Getting started with contract law in Los Angeles can be a daunting task — not only must you familiarize yourself with the unique statutes in California, but you need to ensure that your contract covers all likely contingencies to ensure that you and your client are both adequately protected. To help simplify the process of launching yourself into contract law, here's a comprehensive guide to understanding and tackling the basics of drafting and enforcing contracts in Los Angeles.

What is Contract Law?

Contract law is the body of law dealing with agreements between two parties, which are legally binding. This type of arrangement is known as a contract, and under this legal framework both parties are held to the terms of the agreement. Contracts are used in a variety of situations, ranging from selling goods and services to entering into employment or leases.

Contracts are, essentially, legally binding promises that courts enforce if a breach of the agreement occurs. The primary elements of a valid contract include the following: an offer, acceptance of the offer, mutual agreement between the two parties, and an exchange of money or goods.

The Basics of Contract Law in Los Angeles

The laws governing contracts in Los Angeles are wide-ranging and complex, and it is vitally important that you understand them before engaging in any contractual negotiation or agreement.

The Statute of Frauds

The most important law to be aware of is the California Statute of Frauds. This law, which applies nationally, requires that all agreements to be entered into for goods over $500 must be in writing otherwise they may be considered invalid by the court. Additionally, for any lease agreement that will consume more than one year, the written agreement must be signed by both parties.

The Statute of Frauds may sound intimidating, but with a little preparation it is quite manageable. Upon starting the drafting process, be sure to take into account this law yourself — including the necessary forms and paperwork — before having to fight the law in court.

Understanding Breach of Contract

The cornerstone of contract law is breach of contract, which occurs when one party fails to fulfill their obligations as set forth by the agreement. When this occurs, the other party can take measures to correct the breach, and the penalties for doing so can range from monetary damages to rescinding the agreement altogether. To avoid these issues, it’s important to anticipate common breaches of contract before entering into an agreement, and to plan accordingly.

You should also be familiar with the various types of performance entailed in a contract — for example, materials delivery, service completion, or making a payment. The California Code of Civil Procedure outlines the various methods of performance and how each of them occur under the law.

Working with an Experienced Lawyer

Although it is possible to write and execute contracts yourself, it is often beneficial to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Not only can they help you anticipate and avoid common pitfalls, but they can also provide valuable counsel in the event of a dispute. Moreover, they can often help you during the negotiation process, as they may have experience when it comes to negotiating better terms.

When searching for an attorney to help you with your contract work, it’s best to look for someone with experience in contract law and a track record of successful results, so you can rest assured that you are receiving the legal advice you need.

Tips for Drafting Accurate Contracts

It’s also important to keep in mind that your contract must be written accurately in order for it to be recognized as legally binding. To this end, it’s recommended that you include the complete and correct address of each party, the nature of the agreement, and any specifics such as payment amounts and deadlines. It’s also important to include language that ensures both parties’ understanding of the terms of the contract, in order to avoid confusion or disagreement that may lead to a breach of contract.


Contracts are the backbone of business operations today, but they can be complex and overwhelming. By familiarizing yourself with the applicable laws in Los Angeles related to the drafting and implementation of contracts, as well as working with an experienced lawyer, you can ensure that you are taking the proper steps to protect your business and its operations.


Contract Law,

Los Angeles,

Statute of Frauds