Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

What are the remedies for a breach of contract?

A contract is a series of promises between one or more parties. In the terms of the contract the parties clearly laid out their expectations for their relationship. These are the terms by which the parties should act when dealing with each other.

However, the reality can be a lot messier than this. It can be difficult to understand what is required of a party in a contract. It can also sometimes be difficult, or impossible, for a party to uphold the terms of the contract. In other cases, parties may choose to ignore terms in the contract. When a contract is not carefully followed, a breach of contract may occur.

There are several remedies available when a breach of contract occurs. First, there is cancellation and restitution. This remedy allows a non-breaching party to cancel the contract and sue for any benefits -- restitution -- that the non-breaching party has spent toward fulfilling the terms of the contract.

The second remedy is for specific performance. In this case, the non-breaching party can ask that the breaching party be required to perform the terms of the contract. In most cases, specific performance is only available in the contract is for rare or unique goods or services.

The final remedy available for a breach of contract is damages. Damages, or compensation, are the most common type of remedy for breach of contract. There are many types of compensation that parties may be entitled to following a breach of contract.

The specific type or types of damages that may be available depends on the specifics in a case. But, they could include liquidated damages, nominal damages, punitive damages or compensatory damages. In any case, these damages are meant to get the non-breaching party in the same financial position they would have been had the breach not occurred.

A breach of contract can be complicated legal matter. Party should understand the right to remedies following a breach of contract. For specific legal advice, New York residents may need to speak with an attorney.

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