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Can the courts enforce the terms of a business contract?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Commercial Litigation

Businesses that routinely secure services or materials from other companies typically have contracts in place outlining the specific terms of their arrangement. That way, if either party deviates from the agreement, it is possible to hold them accountable for their obligations. A thorough contract can ultimately help a company control costs and better ensure continual operations without minimal worker downtime.

Unfortunately, all it takes is a failure on the part of a vendor or service provider to derail a company’s plans and force a total overhaul of a project timeline. A breach of contract can cause massive expenses and delays, as well as damage to a company’s reputation.

Some parties who violate the terms of a business contract are completely unapologetic and have no intention of following through by delivering the goods that they promised or finishing a project that they quoted and started but have not completed. The bad faith actions of these parties can cause real financial hardship for other businesses. Can an organization dealing with a major breach of contract expect the civil courts to help enforce their agreement?

Yes, judges can uphold some business contracts

One of the many ways that a judge can resolve a contract dispute is by affirming that a breach of contract occurred and ordering that the party that violated the agreement correct the matter. They will have to review the contract to ensure it is valid and enforceable. They can choose to order specific performance to enforce the contract.

When a judge orders specific performance, they may instruct one party to carry out the terms of the contract or may impose additional requirements on the defendant because of the damages their breach of contract may have generated for the plaintiff. If the breach continues unaddressed, the party that fails to abide by the court order demanding specific performance could face contempt of court allegations and other penalties.

Although the ideal in a contract dispute may be to resolve the matter amicably, sometimes doing so simply is not an option because one of the parties involved has no intention of fulfilling the agreement unless forced to do so by the courts. Seeking legal guidance and taking the appropriate steps to resolve a business contract dispute can minimize the lasting damage suffered by the party that entered the contract in good faith.