Many times a matter involving breach of contract will come down to who has the best documentation. You could be completely in the right but if you haven’t kept proper documentation and records of all activity with customers you may have no way to prove it. In order to bolster your stance and put yourself in the best position for success in a breach of contract case I recommend the following:
1. Be certain that you have clear protocol for all orders placed and deliveries made so that all employees understand and are able to articulate the process.
2. If you deliver goods, be sure to get a signed delivery slip from every customer, every time.
3. If possible, require signed purchase orders from customers in order to effectively eliminate any dispute based upon denial of placing an order.
4. Require a written contract. I know that many businesses operate on a purchase order/invoice basis which is not out of the ordinary, however, if you want to make it easier to also claim interest and attorneys’ fees in a breach of contract matter it’s a good idea to have each customer sign a written contract providing for interest on overdue balances and the recovery of reasonable collection costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, prior to beginning a business relationship.
Finally, make sure to provide ALL documentation regarding the business relationship with the Defendant to your attorney. It is not necessary to wait until the Defendant has served discovery requests upon you before you hand over all of those emails that you’ve saved and each individual invoice to your attorney. Don’t worry that you’re providing too much information…there is no such thing. By supplying your attorney with every bit of documentation regarding your claim you will be supplying him/her with the ability to see the big picture right from the start. This will allow your attorney to more efficiently and more effectively litigate your claim.