Breach of Contact
Breach of contract involves a binding agreement between individuals that is not honored by at least one of the parties to that agreement. When a party to a contract does not hold up their end of that contract, serious harm – financial and/or otherwise – can come to the other party to that contract. There are two main ways in which a contract can be breached. The most common way is through non-performance. In other words, one party to the contract fails to do what they agreed to in the contract. This can come about from one party not performing as they were supposed to, not performing in the time they were required to, or simply not performing their contract duties at all.
The other main way a contract can be breached is through one party interfering with the performance of the other party. That effectively stops the contract from being executed by one party, but that lack of execution is the fault of the other, interfering party. When a breach of contract occurs, it is necessary to secure a breach of contract attorney to protect the interests of one or more parties to the contract. The goal of attorney representation is to force the parties to the contract to comply with the specifics to which they agreed. If there are reasons by which one or more parties feel they are justified in not performing their contractual duties, those parties will have the opportunity to also retain an attorney and make their case.
A contract breach can be either material or immaterial. A material breach of the contract is more severe, in that the likelihood of harm to one or more parties based on that breach is much higher. A material breach breaks the specific wording of the contract (such as when something must be delivered, for example). An immaterial breach affects the should that surrounds the contract. For example, a contract may state that something will be delivered by a specific date. If it is delivered the following morning, and the contract did not specific that it must be delivered on that date, the breach will most likely be considered to be immaterial. However, if the wronged party can show actual damages from the contract being fulfilled late, that party may be able to claim a material breach instead.
By retaining the services of a breach of contract attorney, it is possible for a wronged party to obtain a legal remedy for either a material or an immaterial breach of contract. There are several types of remedies available to the non-breaching party. These include damages, specific performance, and compensation and restitution. Damages can be nominal, compensatory, liquidated or punitive. The breaching party must pay the non-breaching party, based on the remedy deemed appropriate. Compensatory damages restore the non-breaching party to where they were before the breach occurred. Punitive damages are paid over and above compensatory damages, as punishment for the breaching party.
Nominal damages are more of a token damage amount. These damages are paid when a breach clearly occurred but there were no financial damages to the non-breaching party. When liquidated damages are paid, they arise as a direct result of nonperformance of the contract, in that they were included in the contract as being required during a breach. If damages are not enough, specific performance may be required, whereby the non-breaching party requires the breaching party to perform as required under the contract. Cancellation and restitution come about as another remedy for breach of contract. In that remedy, the contract is cancelled and the non-breaching party sues for restitution to return them to the position they were in before entering into the contract.
For those who have been wronged by someone else through breach of contract, the hiring of an attorney who handles breach of contract cases may be their only option to enforce the contract terms and/or receive an appropriate remedy for damages incurred.