What Is Specific Performance?

Businesses tend to rely quite a bit on the contracts they form with other parties. Thus, it can cause quite a bit of financial turmoil for a business when a party violates or fails to live up to the terms of such a contract. When a party doesn't comply with a term of a contract, it is called a breach of contract. One option a business may have when it has been subjected to a breach of contract is to bring a lawsuit asking for relief.

The main type of relief that can be sought for a breach of contract are damages. There are, however, other types as well. Today's discussion will be focused on one of these other types: specific performance.

Specific performance is when a court orders the breaching party to perform an action they agreed to in a contract. This remedy may be granted when damages wouldn't be sufficient to get the non-breaching party back in the position they would have found themselves in without the breach. When might this be the case? One instance in which damages might not suffice is when the breached term involves rare or unique subject matter, such as the purchase of real estate where one side tries to back out of the purchase agreement.

One of the potentially impactful decisions a business has before it when pursuing a breach of contract lawsuit is the decision of what sort of remedies to ask for. Attorneys can help businesses that have been the victim of a breach of contract understand what remedies they might be able to ask for and what remedy requests might be best for them given the particular circumstances of their case.

Source: FindLaw, "'Breach of Contract' and Lawsuits," Accessed Jan. 30, 2015

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