Florida University Faces Breach of Contract Lawsuit From Textbook Company
According to reporting from Naples Daily News, Ave Maria University is facing a breach of contract lawsuit from a company called Archangel Students First, a textbook buyback firm that is based in Miami, Florida. In this case, the plaintiff (the textbook company) is seeking $800,000 in compensatory damages for the contract breach.
Contract lawsuits are often complex. The specific nature of this lawsuit demonstrates one of the most common issues that can lead to legal disputes: whether a legally binding agreement has been formed at all. If your company is dealing with a contract dispute, it is essential that you seek guidance from an experienced West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorney right away.
The Dispute: Was a Contract Formed?
As noted in the story from Naples Daily News, one of the core legal issues in this case was whether or not a binding contract was formed by the parties. In its lawsuit, the textbook company consistently refers to its ‘deal’ with Ave Maria University as a contract. However, in its response to the lawsuit, the university repeatedly refers to the ‘deal’ as a ‘draft agreement’. From a purely legal perspective, this is a meaningful distinction.
A contract is a binding legal agreement that Florida courts have the authority to enforce. However, in preliminary negotiations there can sometimes be agreements on certain points, without an actual contract being formed in the process. For a contract to be formed, there needs to be an offer and an acceptance. That being said, plenty of contract lawsuits make it to court because only one of the parties believes that the contract was formed.
Parties Should Be Careful When Negotiating Commercial Agreements
The overriding lesson of this case for business owners is relatively straightforward: in contract negotiations, it is imperative that you ensure that all parties are on the same page. You never want one side leaving the table thinking that a binding deal has been agreed upon, while the other side is leaving thinking that no contract has been formed and that negotiations are still ongoing.
Even if your business is ultimately correct as a matter of law, you never want to deal with the hassle, financial burden, and overall frustration of commercial litigation. The good news is that effective contract negotiation can do a lot to reduce the risk of getting tangled up in a lawsuit. If you are in the process of negotiating any type of commercial agreement, you should always work to ensure that clarity is a point of focus for your company. For larger deals, it is generally best to seek legal representation during the early stages of the contract negotiation.
Consult With Our Florida Breach of Contract Litigation Lawyers Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach commercial litigation lawyers have the skills and knowledge needed to handle all aspects of breach of contract lawsuits. If your firm is preparing for contract litigation, you need professional legal support. To set up an initial consultation, please call us at our West Palm Beach office or at our Miami office.