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Breach of Contract in WA

Seattle Breach of Contract Lawyers

Seattle-area attorneys helping with contract disputes

At Smith McBroom, we understand the important role contracts play in business and personal transactions. When agreements falter and breach of contract issues arise, our seasoned Seattle breach of contract attorneys bring a wealth of expertise to the table. Whether you're a business owner seeking to enforce a contract or an individual defending against contractual allegations, we are committed to crafting strategic solutions tailored to your unique situation. Trust us to advocate for your rights, meticulously examine contractual obligations, and guide you through the legal intricacies of breach of contract disputes. Your peace of mind is our priority. Let us be your ally in resolving contractual challenges effectively.

Free Case Evaluation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

What is a legally binding contract?

A legally binding contract is a formal agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable by law. This contract creates legal obligations and establishes the terms and conditions under which the parties agree to perform specific actions or provide goods or services. For a contract to be considered legally binding in Seattle and throughout Washington, certain essential elements must be present:

  • Offer and acceptance. One party must make an offer, and the other party must accept it. This forms the basis of mutual assent.
  • Intention to create legal relations. Both parties must intend for the contract to create legal obligations. Social agreements or casual promises may lack this intention.
  • Consideration. There must be something of value exchanged between the parties. This could be money, goods, services, or a promise to do or refrain from doing something.
  • Legal capacity. The parties entering into the contract must have the legal capacity to do so. This means they are of sound mind, not minors, and not under the influence of undue duress or fraud.
  • Legality of purpose. The purpose of the contract must be legal. A contract with an illegal or unlawful purpose is not enforceable.
  • Certainty and possibility of performance. The terms of the contract must be clear, and it must be possible to perform the agreed-upon actions or obligations.

Once these elements are present, the contract is considered legally binding, and the parties are obligated to fulfill their respective promises. If one party fails to perform as agreed, the other party may seek legal remedies, such as damages or specific performance, through a court of law. The enforceability of a contract is a critical aspect of a contractual relationship, providing the legal framework that parties need to adhere to their commitments.

Per the Legal Information Institute (LII):

A breach of contract occurs whenever a party who entered a contract fails to perform their promised obligations. Due to the frequency of breaches of contract, a robust body of law has grown to resolve the ensuing disputes.

The overarching goal of contract law is to place the harmed party in the same economic position they would have been in had no breach of contract occurred. As a result, the default remedy available for a breach of contract is monetary damages.

In general, damages are limited to what is listed in the contract, and punitive damages are not available for breaches of contract here in Washington State. Such “expectation” damages are the reasonably foreseeable damages resulting from the breach of contract, and is that sum of money that puts the non-breaching party in as a good a financial position as if the contract had been performed.

Smith McBroom, PLLC

What types of contract disputes do your Seattle lawyers handle?

Contract disputes can arise in various contexts, and our Seattle contract dispute lawyers handle a range of cases. Common types of contract disputes may include:

  • Breach of contract. Cases where one party fails to fulfill the terms and conditions outlined in the contract.
  • Contract interpretation. Disputes over the meaning or interpretation of specific terms in a contract.
  • Non-performance. Cases where one party does not fulfill its contractual obligations.
  • Misrepresentation or fraud. Disputes arising from false statements or misrepresentations made during contract negotiations.
  • Contract termination. Issues related to the proper termination of a contract and the consequences of termination.
  • Payment disputes. Disputes over the payment terms outlined in the contract.
  • Scope of work disputes. Disagreements regarding the scope of work or services outlined in the contract.
  • Enforcement of contractual rights. Seeking legal remedies for a breach of contract, such as damages or specific performance.

Do contracts have to be written to be binding?

Here in Washington, contracts do not have to be in writing to be considered valid; oral agreements can be just as legal as those on paper. But proving a breach of oral agreements can be challenging, and we generally find these types of agreements much less robust than written agreements.

Further, in Washington some types of agreements must be in writing to be legally binding:

(1) A lease contract is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless:

(a) The total payments to be made under the lease contract, excluding payments for options to renew or buy, are less than one thousand dollars; or

(b) There is a writing, signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by that party's authorized agent, sufficient to indicate that a lease contract has been made between the parties and to describe the goods leased and the lease term.

(2) Any description of leased goods or of the lease term is sufficient and satisfies subsection (1)(b) of this section, whether or not it is specific, if it reasonably identifies what is described.

(3) A writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states a term agreed upon, but the lease contract is not enforceable under subsection (1)(b) of this section beyond the lease term and the quantity of goods shown in the writing.

(4) A lease contract that does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, but which is valid in other respects, is enforceable:

(a) If the goods are to be specially manufactured or obtained for the lessee and are not suitable for lease or sale to others in the ordinary course of the lessor's business, and the lessor, before notice of repudiation is received and under circumstances that reasonably indicate that the goods are for the lessee, has made either a substantial beginning of their manufacture or commitments for their procurement;

(b) If the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in that party's pleading, testimony, or otherwise in court that a lease contract was made, but the lease contract is not enforceable under this provision beyond the quantity of goods admitted; or

(c) With respect to goods that have been received and accepted by the lessee.

(5) The lease term under a lease contract referred to in subsection (4) of this section is:

(a) If there is a writing signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by that party's authorized agent specifying the lease term, the term so specified;

(b) If the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in that party's pleading, testimony, or otherwise in court a lease term, the term so admitted; or

(c) A reasonable lease term.

Again, although an oral contract may be upheld in some cases, we always advise to “get it in writing.”

Do you have a Seattle breach of contract attorney near me?

Smith McBroom is located at 16400 Southcenter Parkway, Suite #210, Seattle, Washington, 98188. We’re right off I-5 and I-405 near Southcenter Mall. There is a bus stop near our office, and we offer free on-site parking.

Experienced Seattle-area attorneys helping with contract disputes and enforceability

Are you facing a breach of contract issue in Seattle? Don't navigate the complexities alone. Our seasoned team of Seattle breach of contract lawyers at Smith McBroom is here to be your legal ally. Whether you're dealing with a business contract, employment agreement, or any other contractual matter, we have the skills to analyze, negotiate, and, if necessary, litigate to protect your rights. Remember, time is of the essence in resolving contract disputes, so reach out today for a consultation. To schedule a meeting with a skilled attorney, call our offices or fill out our contact form.