Houston Contracts Attorney
A contract is an agreement with specific terms between two people or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit such as money or return services. The law of contracts is often at the heart of most commercial disputes. It is also one of the oldest areas of laws and contract interpretation depends upon variations of the facts and laws. It is important to hire an attorney experienced in the negotiation, drafting, and enforcement of contracts.
The elements of a contract must be met to have a valid agreement
The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements:
- An offer was made
- Acceptance of that offer, which results in a meeting of the minds
- A promise to perform
- A valuable consideration, which can be a promise or payment
- A time or even when performance must be made
- Terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises
What are the types of contract?
Contracts can be either written or oral. Oral contracts are obviously much more difficult to prove and should be avoided in a business context if at all possible. There are often a series of offers and counteroffers prior to finalizing a contract. These may or may not be incorporated into the final contract. Contracts may be conditioned upon a certain event occurring or be implied based upon the circumstances.
Contract variations are limitless. Unless the elements above are satisfied, an enforceable contract does not exist. Also, contracts may unintentionally include illegal or unenforceable terms. It is advisable to have a Houston contract attorney negotiate and draft your business agreements to ensure that they are legal and enforceable.
Breach of contract and common defenses to contract actions
When a person or business breaches a contract, the first consideration will be the validating of the contract, followed by the legitimacy of any defenses. A Houston contract lawyer can explain aspects of Texas contract law that may prevent enforcement of a contract including:
- Lack of valuable consideration
- Lack of capacity to enter into a contract, such as age or mental incapacity
- The contract was agreed to under undue influence or duress
- Unconscionable contract terms
- Contract was illegal or against public policy
Enforcing a contract is made easier if the contract has been properly negotiating and drafting by a Houston contract lawyer from the outset. It is beneficial to have an attorney such as Clark Martin, who also has a litigation background, work on your contracts. His experience and familiarity with how to defend against those contracts, in the event of litigation, can be invaluable.
The Martin Law Firm has experience handling both the drafting and enforcement of contracts. By hiring a Houston business lawyer, small businesses can prevent opponents from having defenses to breach of contract, and helping to assure their enforcement in court. The Martin Law Firm regularly advises clients on Texas contract law, including reviewing contracts, drafting business contracts, and contract negotiation.