Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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What is a material breach of contract in contract law?

It's one of the oldest principles of law that contracts must be adhered to. Contracts allow for East Baton Rouge Parish business partners to make plans knowing that the particulars of their business relationships will remain consistent for a defined period. Sometimes, however, one or both of the parties to the contract breach the contract. What happens then? Is the aggrieved party automatically eligible for legal remedies for breach of contract? Not always. Often, the breach must be a material breach. This blog post will briefly discuss the issue of material breaches.

It's a fact of life for businesses that contracts are not always rigidly adhered to by both parties. In many cases, if one party reaches out to the other, the parties can quickly resolve the issue without resorting to litigation. Other times, the parties may choose to ignore the breach if it is something relatively minor. A generally successful business relationship may not be worth damaging if the parties occasionally must breach.

Our legal system recognizes this reality with the concept of material breach. This concept says that ordinarily a breach of contract only results in legal damages if one party can prove it suffered damages due to the breach. So for example, if one party delivers goods to the other behind an agreed-upon schedule, the receiving party is eligible for damages only if it can prove that it suffered monetary harm from the late delivery.

What if the receiving party wants to recover damages for late delivery even if monetary harm cannot be proved? It can try to do this by including a provision in the contract that time is of the essence. A contracts attorney may be able to help the receiving party draft contract language that has this result.

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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