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Contract Lawyers in Toronto

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What is Contract Law?

Contract Law is a general term that describes an area of law in which the relationship between the parties is transaction-based. In fact, most activities in daily life are based on contracts although they are so routine we rarely think about them that way. Any time you buy something, from as incidental a purchase as a stop at your local coffee shop to a hotel reservation, plane ticket, or your car or home, you are entering into a contract. If you hire a babysitter, go out to dinner, and then to a movie, you have actually entered into three contracts in just the span of a few hours.

Your job is another example of a relationship that has a contract at its core. Marriage is also a form of contract although one with special rules. In fact, outside of things like criminal activities, paying taxes, or complying with road traffic rules and other public safety requirements (things we are required to do or not do by law, in other words, but aren’t quite criminal), there are very few activities that don’t have a contract lurking somewhere in the background even if it’s not something anyone ever (or hardly ever) pays attention to.

Contracts are nothing more than agreements or deals and they can cover anything two people can think of to agree to do or exchange but they do have two special characteristics. For an agreement to be a contract, there has to be an exchange of value (your money in return for the coffee shop’s double-double and bagel). That’s why if you invite a friend to a party at your house and ask them to bring snacks and they promise to do so but don’t show up (leaving you without snacks for your guests and a little embarrassed), you can’t sue your friend because he or she did not receive anything from you in return for the promise to bring snacks. Social commitments, in other words, are not contracts. That last point highlights the second special characteristic of contracts. They are enforceable by suing and going to court if one party delivers on their side of the bargain but the other party does not.

When Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are involved in a dispute that is based on a contract, it is likely you will find that specific area of dispute covered by another of the categories in this Directory. Entertainment Law, Franchise Law, Landlord-Tenant Law, Wrongful Dismissal Law, and Real Estate Law are just a small sample of areas of law that are subspecialties of Contract Law. If you cannot find a category specific to your matter, consult a Contract Lawyer.