Contract Rights

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What Are Contract Rights?

Contract rights are those rights that are granted through a valid contract. These can be expressly written, such as the exclusive rights to use copyrighted material. They can also be inferred from the contract, such as the party’s rights to a fair and equal disclosure of the contract material. 

Contract rights exist on both sides of the agreement.  For example, one party may have the right to purchase a product, while the other party may have the right to supply that product to the buyer. Of course, each contract is going to address a different set of rights depending on the needs of the parties. 

A related concept is that of “contract duties”, which refers to the obligations that each party has under the contract terms.

What Are Some Typical Contract Rights?

The most basic contract right is the right to have the other party deal fairly and in good faith in the agreement. This is known as the “good faith and fair dealing” requirement, which is implied in every contract. It refers to the fact that parties need to exercise a reasonable effort to deal honestly with the other party and to disclose those matters that are essential to the contract.

Other, more specific contract rights may include:

Lastly, contract rights can sometimes be assigned and delegated to another party. This may often be beneficial or even necessary, such as when a construction company needs assistance from another company to complete a project. Assignments and delegations can often be quite complicated, and may require the assistance of a lawyer. 

What If My Contract Rights Have Been Violated?

If you believe that your contract rights have been violated, you may have legal claim. You should review your contract and examine the specific provisions related to those rights. You can also compile other documents and witness statements that might help prove how your rights were violated. Also, you should create a short written account of what happened and how you believe that your rights were violated.

When a breach of contract happens, the non-breaching party may still enforce the contract, but may sue for damages caused by the breach. The non-breaching party may also be entitled to several types of remedies (1) damages (2) specific performance (3) cancellation of contract (4) restitution for any benefit conferred to breaching party.

Can I Transfer My Rights to a Third Party?

Yes. Unless the contract prohibits assignment of rights to a contract, a party to a contract may assign his or her rights under the contract to another person. A right that arises under a contract may be transffered as long as the transfer of rights does not materially alter the other parties duties owed under the contract or increase the burden of risk imposed by the contract.

A party under the contract may also delegate his or her duties under the contract to another party as long as the performance that is owed under the contract does not involve a service or special skill that the other party specifically want.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Contract Rights?

Contract rights are a central aspect of any contractual agreement. If you need assistance with any contract matters or rights, you may wish to hire a business lawyer in your area. Your attorney can go over your contract rights with you to help determine whether you have a legal claim or not. Your lawyer can represent you in court in the event that lawsuit needs to be filed regarding your contract rights.

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Last Modified: 01-28-2015 01:53 PM PST

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