Most matters that we handle involve contracts in one way or another. Our insurance coverage issues involve policy contracts. Our construction law disputes concern contracts for the work to be performed and materials to be provided. Our employment law matters often involve non-compete or severance agreements. Sometimes, contractual terms and the presence of a breach are clear. Other times, the terms and obligations under a contract are disputed and require judicial interpretation. In all of these cases, our attorneys are prepared to tackle the contractual issues that our clients are dealing with.
Verbal Contracts and Quasi-Contract Law:
If the agreement that you’re seeking to enforce is not reflected in a signed writing, you may still have enforceable contractual rights. There are some types of contracts that are required by Massachusetts law to be in writing and signed by the party being accused of breaching the contract. These include contracts concerning:
Otherwise, an enforceable contract need only be supported by the following elements: 1.) offer and acceptance (mutual assent); 2.) consideration (something of value given in exchange for a promise); 3.) capacity (parties are over 18 years old and of sound mind); and 4.) legal subject matter of the contract.
Even where the elements of a contract are not present, Massachusetts law recognizes certain causes of action in “quasi-contract,” where a court will recognize an implied contract between the parties. A successful plaintiff in a quasi-contractual claim will be able to recover the reasonable value of the services rendered or benefit conferred upon the defendant.
Where a contractual breach and resulting financial damages are clear, Massachusetts law permits a plaintiff to obtain certain relief at the initial stage of litigation. These types of pre-judgment relief can include:
Courts generally only allow prejudgment relief where the defendant has failed to pay installment payments required by a written contract, or has failed to pay for goods delivered or services rendered by a set deadline in a written contract. When obtained, prejudgment relief provides significant leverage to a creditor who has so far been ignored.
If you need assistance with asserting contractual rights or defending allegations that you breached a contract, please contact our office.
The contents of this page are intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. For guidance and advocacy tailored to the needs of your legal matter, please contact our office.