What is a Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform or keep their end of the bargain. When that happens, you may find yourself in need of an experienced Las Cruces business lawyer.

Either party of a contract can cause a breach. For example, if the contract is to lease an office space, the landlord may breach by failing to provide the office space at a time or in the condition promised. On the other hand, the renter my breach by failing to pay the rent in the amount or at the time promised.

How are damages calculated in a breach of contract dispute?

When one party to a contract is a victim of the other party’s “breach,” they may be entitled to “damages.” Damages is a legal term used to describe a monetary sum (or something of value) that would make the victim “whole.” That is to say, the person or entity that breached the contract must pay the non-breaching party the value that would have accrued to the victim had the contract been fully performed.

However, for people or entities accused of breaching contracts, there are many defenses that you may have, referred to as affirmative defenses. 

What if I’m being sued for a breach of contract? 

First, you would have received a court document called a “complaint” and you need to answer it within the time specified. Then you would need to explain how you did indeed perform your side of the agreement, or to provide an explanation why you were justified in not performing your side of the deal and to put forth any affirmative defenses you may have.

There are a number of reasons why you may be justified in non-performance under a contract and there are a number of reasons why the other party may be dissatisfied with your performance and consider it a breach.

It is best to discuss these scenarios with an experienced Las Cruces business lawyer to see whether you have a case for breach of contract or whether you are wrongfully accused of breaching a contract. Often there are arguments, circumstances, and defense that can be explored that are not obvious at the outset of the dispute.

Our offices are conveniently located in Las Cruces.

Ramona Martinez-Salopek