In order to succeed on a breach of contract claim, you have to prove each of the elements for breach of contract that the law requires. The first element is the formation of a contract. In order for a contract to be legally formed, there has to be an offer and an acceptance, and the parties have to be able to legally enter into a contract together. The contract has to include consideration, which is a bargain for exchange, and it has to have certain terms that are somewhat definite and certain. A party claiming the other side has breached has to show that there was a non-performance of a promise. However, they must prove also that they, themselves, performed everything required of them under the contract, except what might have been prevented or waived by the other side. They also have to prove they suffered damages as a result of the breach.
What Is A Material Breach?
Breaches can be either material or immaterial and the difference is very significant. If it is a material breach, you can suspend your performance and treat the contract as an end, but if it is not a material breach, you have to continue to perform, but can sue for any damages caused by that. The difference between a material breach and an immaterial breach is it is a balancing test. There are several factors that courts consider, but the main one is if one party does not perform the core portion of the contract, that would be a material breach. If the breach involves little issues that do not go to the core purpose of the contract, those are the immaterial breaches. Another thing the courts consider is if the breach happened very early in the performance of the contract, then that would be considered material.
What Are My Options If The Other Party Has Materially Breached Our Contracts?
The options, if a party has breached a contract, are you can suspend your performance and treat the contract as terminated and sue for breach. Or, you can waive the breach, continue to perform, and then sue for damages.
What Remedies Are Available To Me In A Breach Of Contract Lawsuit?
The most common remedy is damages. Your damages in a breach of contract lawsuit is the benefit of the bargain, or what you would have earned had the other party had fully performed. A lot of times, you can also recover attorney’s fees, but you must have a provision in the contract that allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees in California.
The other, less common, remedy you can seek is rescission of the contract, based upon Failure of Consideration. If you enter into a contract and you get absolutely nothing in return, you can rescind the contract and seek restitution to be reimbursed for any money that you paid.
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