How to Identify a Breach of Contract


A breach of contract is simply the failure of one party to satisfy the requirements arising from a contract. A contract may be binding whether it is in writing or an oral agreement between the parties. However, not every breach will give rise to a cause of action. There are four elements a party must prove before she can bring a cause of action for breach of contract. Those elements include: (1) proof that a valid contract existed, either written or oral; (2) one party performed under the contract; (3) the other party failed to perform under the contract; and (4) the performing party suffered damages due to the breach.

A valid contract consists of an offer followed by acceptance, a “meeting of the minds” between both parties regarding the terms of the agreement, mutual consent to the agreement, and a plan to execute the agreement. When one party fails to comport to the terms of the contract, that party is in breach and may be liable to the other party for damages. The performing party must then prove that she suffered damages due to the breach. If the performing party can prove all of these elements, she may have a valid claim for breach of contract.

If someone in your life has breached a contract or if you may be in breach, you need an experienced business litigation attorney to help protect your interests. If the breach is relatively minor, it may be possible to negotiate a resolution outside of a courtroom. However, if the breach of contract is so severe that it prevents the parties from continuing to perform under the contract, litigation may be a necessary next step.

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