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Litigating Termination of Contracts

Do you seem trapped in a bad contract? Has a client, customer, or business partner attempted to back out of a deal or failed to uphold contractual obligations?

Unforeseen terminations of contracts are common.  Most contracts specify conditions under which the contract is terminated or invalid.  Often one or more parties will disagree on the specifics of those conditions, or will fail to understand them in the first place.

Whether you’re the party attempting to rescind the contract or the party attempting to enforce the contract, you may have found that your contract and your good-faith efforts have taken you as far as they can.  You may need a business litigation attorney to help bring this problem to a fair and just conclusion.

Rescinding contracts

There are several ways you may legally back out of a contract in California. One is to be within a time period for cancellation set by the contract itself, which won’t require litigation. Sometimes you can merely ask to be let out of the contract, and the other party will agree, most likely to preserve your relationship.

The rest of the time, a right to rescind a contract may exist under any of these circumstances.

  • The parties agree to end the contract.
  • You and your attorney can prove that your consent to the contract was obtained via mistake, fraud, undue influence, duress, or menace perpetrated by another party.
  • The other party has failed to uphold its end of the contract.
  • A force majeure clause has come into effect, representing circumstances beyond your control or the control of the other party that have made it impossible for the terms of the contract to be fulfilled.
  • The contract is unlawful.

If you and your attorney agree you qualify, you must promptly give notice of rescission to the other party, and either restore to the other party everything of value received under the contract or offer to restore it.

It may also be possible to renegotiate the contract under certain circumstances.

Litigation may arise when the other party does not agree that you meet the criteria for rescission. 

Enforcing a contract

If another party has not fulfilled its contractual obligations, we can help you either enforce the contract or collect damages to compensate you for that party’s failure. 

The first step will be to determine whether a breach of contract has occurred, whether the terms are enforceable, and what damages or remedies may be available to you under the circumstances of your case. 

We can help advise you on whether releasing the other party without penalty or renegotiating the contract would be a better choice than litigation. Of course, we can litigate if and when it is wise to do so, especially if the other party has refused to negotiate in good faith.

Get help with your contract problems

If you’re struggling with a contract, Chatow Law is here to help. Contact us to consult with experienced Orange County business litigation attorney Mark Chatow.

Handle Termination of Contract on a Contingency Basis

It is possible that we can litigate your termination of contract case on a contingency basis, rather than on a pay-as-you go hourly basis.  We understand that your money may be tied up temporarily, which is why we may be able to work you in such a way that you only pay a percentage of the settlement or judgment if and when we win your case and you collect your award.  You can find out more about the contingency business litigation option here.