally deal with materials, equipment, and indirect costs such as employees’ salaries, gas for transportation, and electricity for running a workspace. For example, if a homeowner hires a painting company to repaint their cabinets, the painting company would come to the home with the necessary supplies, completed the job start-to-finish, and then bill the homeowner for their labor along with any materials they used to complete the project such as paintbrushes, primer, paint, caulking, and sandpaper.

What is a cost-reimbursable contract?

A cost-reimbursable contract is an alternative form of a contract. It involves providing a payment from a buyer to a seller while reimbursing the seller for any costs he or she made have paid during the process. While dealing with this type of contract, it is imperative to keep direct costs and indirect costs in mind. Direct costs are categorized as the costs that have accumulated solely for the purpose of the project and nothing else. An example of a direct cost would be purchasing paint to completed an interior painting project. Indirect costs, on the other, hand, are categorized as less specific types of costs such as business overhead costs or accounting services costs. Often times, incentives and perks are offered if an individual meets a specific timeline or if they’re able to complete a job under a specific budget.

Cary NC Civil Litigation AttorneyWhat are the defenses to a contract?

North Carolina law affords the defendants numerous defenses in a breach of contract actions. These include, but are not limited to, invalidity, statute of frauds, duress, unconscionability, fraud, mistake, and undue influence. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and determine if an enforceable contract was made and then whether any legal or equitable defenses exist.  The Doyle Law Offices, P.A. and has been doing this for our clients for over 20 years.

Contact Your Cary Civil Litigation Attorney Today

For 20+ years, civil litigation attorney Hank Doyle has been helping individuals, families, and businesses in Cary and surrounding areas with their contract law and defense and civil litigation law needs. Lastly, be sure to check out our regularly-updated blog section to stay up-to-date with legal trends and aspects of law.

Fill out the confidential form below or give us a call at (919) 228-4487 to discuss your real estate law representation.

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