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What Is a Breach of Contract?

When it comes to business and other legal transactions, it’s important to make sure that the agreement between all parties involved is legally binding and that each side is held accountable for fulfilling their part. Unfortunately, sometimes one or more parties may breach the contract, leaving the other side with a legal dispute. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to understand how to handle a breach of contract and when to seek legal advice. 

A breach of contract is when one or both parties of a legally binding agreement do not fulfill their obligations under that agreement. Breaches of contract can take many forms, such as one party not delivering goods or services as agreed, failing to pay an agreed-upon amount of money, or not meeting a deadline. To determine if a breach of contract has occurred, a court will look at the four elements of a valid contract: offer, acceptance, consideration, and the intention to create legal relations.

When a contract is breached, the party that suffered the breach has the right to take legal action against the party at fault. Depending on the specifics of the breach, the injured party may be entitled to monetary damages, specific performance, or other remedies.

Types of Contract Breaches

  1. Unilateral Breach: This is when one party fails to fulfill the terms and conditions of the contract without the consent of the other party. 
  2. Minor Breach: This is when one party fails to fulfill certain obligations stated in the contract, but the non-breaching party is not significantly harmed. 
  3. Material Breach: This is when one party fails to fulfill the major terms of the contract, and the non-breaching party is significantly harmed. 
  4. Anticipatory Breach: This is when one party expresses their inability or unwillingness to fulfill their contractual obligations in the future before any breach has occurred. 
  5. Fundamental Breach: This is when one party breaches a major term of the contract, which goes against the spirit of the agreement and seriously affects the rights of the other party.

Even though one party breaches contract, the non-breaching party is still required to abide by the contract’s provisions.

Defenses to Breach of Contract

  1. Lack of Capacity: This defense is available when a party was legally unable to enter into a contract. This could be a minor, someone who is intoxicated, or someone who is mentally impaired. 
  2. Unconscionability: This defense is available when one party has taken advantage of the other party’s lack of knowledge or bargaining power. 
  3. Duress: This defense is available when one party was forced to enter into a contract under threat of harm. 
  4. Impossibility: This defense can be used when the performance of the contract has become impossible for some reason beyond the control of the parties. 
  5. Mistake: This defense can be used when both parties are mistaken about some material fact that is relevant to the contract. 
  6. Fraud: This defense is available when one party has misrepresented a material fact in order to induce the other party to enter into a contract. 
  7. Statute of Limitations: This defense is available when a party has failed to bring a claim for breach of contract within the period of time set forth by law.

If you believe that you are a victim of a breach of contract, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Depending on the situation, you may be able to resolve the breach of contract without legal action. However, if you have tried to resolve the issue and the other party has failed to meet their obligations, then it may be time to seek legal advice. 

How a Lawyer Can Help With Breach of Contract

A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and provide advice on the best course of action. Depending on the situation, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the other party to resolve the breach of contract, or they may advise you to pursue legal action. Your lawyer can also represent you in court if necessary, helping to ensure that your rights are protected and that justice is served. If you’ve been a victim of a breach of contract, it’s important to understand your legal rights and to seek legal advice if necessary. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your options and protect your rights throughout the process.

Rokita Law-Trusted Business Contract Lawyer in Los Angeles, California

When it comes to running your business, there are plenty of things to consider, and it can be difficult to keep track of all the legalities required to operate efficiently. Enlisting the services of an experienced business lawyer can ensure that any legal issues that arise in your business are sufficiently addressed and resolved. With Rokita Law, you can breathe a little easier knowing you have a business lawyer on your side that offers solutions to many legal needs with experience, passion, and integrity. Serving Los Angeles County, San Diego, San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, San Bernardino, Riverside County, California, we practice in many areas, including civil litigation, business law, real estate law, and intellectual property, to give you well-rounded support with trusted, professional lawyers. Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can help and watch your business thrive.

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