Is any breach of contract enough to justify suing someone for breach of contract or to stop performing your obligations under the contract because the other side has breached?

Many non-lawyers are surprised to learn that not all breaches of contract in Colorado are treated the same under the law.  A breach of contract must usually be determined to be “material” before you can successfully sue someone for breach of contract, and a breach of contract must usually be determined to be “material” before you can rely on that breach to justify your decision to stop performing your obligations under the contract.

When determining whether an act or omission constitutes a material breach of a contract, Colorado courts consider the importance or seriousness of the breach and the likelihood that the complaining party has received or will receive substantial performance under the contract.  A party is determined to have substantially performed when the other party has substantially received the expected benefit of the contract.  Deviation from contract duties in trifling particulars that do not materially detract from the benefits the obligee would have derived from literal performance does not constitute a material breach  Materiality must be assessed in the context of the expectations of the parties at the time the contract was formed.  A breach that is material has been said to go to the root of the matter or essence of the contract and renders substantial performance under the contract impossible.   In deciding whether a breach is material, the extent to which an injured party would still obtain substantial benefit from the contract, and the adequacy of compensation in damages for the breach, is also considered.  

By way of example, a Colorado court determined that a breach was not material when a developer provided a contracted for easement for insertion of water lines even though the easement was not in all places the exact contracted width of 20 feet wide.  The Court determined that the width of the easement was generally acceptable to accomplish its purpose.  Of course, in determining whether any breach of contract is material, all cases are dependent on their particular facts and on the exact terms of the contract at issue.  Thus, it is helpful to consult with an experienced breach of contract attorney before deciding what actions may be appropriate in response to the alleged breach of contract and whether the breach of contract in question in your case is likely to be determined to be material.

Denver Business Lawyer Specializing in Colorado Breach of Contract

If you need a breach of contract attorney in Colorado, call the business lawyers in Denver at Hansen Law Firm today.

Under Colorado law, if your former employer fails to pay you the wages and compensation that you are owed, you may be entitled to not just the payment of such wages and compensation, but also the award of a penalty against your former employer of between 50 to 100 percent of the amount of wages and compensation determined to be owed, interest on such unpaid wages and compensation, along with the possible award of the attorneys’ fees you incur in forcing your former employer to pay the amount owed.

However, the Colorado Wage Act requires that appropriate prior written notice be provided to your former employer of the alleged amount owed before you assert a claim against your former employer and the Colorado Wage Act may entitle your former employer to the award of its attorneys’ fees against you if you wrongly claim that you are entitled to wages and compensation. See C.R.S. § 8-4-101 et. seq. As a result, it is helpful to obtain knowledgeable legal advice before asserting a claim under the Colorado Wage Act to help assure that you are taking appropriate measures under the law to both protect you and entitle you to the possible award of all wages and compensation to which you may be entitled.

Under the Colorado Wage Act, in addition to your regular pay, wages and compensation may include unpaid amounts owed under an incentive compensation plan or an unpaid stock or cash bonus. However, such unpaid amounts must be fully earned and vested at the time of your termination of employment. In addition, things like unpaid vacation pay may be counted towards the amount of wages and compensation that you are owed upon termination. It should also be kept in mind that you may be entitled to the award of penalties and your attorneys’ fees under the Colorado Wage Act even if it is you, and not your former employer, who decides to terminate your employment.

A Business Lawyer in Denver Working for You

At Hansen Law Firm, our contract lawyers serving Colorado can help you navigate your exit from your current and/or former employer. We can send the appropriate prior written notice under the Colorado Wage Act to help you get paid the wages and compensation that you are owed, and if the former employer does not pay all such wages and compensation owed to you within the 14 day time period allotted under the Colorado Wage Act, we can file and pursue a claim under the Colorado Wage Act on your behalf to help attempt to obtain what you are owed.

We can also help you know your rights and obligations under any employment agreement and/or non-compete agreement you may have signed or are being asked to sign and we can help you evaluate any severance agreement you have been provided before you sign it. To schedule a free consultation, call the Denver business lawyer, Nick Hansen, today at 303-720-7566.

why you would need a contract attorney

Why You Would Need A Denver Business Lawyer

  1. To get the compensation you deserve in Colorado breach of contract cases.
  2. For help resolving business disputes.
  3. Expert Colorado contract law advice when trying to understand a contract.
  4. When you want professional assistance in drafting a contract.
  5. To represent you in Court when faced with a contract dispute.
  6. For help in reviewing and/or negotiating a contract that you have been asked to sign.
  7. To help you understand your options.
  8. To help your Denver business manage its legal risks.
  9. When you want to enforce a contract, or obtain advice on whether a contract is enforceable.
  10. To help you decide whether you should seek litigation, arbitration or mediation.
  11. To help review, negotiate or re-new your commercial lease.
  12. When you’re starting a business, and need to form a contract agreement.
  13. To help protect you against claims of breach of contract.
  14. To help you get out of a contract.
  15. For help when you want to buy or sell a business.

For help with any of these issues, you can contact Nick Hansen Colorado Contract Attorney.

If you are considering whether to seek legal action regarding a breach of contract, you may be wondering: What is the breach of contract statute of limitations??

This is a common question, and the answer may not be as straightforward as you would think. If you are thinking about filing a lawsuit over a breach of contract, here is some general advice from a Denver employment lawyer to help you ensure that you file your claim within the allowable timeframe.

Timeline for Suing for Breach of Contract

Time limits for suing someone are established through laws called statutes of limitation. Different states have

Is Time Running out for your Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations?

different time limits, and the limits may vary depending upon the exact nature of the claim. Understandably, this can make it challenging for individuals and organizations to know when they need to act if they plan on seeking legal action regarding a breach of contract.

In Colorado, the general breach of contract statute of limitation, whether the contract is oral or written, is three years.   However, if a contract is for a “liquidated debt” or for an “unliquidated determinable amount,” it is subject to a six-year limitations period.  An amount is determinable if an agreement sets forth a method for determining the amount due, regardless of the need to refer to facts external to the agreement.  The statute of limitation for tort actions arising from a breach of contract is two years.

The exact date at which the clock starts counting down to calculate whether the time-period has expired isn’t always obvious. The clock usually does not start running on the date in which the contract is entered in to. Rather, the countdown to the end of the accepted time-period often begins when the alleged breach of contract is discovered or should have been discovered.

Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Cases

Every breach of contract case is unique, and because the breach of contract statute of limitations enforces strict restrictions on how long you have to file a lawsuit, it is always in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. You might find out that special rules apply to your contract.  When dealing with breach of contract cases, it is always advisable to get the ball rolling on the process right away to ensure that you know what rules will apply and so that you do not miss any deadlines.

If you require legal assistance regarding an alleged breach of contract, please contact my office today to schedule a free consultation. Call 303-785-7777.

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