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Contract & Business

What is a Breach of Contract?– Basic Legal Elements You Must Know

By January 21, 2022No Comments

A Breach of Contract means a failure of a party to perform or fulfill its obligations under the contractual agreement. The contract if properly negotiated and executed, is binding on the parties and will be enforceable in court. A breach of contract occurs when one or more parties involved in a contract do not honor the binding agreement in a material way. Material means important—an important failure. For example, a 30-minute delay in a contract for delivery of goods may not be “material” while a 2-day delay may be because one party may miss its own customers’ delivery timeframes.

In general, the four elements of a breach of contract claim are:

  1. Existence of a valid contract
  2. Plaintiffs’ performance or tendered performance
  3. Defendant’s material breach (they did not perform their agreement)
  4. Damages sustained by the plaintiff resulting from that breach.

Contracts are difficult to navigate, especially when changes in the internal and external environment prompt a change in the parties’ cooperation. There are at least three types of contracts breaches you may encounter.

  1. Minor Breach (usually allows the other party an opportunity to cure)
  2. Material Breach (an important breach, as mentioned above)
  3. Anticipatory Breach (when a party breaches even before the party that must perform first has breached).

Whether you have breached a contract, fear you might, or are seeking to take legal action against another party member, it is important to know the basics of contract law and consult with an experienced contract lawyer to guide you in the process.

For more information about contracts, contact an experienced Miami contract lawyer at 305-570-2208 or email contract attorney Eduardo A. Maura at




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