Contracts are simply agreements between two or more individuals, businesses, organizations, or government organizations to do – or not do – something in exchange for something of value. They can range from the "deal on a handshake," to oral promises, to formal written documents. Contracts are not always set in stone as they can be changed. Sometimes the change may be oral, and sometimes a change is required to be in writing with formal notice. Still other times, the parties' past business conduct can determine whether there is a contract, and even what the terms might include.
A breach of contract occurs when one side does not live up to his/her/its side of the bargain. Examples of a "breach" are where one party refuses to perform, or does something against the intent of the contract, or where one side makes it impossible for the other side to perform. The law provides various remedies for breach of contract, including reimbursement, or compensatory damages; foreseeable consequential and incidental damages; possibly liquidated damages; and attorneys' fees and costs.
In certain situations, the law would allow rescission of the contract, which means that the agreement is cancelled, and both sides excused from any further performance. And in still others, such as in real estate cases or cases involving other unique property, one remedy would allow a court order requiring specific performance, meaning the court orders the parties to perform exactly as the contract specified.
As simple as the concept of "contract" seems, they can be complicated and their litigation can be thorny. There is no one rule that can be applied to every contract, and they must be reviewed on a case–by–case basis. In Montana, cases involving written contracts must be brought within eight years (oral contracts are limited to five years, and some obligations are limited to three years). M.C.A. 27–2–202 . Let Waddell & Magan review your contract dispute.