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Wisconsin Commercial Litigation: Fighting a Breach of Contract Claim

Posted on in Business Law

commercial litigation, breach of contract, Milwaukee commercial litigation attorneys, breach of contract claim, contract violationWhen a business becomes involved in a legal dispute, it can have a major impact on the company’s bottom line. While the costs of commercial litigation can be significant, successfully defending against a lawsuit can help avoid being required to pay damages. Breach of contract lawsuits are one common type of commercial litigation, and business owners should be sure to understand their options for defending against accusations that they have not fulfilled their contractual responsibilities.

Breach of Contract Defenses

When a business is accused of breaching a contract, either in part or in full, it is important to raise every possible legal defense. A defendant in a breach of contract lawsuit may use “affirmative defenses” which argue that even if a breach occurred, certain circumstances occurred which caused the contractual agreement to be void. Some affirmative defenses include:

  • Fraud – If a party knowingly misrepresented facts or failed to disclose required information prior to signing the contract, it may be found to be void.

  • Duress – A defendant may claim that he or she was compelled to sign a contract through threats, physical force, or other types of undue influence that affected his or her ability to agree to a contract’s terms of his or her own free will.

  • Illegality – A contract cannot require a person to act in violation of the law or of public policy, and a defendant may argue that a contract is void because it would have required him or her to take illegal actions.

  • Unconscionability – A contract may be found to be void if its terms are grossly unfair in a way that would “offend justice.”

  • Misunderstanding or mistake – Parties may interpret a contract’s terms differently, or they may make either mutual or unilateral mistakes about the facts stated in the contract. A defendant may argue that new information that changes the understanding of a contract’s terms should result in the contract being voided.

  • Impossibility – A defendant may argue that events occurred, which made it impossible for him or her to carry out the terms of the contract.

  • Unclean hands – If a plaintiff took any actions that were illegal or unethical when performing his or her own contractual duties or prosecuting a breach of contract claim, the defendant may argue that these actions should prevent the plaintiff from receiving relief. 

Contact a Milwaukee, WI, Breach of Contract Attorney

If you have been accused of violating the terms of a contract, you should be sure to understand the nature of the breach of contract claim and the potential defenses available to you. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our Milwaukee commercial litigation attorneys will provide you with the representation you need to achieve a favorable result in your breach of contract case. Contact us at 414-271-1440 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/breach-of-contract-398138

https://www.businesslawbasics.com/sites/default/files/files/Breach%20of%20Contract%20-%20Business%20Law%20Basics%20excerpt.pdf

https://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=2182

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