San Diego, CA asked in Business Law, Contracts and Intellectual Property for California

Q: If a consulting contract was breached by the client seriously, do I need a ruling to determine it is material?

A client five years ago not only breached a contract by refusing to pay a significant portion of invoices, but also failed to honor several terms such as patenting the work himself without credit or consideration, was destructive to several professional relationships, caused distress, and more. Does one need to have a court or similar system declare the contract in material breach and thus invalidated or if it is obvious can one cite those breaches and make some sort of official declaration if this person reappears and makes demands regarding the contract. Does it need to be even anything official if the contract is five years old but has some terms stating 'x or y paragraph survive the termination of this contract' I wonder? The state the contract was to follow the law and rulings of was New York. There was no 'good faith and fair dealing' there. I don't want to sue just be free of any contract obligation. I performed and for a low fee.

2 Lawyer Answers

A: Check statute of limitations.

Depending on how long the contract has been paused, that may be a termination of the contract.

Consult with an attorney.

Julie King
Julie King
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You only have a certain period of time to sue someone and, if these events took place five years ago, you need to see a litigation attorney (a lawyer who handles lawsuits) ASAP! You could have the best case in the world but, if you don’t file a lawsuit in time, it doesn’t matter how good it is. Your case would be thrown out of court. Go now.

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