Breach of Contract
Orlando Breach of Contract Attorney
Before hiring an Orlando breach of contract attorney it is important to know some of the basic processes of how breach of contract litigation works in Florida.
Contract Dispute Litigation
There are three components to the formation of a contract. They are 1. an offer, 2. acceptance of the offer, and 3. Something of value exchanged between the parties.
Often, the exchange is a good or service exchanged for the promise of payment, but a mutual exchange of promises to perform will also form a valid contract.
To prove a breach of contract case in Florida, the Plaintiff must prove the existence of the contract, that the Defendant breached the contract, and that the Plaintiff suffered damage as a result of the breach. The burden to prove these elements is on the Plaintiff, who must prove by greater weight of the evidence that each element occurred.
Litigating a Contract Case
Before choosing to litigate a breach contract case in Orlando as either the plaintiff or the defendant, a significant review of the facts, the potential defenses and an evaluation of the damages to be sought should occur.
It is crucial for a litigant to fully understand the best day in court as well as the potential for a loss and an award of attorney’s fees to the other side, or the likelihood that counterclaims will result from the Plaintiff filing a lawsuit.
Winning Attorney Fees
Under Florida law attorney’s fees are only recoverable when there is a statutory or contractual basis for the recovery.
In other words, each party in any civil litigation case will bear the full cost of its own attorney’s fees unless there is a statutory or contractual right to recover attorney fees in addition to the amount of damage claimed.
The most common language used in attorney’s fee statutes and contract clauses allows payment of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party by the non-prevailing party. This means that the winning party must litigate to the completion of the case before becoming entitled to attorney’s fees.
Proposal for Settlement
Florida law provides a mechanism for litigants, both Plaintiff and Defendant, to trigger an award of attorney’s fees when there is otherwise no basis for such an award. The process is detailed within Florida Statute Ch. 768.69 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442.
A proposal for settlement, when properly drafted and allowed to expire, allows a litigant to win an award of attorney’s fees accruing beginning the day of service of the proposal if the following occurs:
If made by the Plaintiff to the Defendant and the Plaintiff recovers 25% more than the Proposal after trial.
If made by the Defendant to the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff recovers 25% less than the Proposal after trial.
A proposal for settlement can change the landscape of a case. Where there once may have been no basis for recovery of attorney’s fees, now the party subject to the proposal for settlement must thoroughly consider risk associated with pursuing litigation beyond the expiration of the proposal.
Before taking any steps, make sure to consult a breach of contract attorney in Orlando to find out your options and how to proceed.