The Ultimate Guide to Breach of Contract

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The Ultimate Guide to Breach of Contract

When a breach of contract occurs, there is essentially a "broken" contract. A breach typically occurs when one party to a contract fails to perform or refuses to perform according to the terms of the contract without a lawful or justifiable excuse.

What Type of Contract Do You Have?

There are many different types of contracts. Understanding the type of contract you have formed will help you understand whether any rights or obligations under the terms of the contract have been breached.

Are There Different Kinds of Breaches?

The are four different ways that a breach of contract may be found:

  1. Material Breach of Contract: A material breach, or major breach, occurs where a party to the contract ends up with something significantly different than what was contracted for. A material breach typically provides that the non-breaching party is not required to perform their end of the bargain and has the right to seek a remedy from the breaching party.
  2. Minor Breach of Contract: A minor breach of contract, or a partial breach, occurs where one party fails to perform some part of the contract even though the specified item or service was delivered. For example, if a contractor contracted to complete a remodel on a certain day, however, the contractor completes the project the day after, this would be considered a minor breach.
  3. Anticipatory Breach of Contract: Anticipatory Repudiation, or anticipatory breach of contract, occurs when one party announces, prior to their time to perform under the contract, that he or she does not intend to perform under the terms of the contract.
  4. Actual Breach of Contract: An actual breach of contract occurs when one persons fails to perform according to the terms of the contract. An actual breach may also be found where one party performs incompletely.

What Remedies Can I Seek?

There are typically two types of remedies you can seek for a breach of contract. Damages are monetary awards. Damages typically cannot be speculative. Equitable remedies are awarded when a monetary award, or damages, would be insufficient to properly remedy the plaintiff.

1. Damages: The following are different types of damage awards:

2. Equitable Remedies: when legal or monetary compensation can't adequately compensate:

Defenses to a Breach of Contract

When a party is sued for breach of contract, they may argue that they have an affirmative defense, which justifies their actions. There are multiple affirmative defenses that may be raised by a party and can protect their rights in the event of a lawsuit.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Breach of Contract Lawsuit?

Contract violations can be very complex. If you are being sued as the breaching party, or if you are seeking relief as the non-breaching party, it is important to seek the legal counsel of an experience contracts lawyer or business lawyer who can aid in navigating the difficult road ahead. Your attorney can advise you of your rights.

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Last Modified: 09-30-2016 02:28 PM PDT

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