Settling Breach of Contract Claims without Protracted Litigation
Filing a lawsuit serves many purposes. One main purpose in a breach of contract lawsuit is to show the breaching party that you are taking this matter very seriously. This will put the breaching party on notice. However, filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean you have to win or lose. You can file the lawsuit even though your intent may be to enter into negotiations to settle the breach.
Some lawsuits can take over a year and become costly. There is also never a guarantee you can win at trial. Some type of Alternative Dispute Resolution can be useful. The most inexpensive alternative dispute resolution would be negotiation. Your attorney can review negotiations and negotiation strategies with you. The starting point should be your assessment of your damages and costs, depending on the language of the contract.
Minnesota law requires that the parties at least discuss the use of alternative dispute resolution and address the issue in an informational statement filed with the court. If the parties are unable to make a decision on the use of an alternative dispute resolution process or a third party to oversee the process the court may order the parties to any number of alternative dispute resolution processes.
Your contracts can contain language that will provide remedies for breaches of contract terms, including interest, penalties, and the possibility of recovering your attorneys’ fees for having to enforce the agreement’s terms. These sorts of damages can be used not only in court, but as extra leverage when negotiating a settlement. However, alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation should play a significant role in your strategy when opening a dispute. Sometimes, the only option is to take your case before the court, but this should not be your main strategy.