Contracts are legally binding, and when the other party fails to abide by the included terms, it can amount to a breach of contract, which is especially prevalent in business litigation. Knowing the primary elements of these breach of contract claims can help you better understand your own legal rights, and if you believe your contractual rights have not been upheld, it’s time to consult with an experienced Bay Area business litigation attorney.
If even one of these elements is missing, if fraud or duress is involved, or if the contract involves an illegal purpose, the contract is neither valid nor binding.
The party who claims that the contract was breached – the plaintiff – must demonstrate that they upheld their part of the bargain – as outlined in the contract. Failing this, the plaintiff must have a legally justifiable reason for not upholding their contractual obligations.
The next required element is that the other party – the defendant – failed to uphold their contractual obligation – as outlined in the contract. While minor breaches do not stop a contract from being legally fulfilled, a material breach is one so significant that the contract is rendered meaningless.
A prime example of a minor breach is failure to deliver on the contractual date. While the plaintiff remains responsible for meeting their corresponding obligation – generally in the form of pay – they may have recourse in terms of recovering on delay-related damages. With a material breach, on the other hand, the deliverable is not forthcoming, which means the plaintiff is not on the hook in terms of their own contractual obligations – and they can seek legal damages.
The party making a claim must be able to demonstrate that they experienced legal damages – or losses – as a result of the other party’s breach, such as the following:
The focused Bay Area business litigation attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP have reserves of experience skillfully guiding challenging breach of contract claims toward optimal outcomes that work for our clients. Learn more about what we can do to help you by contacting us today.
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