Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

What is a breach of contract?

Ideally, the benefit of entering into a contract is that each party has outlined their duties and responsibilities to which they will adhere, leading to the eventual satisfaction of each party. Unfortunately, this is not always the case -- for one reason or another, one party may not be able to fulfill their part of the bargain and the contract cannot be carried out. When one party fails to fulfill their end of the bargain under a contract, this is known as a breach of contract.

Depending on the specifics of the contract, there are a few situations in which a breach can occur. For example, if one party does not perform on time, or if their performance is not in accordance with what was required or if, in some situations, the party does not perform on time at all, it may be considered a breach. Depending on the situation, breaches can be categorized as material or immaterial. Though New York residents may consider every breach material, the categorization is important in order to determine the type of remedy that can be offered.

There are two options available to the wronged party. They can either try to have the contract enforced on its terms or try to recover the financial harm caused by the breach. Generally, people resolve contract disputes through a lawsuit in the legal system. Depending on the dollar value of the claim, there is a court they can approach. For example, for a claim valued between $3,000 and $7,500, people may approach the small claims court. It may also be possible to utilize alternate dispute resolution methods, such as mediators or arbitration, but this may be subject to the contract.

Dealing with a contract dispute is a legal headache not many New York businessmen likely want to avoid. Getting professional advice with someone familiar with contract dispute litigation may be one way to ensure the process can be handled smoothly and on time.

Source: FindLaw, "Breach of contract and lawsuits," Accessed on January 19, 2016

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