Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law Super Lawyers

What are the common defenses to breach of contract?

Contracts are a pivotal part of conducting business. Without them, businesses would be left to rely on each other's word, leaving them no legal recourse in the event that a party does not live up to its side of the bargain. Therefore, contracts can be a great way for businesses and individuals to ensure that they are receiving exactly what they have bargained for. In the event that they don't, they can take legal action in hopes of obtaining compensation for their damages or specific performance of the obligation that was not completed.

Many times, though, allegations of contract breach lack legal sufficiency. Yet, without putting on a proper defense, the party accused of breach may be left facing significant financial penalties. There are many ways to defend against an allegation of breach, but the right legal path depends upon the specific facts at hand.

First, an allegation of breach can be defended against if adhering to the terms of the contract has become impossible of the intent of the contract has become frustrated. An overly simplified example of this defense is when a contract is in place for a business to replace windows in a business, but before the work is completed the business is destroyed by a fire or natural disaster.

Second, breach has not occurred if the contract was obtained by fraud. Another common defense to breach is accord and satisfaction, which essentially means that some sort of substitute performance was conducted and the parties acquiesced to that performance. A breach of contract allegation can also be beaten if the contract was subject to a mutual mistake on the part of the parties involved.

Knowing the ins and outs of these defenses is important for not only those who are accused of breaching a contract, but also those who are pursuing a lawsuit for breach of contract. Regardless of which side a party finds itself, it is critical that they have the legal skills and know-how to ensure that their best interests are protected. For this reason, many in these situations choose to seek assistance from a qualified business law firm.

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