Contract rights may be expressly written. An illustration is the exclusive right one has to use copyrighted content. Contract rights may also be implied, such as the privilege to fair and equal disclosure of evidence.
Both parties to a contract have contract rights. For example, one party may have the right to purchase a product while the other party can deliver it. Inherently, contracts address various rights, turning on the parties’ needs.
A notion connected to contract rights is “contract duties,” which refers to a party’s responsibilities under the agreement terms. Contract rights generally affect business matters, such as supplying products and services. Nevertheless, these rights may also affect other subject matters.
The term contract refers to a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. Contracts can be written or oral. However, for most contracts to be legally enforceable, they must be made in writing and signed by both or all parties concerned. Some of the most ordinary examples of contracts include sales contracts, employment agreements, confidentiality contracts, and insurance arrangements. Drafted contracts can be straightforward or more complicated and will typically include the terms of the deal and what should be done if a person were to breach the contract.
Contract rights are those rights given to a party through a formal contract. These rights may be expressly written, such as the exclusive rights to copyrighted material. Rights may also be inferred from the contract, such as the right to fair and equal disclosure of contract material. These rights live on both sides of the deal, meaning that all parties involved in the contract are granted specific rights. An illustration of this would be one party retaining the right to buy a product, with the other party asserting the right to provide that product to the customer.
Each separate contract will likely address a distinct set of rights according to the parties’ demands. In addition to contract rights, all parties involved will have contractual responsibilities under the contract terms. These are the responsibilities that each party is legally accountable for. Referring to the sales example, one party must transfer ownership of the property to another party, while the receiving party has an obligation to pay for the property.
What Are Some Standard Contract Rights?
The most basic contract right is to have all parties involved deal lawfully and in good faith in the agreement. This concept is known as the good faith and fair dealing requirement and is implied in every contract. Good faith and fair dealing rights state that every party affected acts candidly and in good faith during the contracting procedure.
In essence, no party may take any step that thwarts the purpose of the contract from being fulfilled. All involved parties must make a fair effort to negotiate candidly with the other party or parties and reveal all concerns paramount to the contract. A person is only to enter a contract they feel, in good faith, they will be able to complete.
Some other distinct instances of contract rights may contain:
- The right to timely and total economic payments for all products and services;
- The right to complete ownership and usage of a product, brand, or material;
- The right to resell or transfer ownership rights (although this right may change with each contract based on the specific occurrences); and
- The right to litigate or file a suit over a contract disagreement, particularly over breaches of contract.
Contract rights may occasionally be allocated and entrusted to another party. This could be useful or even required in the circumstances such as a construction business needing help from another business to finish a project. Reassignments and delegations can be complex and may need legal assistance to guarantee good faith and fair dealing practices.
Transferring contract rights to a third party is typically permitted unless the express contract restricts the assignment of rights to a third party. Any rights stemming from a contract may be transferred as long as the transfer of those rights doesn’t materially alter the duties of any other parties implicated in the contract.
Further, the transfer of rights may not expand the burden of risk set by the contract. Parties to the contract may delegate their duties under the contract to another party, as long as the performance owed under the contract does not concern any services or particular skills that the other party or parties may expressly want.
What Should I Do If My Contract Rights Have Been Infringed?
If your contract rights have been violated, you may have a legal claim. To specify if you have a legal claim, you should inspect your contract and any express provisions linked to your contract rights.
Also, you may hope to collect other records and witness accounts that could aid in establishing precisely how your rights were violated. Before taking any step, you should make a written statement of exactly what led to the breach of your contract rights and how you feel your rights were violated.
When a breach of contract happens, the non-breaching party may still maintain their rights and execute the contract while suing for damages caused by the breach. Some of the damages that the non-breaching party may be awarded include:
- Compensatory damages, or those that reimburse the non-breaching party for their losses;
- Restitution, such as lost earnings or medical bills; or
- Punitive damages penalize the breaching party when they engage in highly egregious conduct, such as intentional negligence.
All parties to a contract have certain rights. Some are expressly stated, and others are implied. If you’re uncertain of your rights, it’s wise to call a legal expert before you sign any agreement. An attorney can clarify any difficult terms and conditions, so you’re a well-informed party to the contract.
What Are Implied Contract Rights?
Along with expressly stated contract rights are “implied contract rights,” which exist based on present contract rules and guidelines. While they can be written into the contract, they’re typically implied by federal and state contract rules.
Implied contract rights include the following:
- Good faith and fair dealing: All parties in valid contracts are anticipated to act in good faith and fair dealing. Parties in a contract cannot act deceptively. They are expected to reveal all pertinent info under the contract.
- Right to be free from coercion: Contracts that are created under duress — when one party is compelled to sign — are nullified. All parties should be free and knowledgeable enough to enter into an agreement.
- Right to be free from deception: Parties have the right to be free from dishonest information or misrepresentation.
- Quasi-contracts: When no enforceable contract exists, the court may imply one to bypass unfair enrichment on a benefiting party. Unjust enrichment could transpire if a party granted a benefit to another party, with the benefiting party understanding that the first party anticipates payment for this service. Courts usually let the party recover fair value for services even if there’s no formal contract in place.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Implement My Contract Rights?
Suppose you need help with any contract matters, such as deciding your rights under a contract or protecting them should they be disregarded. In that case, you should consult with a professional and knowledgeable contract attorney. An experienced contract lawyer can inspect your contract to specify whether you have a claim, as well as represent your interests in court.