Common Questions Asked of a Contract Attorney

Why would you need a contract attorney?

To get the compensation you deserve in breach of contract cases. For help resolving business disputes. Expert advice when trying to understand a contract. When you want professional assistance in drafting a contract. To represent you in Court when faced with a contract dispute. Learn more about on this blog post “Why Would You Need a Contract Attorney” from Hansen Law Firm!

How long do I have to decide to whether to sue someone for breach of contract?

The law establishes time limits for suing someone through laws called statutes of limitation.  Different states have different time limits.  The general statute of limitation for breach of contract in Colorado, whether the contract is oral or written, is three years. However, there are many different types of contracts where the limitations are different. Learn more on this blog post here from Hansen Law Firm: “Breach of Contract Statue of Limitations

Are oral contracts enforceable?

Yes, in most cases, oral contracts are enforceable. Oral contracts are just harder to prove that they exist and exactly what their terms are. To prove the existence of oral contracts, it is best if other written documents exist that will help to prove the existence of the oral contract, such as e-mails, shipping records and other correspondence. Learn more on this blog post from Hansen Law Firm: “Are Oral Contracts Enforceable?

Should I agree to arbitrate my contractual disputes?

Agreeing to arbitrate usually means that you will obtain a quicker resolution of your dispute. However, arbitration is not always the cheapest way to resolve disputes given that one or both of the parties to the arbitration are required to pay the cost of the arbitrator and sometimes arbitrators allow the cost of the arbitration to spiral out of control. In addition, it is oftentimes thought that arbitrators are more likely than judges to “split the baby” when it comes to deciding the issues in dispute.

Can I sue a non-Colorado resident or business in Colorado?

To sue a non-Colorado resident or business in Colorado you need to be able to establish that the non-resident has the constitutionally required “minimum contacts” with Colorado. That means you need to establish the following types of things: that the non-resident availed himself or itself of the privilege of acting in Colorado or causing important consequences in Colorado, the cause of action to be asserted against the non-resident arises from the consequences of the non-resident’s activities, and the activities of the non-resident or the consequences of such activities has a substantial enough connection to Colorado to make the exercise of jurisdiction over the non-resident reasonable.

Can a non-lawyer corporate representative represent a corporation in Court?

With one limited statutory exception, corporations and other legal entities are not allowed to represent their own interests in a state court proceeding in Colorado and must retain a lawyer. If a non-lawyer attempts such representation, the opposing party can ask the Court to reject any document filed with the Court by the non-lawyer.

What terms are required to make a legally enforceable contract?

Generally contracts require an offer and acceptance between competent parties, the exchange of consideration (i.e. the agreement to exchange something of value), and must involve a legal activity. Our contract formation services can help make sure your contract is legally enforceable.

What must be established to assert a breach of contract action in Colorado?

A party attempting to recover on a breach of contract action in Colorado must prove the following elements: (1) the existence of a contract; (2) performance by the plaintiff or some justification for non-performance; (3) failure to perform the contract by the defendant; and (4) resulting damages to the plaintiff.

How do you measure the damages to be awarded in a breach of contract action?

The measure of damages is the amount it takes to place the plaintiff in the position it would have occupied had the breach not occurred (sometimes referred to as the amount of money necessary to provide the non-breaching party with the benefit of their bargain). Such damages must be traceable to and the direct result of the wrong to be redressed and must be reasonably foreseeable at the time the parties entered into the contract in question. Such damages must also be reasonably ascertainable, and not too remote or speculative.

How long will it take my lawsuit to get to trial?

If you file a lawsuit in state or federal court in Colorado, it will usually take around a year to a year and a half for the trial of the matter to be held.

Can I recover the attorneys’ fees that I spend if I win?

Usually attorneys’ fees are not recoverable by the winner of a lawsuit. Attorneys’ fees are only usually recoverable if a special statute exists that allows for such an award or the parties have agreed in the contract upon which the lawsuit is based that the prevailing party to any dispute arising regarding the contract is entitled to the recovery of their attorneys’ fees.

Can the firm take my breach of contract case on a contingency fee?

Yes, although contingency fees are only usually used in personal injury cases, and cannot be used in family law cases, nothing usually prevents a client and a lawyer from agreeing to a contingency fee arrangement in a contract case so that the lawyer only gets paid if the client wins the case.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Mediation is usually used to refer to a procedure in which the parties attempt to resolve their dispute by asking a neutral party to review the applicable facts and law in an effort to assist the parties to agree to a settlement. Opinions expressed by a mediator are usually not binding on the parties. In contrast, arbitration is usually used to refer to a procedure in which the parties ask a neutral party to serve as a privately hired judge to actually determine exactly how the dispute should be resolved. Opinions expressed by an arbitrator are usually binding on the parties and the winning party can usually go to Court to have the ruling of the arbitrator adopted by the Court as its own ruling. Once that occurs, the winner can use the legal system to enforce its arbitration award in the same manner as the winning party to a lawsuit can use the legal system to enforce a Court judgment.

Can I sue the owner(s) of the corporation or limited liability company (LLC) if the corporation or LLC has no money?

Usually not. However, in certain circumstances, the law allows you to sue the owners of corporations and LLCs. The legal concept is called piercing the corporate veil. To do so, certain facts need to be proved, including but not limited to, whether: (1) the corporation has been operated as a distinct business entity; (2) funds and assets have been commingled; (3) adequate corporate records have been maintained; (4) the nature and form of the entity’s ownership and control facilitate misuse by an insider; (5) the business is thinly capitalized; (6) the corporation is used as a “mere shell;” (7) shareholders disregard legal formalities; and (8) corporate funds or assets are used for non-corporate purposes.

Do you have a legal question?

The information provided and exchanged on this website does not constitute legal advice to you or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship between us. Hansen Law Firm, LLC d/b/a Colorado Contract requires that a written contract be entered into and signed by it and any prospective client before it agrees to undertake the legal representation of any prospective client and serve as its contract attorney. In addition, the circumstances of every case differ and the unique facts of every case must be known before legal counsel can be given by any contract attorney.

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