DC Breach of Contract Defenses

Breaching the terms of a contract could lead to significant legal and financial penalties. If you have been accused of violating or breaching the terms of a contract you entered, your business and economic future may be at stake. However, by working with a dedicated contract attorney, you may be able to create a DC breach of contract defense to mitigate the consequences or resolve the problem.

Basic Viable Defenses Against Contract Breach Accusations

It is possible in many situations to work with a contract attorney in the DC area to simply argue that the contract was not actually breached based off the specific terms. Another common defense is arguing that non-performance of a clause or expectation was justified, often due to uncontrollable external factors. This often takes the form of a force-majeure clause where a party is not necessarily bound to the strict terms of an agreement if some act of god like a hurricane, blizzard, or pandemic would prevent a party from performing their duties.

Additionally, a person could argue that the other party breach the agreement first and therefore the contract cannot be enforced. In some rare cases, a portion of a contract or a specific action could be ignored if it would require illegal or unethical behavior. It is also common for contracts to be justifiably breached if a debtor declares bankruptcy, meaning that certain contracted debts may be wiped out. Depending on a person’s situation, there are many viable defenses against accusations of breach of contract, and working with an experienced lawyer could be key to finding that defense.

Proving that a Contract is Invalid

A contract may not accurately reflect an agreement between the parties involved or there may be confusion about what the terms meant. While ignorance of the terms is not necessarily a strong defense, if a person was unaware of what they were signing, they may at least be able to demonstrate that they were not acting in bad faith during non-performance or that they were the victims of fraud, which also may invalidate the agreement. Additionally, a contract may be automatically invalid and null if it would require a person to act illegally.

An agreement may be considered illegal if it was entered into while a party was coerced by threat, force, or there was other undue influence. However, it is very difficult to prove that a party was under duress when agreeing to terms. There still might be witnesses who saw the signing or there could be correspondence showing that not everything was above-board. For the most part, it comes down to whether or not the story is credible enough for the finder of fact such as a judge, jury, or arbitrator.

What if There Was a Mistake in the Contract?

Mistakes are hard to prove in a contract, especially when both parties read the contract and are presumed to have thoroughly reviewed its terms prior to acceptance. However, mistakes may occur that lead to non-performance when the contract is not specific enough about what is expected. If some aspect of an agreement could have had multiple meanings, then that might be a valid defense in a breach of contract case. This generally only occurs if a contract was poorly written or the parties did not consult adequate legal counsel to ensure they understood what they were signing in no uncertain terms.

A DC Lawyer Could Defend Against Contract Breach Claims

Contracts are legally binding and any breach could lead to significant consequences. If a party you are in a contract with has alleged that you have not performed your duties, you may still have legal options. By working with a lawyer to create DC breach of contract defenses in your case, you may be able to avoid these consequences. Call today to schedule a consultation and get the civil legal representation you need.