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What relief can judges offer in a breach of contract lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2024 | Business Law |

Some people say that contracts are the lifeblood of a business, and that saying has become a cliche for a reason. Contracts are crucial for companies’ financial and legal protection. The agreements a business enters into can make or break the company, and putting the most important terms in writing is key to ensuring a business can enforce a contract later.

A business can use an employment contract to protect its trade secrets and a vendor contract to control operational costs. There is an expectation that everyone should conform to the terms of the agreement. Unfortunately, not everyone who signs a contract always follows through on their obligations to another party.

If one party to a contract fails to fulfill their side of the agreement, the other might take the matter to civil court. How can a civil court judge correct a contractual issue and a breach of contract lawsuit?

Judges have many options available

Judges presiding over breach of contract lawsuits can use their authority to terminate future contractual obligations between the two parties. They can also order the defendant to pay the plaintiff damages if the breach of contract had verifiable economic consequences. The judge could also help enforce any penalty clauses in the contract by requiring that someone pay the fees, fines or interest included in the initial agreement.

Finally, judges can actually enforce the contract itself through an order of specific performance. They can compel one party to perform services or deliver goods as outlined in the initial agreement. They could possibly require even more than that depending on the circumstances.

Understanding how judges can help resolve recent contact matters may benefit those worried about their rights during a contract dispute.