Business Litigation Attorney Dallas, TX
When Time Is of The Essence in a Contract
When clients contract with businesses to provide goods or services, they sometimes require that the services be completed or goods be delivered by a certain time. If the customers’ needs are truly time-sensitive, the client may insist that the delivery time or completion time be written into the contract. This is sometimes known as a “time is of the essence” clause. Having a business litigation attorney in Dallas, Texas from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC assist in drafting these clauses can help ensure legal protection if there are issues later on.
Generally, when a business enters into a contract with a client, there is an expectation of delivery within a reasonable amount of time. What a reasonable amount of time is can vary depending on the nature of the goods or services. In some cases, a client can provide a certain date within which a contract has to be fulfilled. Delays in delivery can cost the client and the business money. This is often why a Dallas, TX business litigation attorney will recommend a client include a “time is of the essence clause.”
If the business agrees to deliver the goods by the time specified in a contract with a client, then the business should make every effort to fulfill the contract by that date. Most contracts that include a “time is of the essence” clause also include penalty provisions for failing to meet the contractual deadline. The penalty could be a daily fee for each day over the specified deadline or could be an amount to be calculated later.
The client’s request can sometimes be tied to costs the client is expecting to incur if there is a delay. For example, a client contracts with a builder to complete major renovations in the client’s home within three months. The builder’s failure to meet this deadline could mean that the client has to pay for housing and storage for the additional days or months it takes the builder to complete the project. The contract between the client and the builder could include language that requires the builder to pay the reasonable cost of the client’s housing and storage expenses that are caused by the delay. Your business litigation attorney in Dallas, TX can help you determine what would be reasonable stipulations to include in your contract.
The fact that the provision is included in the contract could mean that if delivery is not on time, a court could find that a material breach of the contract. This could mean that the client does not have to accept late delivery or pay for the goods. Courts generally enforce contractual provisions concerning delivery time if they find that time really was of the essence in the delivery of goods or services.
Contact an Experienced Dallas, TX Business Litigation Attorney
If your business is about to enter into a contract to provide goods or services within a set amount of time, you need to review all the contractual language to ensure you understand the requirements as well as the penalties involved. Before agreeing to deliver by the client’s deadline, consult with an experienced business attorney who can advise you on how you should approach the deal. For more information, contact the dedicated business litigation attorney Dallas, TX clients recommend at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation.