Most businesses need to have numerous enforceable contracts, and from time to time, individuals may also need valid contracts to be drawn up. These contracts may relate to anything from real estate purchases and sales to the lease of equipment. It is important to have a Grand Rapids or Traverse City contract law attorney draft and review any contracts to make sure that both parties understand and know what the agreement says, as well as to make sure that it holds up in court. Even when an attorney is involved in the drafting of a contract, however, there are times when one or both parties fail to perform some aspect of the clause. In these cases, it may be necessary to litigate the matter. At the Neumann Law Group, our business lawyers can help you with any aspect of contract law, including negotiating, drafting, and litigating.Overview of Contract Law
In order to have a valid and enforceable contract in Michigan, the parties need to be competent to enter into a contract, legal consideration must be exchanged, the parties must mutually agree, and there must be a mutuality of obligation.
The statute of frauds dictates which contracts must be in writing to be enforceable. For example, no interest in real estate may be transferred or created, other than leases that are less than a year, unless it is by operation of law or in writing and signed by whoever has transferred or created the interest. While many contracts do not need to be in writing to be enforceable, it is far more likely that you will be able to prove the existence of a contract in the event of a breach if there is a written contract. A contract law lawyer can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents ensure that a written contract is enforceable and appropriately expresses their intent.
To determine each party's rights and obligations in the event that one or both parties breach the contract, the court will look at the language of the contract first to determine what was intended. If the words are clear and unambiguous, the court is not permitted to look at anything outside the contract to determine what the parties intended under the parol evidence rule. There are exceptions to the parol evidence rule, however. You may use extrinsic evidence to show that the writing is not legitimate, the contract has no efficacy due to fraud, mistake, or illegality, or the parties to the contract did not agree to the contract at issue as the final embodiment of their understanding if there is no integration clause in the contract.
If the language of the contract may be interpreted in two or more ways or is otherwise inconsistent, the contract will be considered ambiguous. In these cases, the court may look outside the four corners of the contract to determine intent. In general, ambiguous language will be construed against the drafter of the contract after examining the applicable extrinsic evidence.
In some cases, the parties to a contract may work out differences related to a breach of contract or another contractual problem through mediation. However, in some cases, it is necessary for one party to litigate in order to seek damages. The party that has been harmed must try to the extent possible to minimize the losses experienced as a result of the breach.Retain a Knowledgeable Contract Law Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
You should retain an attorney if you are entering into a contract or you face a potential breach of contract case in Michigan. At the Neumann Law Group, our experienced Traverse City and Grand Rapids contract law lawyers can help ensure that your contracts express your intentions and assist you in pursuing damages if you have been harmed by a breach of contract. Our firm represents clients in Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Muskegon, Midland, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, and Saginaw, as well as areas throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for an appointment. We also are available for clients who need a fraud attorney or assistance in related legal matters.