Business Disputes Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

Business disputes generally include a claim for breach of contract. They may also include allegations of breach of the implied covenant of good faith and faith dealing, tortious interference with a contractual relationship, fraudulent inducement, material misrepresentation, or violation of the consumer fraud act. Pre-litigation business disputes generally include demand letter issuance and case evaluation with strategy development. Non-litigation business law services are also available, including contract preparation or review. The following is an overview of some legal principles that may apply to commercial litigation/business disputes.

Breach of Contract vs. Tort: Where there is a contract for services which places the parties in such a relationship to each other that, in attempting to perform the promised service, a duty imposed by law as a result of the contractual relationship between the parties is violated through an act which incidentally prevents the performance of the contract, then the gravamen of the action is a breach of the legal duty (i.e. tort), and not breach of contract.

Privity of Contract:  In general, someone who is not a party to a contract has no standing to challenge the performance of the contract. A contract made expressly for the benefit of a third person, however, may be enforced by that third party.    

Common Law Fraud: To establish fraud, a plaintiff establish the following with clear and convincing evidence: (1) a representation; (2) its falsity; (3) its materiality; (4) the speaker’s knowledge of its falsity or ignorance of its truth; (5) the speaker’s intent that it should be acted upon by the hearer and in the manner reasonably contemplated; (6) the plaintiff’s ignorance of its falsity; (7) the plaintiff’s reliance on its truth; (8) the plaintiff’s right to rely; (9) consequent and proximate injury.

Fraud Statutes: The Unfair Practices and Frauds Act, as seen with the Consumer Fraud Act, creates a private cause of action for deceptive sales practices. To succeed on a statutory fraud claim, a plaintiff must show a false promise or misrepresentation made in connection with the sale or advertisement of merchandise and consequent and proximate injury resulting from the promise. 

Insurance Bad Faith: Insurance bad faith claims stem from the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and thus require that neither party act in a way that damages the rights of the other party to receive the benefits which flow from the contractual relationship. The tort of insurance bad faith arises when an insurance company intentionally denies, fails to process, or fails to pay a claim without a reasonable basis. 

Indemnification: Under a general indemnity agreement an indemnitee is entitled to indemnification for a loss resulting in part from an indemnitee’s passive negligence, but not active negligence. A general indemnity clause is one that does not specifically address what effect the indemnitee’s negligence will have on the indemnitor’s obligation to indemnify.  An agreement to indemnify a party for its sole negligence is against public policy and therefore unenforceable.

The content of this website does not constitute legal advice, and will not create an attorney-client or attorney-prospective client relationship. Laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts, and other means. Please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state of the law and evaluate potential application to the facts of your matter.

Dunne Law PLLC is located in the Esplanade at E. Camelback Rd. and N. 24th St. in the Biltmore area of Phoenix, Arizona.

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