Two figures discussing a contract

Common Contract Breach Defenses

A breach of contract occurs when one party to a contract fails to abide by one or more of its terms. When a party breaches a contract, the other party may file a breach of contract action in court. However, breaching parties aren’t without options when it comes to breach of contract lawsuits. Rather, depending on the facts of the case, a breaching party may be entitled to assert one or more defenses in court. In this article, we discuss several common contract breach defenses. 

The contract wasn’t in writing

Certain types of contracts, such as real estate contracts, must be in writing. Therefore, if the parties to such an agreement fail to put it in writing, this provides a defense to a future breach of contract action. 

The contract is indefinite

A contract must have definite terms to be enforceable. A contract is considered too indefinite if its terms are so uncertain or incomplete that it’s clear the parties didn’t regard themselves as having completed a contract. For example, agreements to agree, such as letters of intent, are usually considered indefinite and unenforceable.

The contract was based on a mutual mistake

Another defense to a breach of contract claim is that a mutual mistake was made regarding an essential fact in the contract. However, this defense is not available if one party simply made a mistake in judgment when entering a contract. 

The breaching party lacked capacity

For a contract to be enforceable, both parties must have the legal capacity to enter it. When a party who lacks capacity, such as a minor or person with a mental impairment, enters a contract, it isn’t legally enforceable. 

The contract is a result of fraud

A fraudulent contract is an invalid contract. Thus, if a party enters a contract based on lies, under duress, or due to a trusted person’s undue influence, a resulting breach of contract action is unlikely to succeed in court. 

The contract is unconscionable

Finally, although parties are free to contract as they please, the court won’t enforce a contract that is grossly unfair. This type of contract often results when there is an extreme disparity in bargaining power between two parties, and the party with more power takes advantage of the less powerful party by requiring that the contract include unfair clauses, conditions, clauses, or waivers.

Contact a Georgia Business Litigation Lawyer 

Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant involved in a breach of contract dispute, you need an experienced Georgia business litigation attorney on your side. At Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson, we have years of experience helping our clients resolve their business disputes. When you come to us for assistance, we will do everything we can to ensure that your case has a successful resolution. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.