Virginia Contract Dispute Lawyer

Contracts are a part of our everyday lives, allowing our society to more efficiently conduct its everyday business. We rely on contracts to obtain necessary materials, sell our goods & services, and collect payments from consumers and customers. Unsurprisingly, disputes often arise surrounding such contracts. The resolution of these disputes is imperative to the parties, and the business litigation attorneys at Parks Zeigler are here to assist you in efficiently and economically resolving these disputes to obtain the remedies you deserve.

What is a Contract?

A contract creates a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. The elements of a contract are an (1) offer, (2) acceptance of that offer, (3) and consideration. Consideration is essential to every contract and, simply put, means the exchange of one thing of value for another. Consideration may be the exchange of money, services, physical property, a promise to do something, or even a promise not to do something.

Written vs. Oral Contracts

A contract does not have to be in writing to be enforceable. While you always want a written contract so that the terms are spelled out in writing and you do not need to rely upon oral representations; in Virginia, most oral contracts are valid and lawfully binding. However, certain types of contracts must be in writing and signed by the party to be charged with performance of the contract’s obligations in order to be valid and comply with the Statute of Frauds. Agreements that must be in writing and signed are:

  • Contract for the sale of real estate;
  • Lease of real estate for longer than one year;
  • An agreement that cannot be performed within one year of the date it was entered into;
  • Ratification of a contract by a minor reaching 18 years old;
  • Agreement by an executor of a deceased person’s estate to pay out of their own funds what the estate owes;
  • A promise by one person to be legally responsible for the debt of another person;
  • Agreement made on consideration of marriage or a non-marital co-living agreement;
  • An agreement to lend more than $25,000; and
  • Contracts for the sale of goods for $500 or more

However, under certain circumstances, even when a contract does not comply with the Statute of Frauds, it may be enforceable if one of the parties has already performed its duties under the contract. A contract dispute attorney in Virginia can help you understand these regulations.

Breach of Contract

When a party to a contract fails to fulfill an obligation or duty under the contract, there has been a breach of the contract. In Virginia, one must be able to prove the following in order to succeed on a breach of contract claim:

  • A legally enforceable contract between the parties;
  • A violation or breach of an obligation under the contract; and
  • Injury or damage to the party not in breach as a result of the breach of contract

Not every failure to comply with a contract constitutes a breach of contract, however. To prevail in a breach of contract claim, the injured party must demonstrate that the breach constituted a “material breach.” According to Virginia Code §59.1-507.1, a breach of contract is considered material if:

  • The contract defines a particular action as a material breach;
  • The breach is a substantial failure to perform a term that is an essential element of the agreement; or
  • The circumstances of the agreement and the character of the breach indicate that the breach caused or is likely to cause substantial harm or substantial loss of a reasonably expected benefit.

Examples of a material breach may include failing to perform on time, failing to make a full or timely payment, failing to perform at all, or providing a service of inadequate quality.

In oral contracts where the terms are not memorialized, and even in written contracts, proving a material breach of contract is not always clear cut. There can be many disputes surrounding a breach of contract action, such as:

  • If the contract was valid at the time of signing;
  • Which party breached the contract first;
  • Interpretation of disputed terms of the contract;
  • Whether one party waived the other’s breach of contract by its own actions; or
  • Whether either party engaged in fraud

At Parks Zeigler, our Virginia lawyers have experience in assisting our clients with disputes such as these involving a wide range of different contract types, including:

  • Service agreements
  • Sales contracts
  • Employment contracts
  • Real estate contracts
  • Commercial contracts
  • Business contracts
  • Insurance agreements

A Virginia Contract Dispute Lawyer Can Help You Handle a Contract Dispute

Whether you are just starting your business or have been operating for decades, a Parks Zeigler, PLLC Virginia contract dispute lawyer can provide you with knowledgeable legal advice to help you prevent and manage the business disputes that so often inevitably arise. Schedule a consultation now.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Map & Directions
524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
Map & Directions
200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Map & Directions