Jonathan B. Vivona, PLC
Attorney at Law

601 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
(Entrance on St. Asaph St.)
[email protected]

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703-739-1353

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Breach of Contract
 
A contract is a legally enforeceable agreement between two parties.  Individuals and businesses enter into contracts because they provide certainty that each party will perform obligations that are desired by the other.  If one party does not perform these obligations, or breaches the contract, the non-breaching party is damaged because it relied on the contract being performed in full. 

A contract action requires three elements: the existence of a contract, breach of the contract and damages. Virginia law recognizes both oral and written contracts, which share one critical component, that both parties agreed to certain obligations and intended to be legally bound to perform them.  Virginia law provides remedies for those who have been damaged by another's breach of contract.   The most important and common remedies are expectancy damages and specific performance.
 
Expectancy Damages
 
A contracting party is legally entitled to full performance of a contract.  This means any party who breaches the contract must make up for its failure to perform by paying the non-breaching party a monetary award that puts it in the same position as it would have been in if the contract was fully performed. 
 
Specific Performance
 
Specific performance is allowed in limited circumstances, namely when a monetary award cannot replace actual performance of a contract.  In these cases the court will order the breaching party to perform their duties under the contract.  This could occur when the services or items to be provided by the breaching party under the contract were unique.  For example, if a buyer purchases real estate and the seller fails to turn it over, a court may award specific performance because there is no way the seller could replace that specific parcel of land.  On the other hand, if a contract is for goods and services that are interchangeable with others that are readily available to the non-breaching party, a court will not award specific performance.
 
Other Causes of Action and Remedies
 
There are several other types of contractual remedies which could be available in more complex cases, including contract reformation, anticipatory repudiation, recission, restitution, liquidated damages and punitive damages.  To find out more about whether any of the above is applicable to your case, please feel free to contact our office.
 
 
  Jonathan B. Vivona, PLC
  Attorney at Law

601 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
 

Tel: 703-739-1353
Email: [email protected]
 

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