Frequently Asked Questions

Breach of Contract

How do I know if I breached a contract?
A breach of contract likely exists if an individual or entity fails to perform or inadequately performs a contractual obligation.
When is an agreement unenforceable?
With some exceptions, pursuant to the statute of frauds, some contracts must be in writing and will not be enforceable otherwise. Also, agreements will likely be unenforceable against minors and those mentally incapacitated. If you have been fraudulently induced to enter into an agreement, you may be excused from performance. You may also be excused from performing under the contract if the other party hindered or prevented you from performing.
Can I enforce an oral contract or agreement?
It depends. Most agreements are required to be in writing pursuant to the statute of frauds. However, certain statutes enforce oral agreements, including in instances where one or both parties have performed without a written contract. The law is complex and you should consult an attorney for additional direction.
Can a party enforce an illegal contract?
Likely not. Illegality is an affirmative defense to a breach of contract claim.
What questions can I expect if I were deposed?
Opposing counsel will ask you a series of questions under penalty of perjury. You must answer each question truthfully. If you don’t know the answer to a question, you can say so. If engaged, the lawyers at Bezdik Kassab will prepare you and defend you should you be deposed.
Can I bring a lawsuit at any time?
The statute of limitation sets the time limit upon which a claimant may file a lawsuit. The statute of limitation differs depending on the claim. For instance, in California, a written breach of contract claim has a 4 year statute of limitations; an oral breach of contract claim is 2 years from the breach; fraud is 3 years; negligence is 4 years and defamation is 1 year.
Can I recover my attorney fees?
It depends. Generally, attorney fees are not recoverable in California unless authorized by a statute or contract. Some of the statutes that allow recovery of attorney fees include trespass and insurer bad faith.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

What is the definition of a fiduciary?
According to Black’s Law Dictionary a “fiduciary” is defined as: (a) duty of utmost good faith, trust, confidence, and candor owed by a fiduciary (such as an agent or a trustee) to the beneficiary (such as the agent’s principal or the beneficiaries of the trust); (b) a duty of utmost good faith, trust, confidence, and candor owed by a fiduciary (such as a lawyer or corporate officer) to the beneficiary (such as a lawyer’s client or a shareholder); (c) a duty to act with the highest degree of honesty and loyalty toward another person and in the best interests of the other person (such as the duty that one partner owes to another).
What duties do fiduciaries owe?
A fiduciary’s duty can include a duty of loyalty, a duty to exercise reasonable care and skill and a duty to deal impartially with beneficiaries.
What are examples of fiduciary relationships?
The attorney-client relationship is an example of a fiduciary relationship. Other examples include, but are not limited to, business partnerships, joint ventures and trustee and beneficiaries.

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