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Breach of contract

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Identify remedies for breach of contract in order to help teach your classmates about it.

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Solution Summary

What to do and how to fix a problem when there is a breach of contract.

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Here are some suggestions re: remedies

Compensatory Damages - reimbursement to the parties that suffered the lost

Rescission - the contract is canceled and both parties are excused from further performance and any money advanced is returned

Reformation - the terms of the contract are changed to reflect what the parties actually intended

Specific Performance - a court order requiring performance exactly as specified in the contract. This rare, except in real estate transactions and other unique property, because the courts do not want to get involved with monitoring performance.

What are my remedies in the event there is a breach?
Although much more information is contained in the section on remedies, you may have a choice of remedies:

(1) Compensatory Damages - money to reimburse you for costs to compensate for your loss.

(2) Consequential and Incidental Damages - money for losses caused by the breach that were foreseeable. Foreseeable damages means that each side reasonably knew that, at the time of the contract, there would be potential losses if there was a breach.

(3) Attorney fees and Costs - only recoverable if expressly provided for in the contract.

(4) Liquidated Damages - these are damages specified in the contract that would be payable if there is a fraud.

(5) Specific Performance - a court order requiring performance exactly as specified in the contract. This remedy is rare, except in real estate transactions and other unique property, as the courts do not want to get involved with monitoring performance.

(6) Punitive Damages - this is money given to punish a person who acted in an offensive and egregious manner in an effort to deter the person and others from repeated occurrences of the wrongdoing. You generally cannot collect punitive damages in contract cases.

(7) Rescission - the contract is canceled and both sides are excused from further performance and any money advanced is returned.

(8) Reformation - the terms of the contract are changed to reflect what the parties actually intended.

Bear in mind that it often makes sense for both parties to directly negotiate a settlement for a breach. However, if the matter involves a significant amount of money, a wise option would be to retain an attorney to help you propose settlement terms and to review any proposed settlement in advance.

Other alternatives for dispute resolution include mediation and arbitration. These avenues for obtaining a remedy may be more cost effective than simply filing a lawsuit and letting the court settle the dispute.

The basic rule is that parties to contracts must perform as specified
in the contract unless (1) the parties agree to the change in the
contract's terms, or (2) the actions of the party who deviates from
the terms of the contract are implicitly accepted ("ratified") by the
action or non-action of the other party.

If there is no acceptance of deviation from the terms of the
contract, and the deviation is serious enough to make any real
difference in the intended result of the contract, then the deviating
party is said to ...

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