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Breach, Remedies, and Defenses


actual breach

refusal by one of the parties to fulfill some or all of their obligations by the due date specified

anticipatory breach

type of breach that occurs when one party to a contract, in advance of the due date for performance, makes it known that they will not perform their obligations


legal ability to enter into binding contracts

choice of law

set of rules used to select which country's, state's, or jurisdiction's laws to apply in a lawsuit


coercion applied to enter into a contract, usually through a wrongful or unlawful threatened act or acts


describes a contract or agreement that the parties can be made to obey

equitable estoppel

method that courts use that prevents the parties of a contract from denying a certain fact or legal conclusion

material breach

failure to perform a major or significant part of a contract; often warrants a breach-of-contract claim and entitles the nonbreaching party to damages

minor breach

failure to perform one's duties or obligations under a contract; less severe than a material breach and does not excuse the nonbreaching party from performing their duties under the contract

mutual mistake

mistake in which both parties are in error about the same material term or terms when entering into a contract


revocation or cancellation of the agreement


form of punishment used to correct an injury that the defendant inflicted on the victim; penalizes the defendant financially

statute of frauds

requirement that certain types of contracts must be in writing in order to be valid

undue influence

situation where in a confidential relationship, someone exerts control in a way that dominates the free will of the contracting person and benefits the person exerting the influence

unilateral mistake

mistake in which only one party to a contract is in error as to a material term of a contract and seeks to get out of the contract for this reason

void contract

contract that is not legally binding because it lacks an essential element or because it is illegal or against public policy

voidable contract

contract that is valid but can be voided if the nonbreaching party so chooses