Contracts are an essential part of life and business, drawn up for the benefit and protection of all parties involved. However, sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes, one party ends up breaching the contract – and not necessarily through any fault of their own. If you ever find yourself being sued for breach of contract, you will discover that there are several options available for a defense. Depending on your circumstances, one of these defenses can help you face the suit against you and win. Your lawyer will work with you to review and research the details of the contract and determine which defense is applicable. Let’s take a look at the most common breach-of-contract defenses that can help your case.
The defense of force majeure is seldom used, but it can be used, when applicable, to enable one of the parties to the contract to be absolved from their contractual obligations, on the basis that circumstances beyond their control have prevented them from fully complying with the terms of the contract. It must be apparent that the defendant was otherwise free and willing to keep up their end of the bargain, had it not been for certain adverse circumstances that prevented them from doing so.
Economic duress stems from one party threatening economic loss to another party to get them to comply with new conditions that were not stipulated in the original contract. If you are being sued for breach of contract, and you can prove that another party was trying to get you to comply with new demands through economic duress, it is very likely that a court will see your point of view and accept your defense. No party can force new terms into a contract once it has already been agreed upon – and certainly not by threatening other parties.
Impossibility of Performance
Sometimes, after a contract has been signed, unforeseen events can make it impossible for any of the parties involved to adhere to the terms. You can’t be held liable for breach of contract if the terms of your contract proved impossible to perform. Of course, you will need to provide adequate proof that this was the case.
Frustration of Purpose
If the primary purpose of the contract has been defeated by external events not caused by either party, you can be excused from performing the terms of the contract entirely. If you choose this defense, you must have documentation of the original purpose of the contract and be able to show why that purpose is now null and void.
Act of God
In the legal profession, an “act of God” is an inevitable accident that could not be prevented by human intervention. This defense requires that some violent act of nature resulted in you being unable to carry out your contractual obligations. It must be clear that the event in question absolutely prevented you from completing your part in the contract, and that it could not have been foreseen.
Hire a Good Lawyer to Defend a Breach of Contract
Above all, whatever defense you choose, you will need a good lawyer to help you prepare and present your case in court. Westover Law is a leading firm of family law attorneys in Riverside County. Come and talk to us about your breach of contract case.