Basics of Contract Law:
A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. It may also be an oral agreement in certain situations. It is a promise by one party or a set of promises between two or more parties. The law recognizes a duty to perform these promises and allow recovery of damages for the lack or failure of performance of the agreement or promises.
What is necessary to establish a contract?
- Acceptance of the offer
- Consideration ( money or a promise for a promise)
- Capacity of the parties to the contract, the parties are not minors, incompetent, drugged
- Intent of the parties to come to an agreement, there was a meeting of the minds between the parties
- The object of the party must be lawful and not against Public Policy.
What is a breach of contract?
A breach or a default is when one of the parties to the contract fails or refuses to perform under the terms of the contract without a valid or legal reason or excuse.
What types of Damages are available?
- Compensatory Damages: you can sue to be compensated for any actual dollar injury that is clearly identified in the contract.
- Consequential Damages: If allowed, these are damages for loss of profits or expectations which are resulting of someone breaching/defaulting under the contract.
- Speculative Damages: Difficult to obtain, what you would have gotten had someone performed the contract based on your work.
- Punitive Damages: These type of damages are awarded only in circumstances where the behavior of one of the parties is offensive, and so offensive that the court wants to discourage any repetition. In other words, to punish the defaulting parties.
- Specific Performance: Obtaining for that which the contract calls for. For example, I do not want your money; I want the house that I contracted for.
- Recession/Restitution: A request that the contract be cancelled and give back whatever you put in.