Los Angeles Breach of Contract Attorneys

Breach of contract is a cause of action that arises when the terms of a binding agreement have been violated by one of the parties to the agreement.  In the business context, breach of contract ranges from claims against the other party to an agreement for the sale of goods or services for failure to make payment, on the relatively straightforward end, to the breach of complex secured lending instruments and investment securities agreements.

There are four standard elements required to establish a claim for breach of contract in California: (i) the existence of a valid contract, (ii) the plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance, (iii) the defendant’s breach of contract, and (iv) resulting damages.  The agreement does not need to be in writing and an oral agreement can be enforceable under many conditions.  The “Essential Elements” of a breach of contract claim in California are set forth in the Judicial Council of California’s Civil Jury Instructions, or CACI’s, No. 303.  (“CACI” is an acronym for California Civil Instructions, omitting several words of the full name that it is an acronym for.)

When we evaluate a breach of contract case, we carefully consult the applicable CACI’s. This allows us to proactively establish the elements of the claim that must be proven to a court or jury. If we are representing a plaintiff, we then craft a tailored strategy that incorporates each of the elements that are required to secure a successful outcome. If we are representing a defendant, we leverage this knowledge to anticipate the opposition’s approach and prepare a strategy designed to dismantle the plaintiff’s case.

What Are You Entitled to if You Win?

A breach of contract claim is not a tort, and generally does not allow for punitive damages, which are damages meant to punish the defendant and deter the defendant and other parties from taking the same sort of wrongful action in the future. As a general rule, under California law, the prevailing party in a breach of contract claim will only be entitled to recover their attorneys’ fees if provided for in the written agreement.

In California, a breach of contract claim can form the basis for the prejudgment remedy of writ of attachment, which is set forth in California’s Code of Civil Procedure, section 483.010 et seq. Under this statutory scheme, a plaintiff in a business breach of contract action can seek provisional relief to fix a lien upon assets of the defendant and to have the County Sheriff seize assets. This relief can be sought prior to trial and judgment, and as soon as upon the filing of the complaint.


If you have been sued in California for breach of contract or are considering suing another company or person for breach of contract, please contact one of the experienced litigation attorneys at Eanet, PC by email or by calling (310) 997-4185.


 

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