A Client-Focused Approach to Business and Real Estate Law

Non-monetary remedies for commercial contract disputes

From commercial leases and real estate transactions to the exchange of products and services, business contracts are essential at every level of American commerce. In the U.S., the Uniform Commercial Code ensures that businesses can trust equitable enforcement of their contracts from state to state.

When a contract dispute arises, the non-breaching party may pursue financial compensation through litigation. However, in some cases, monetary damages may be insufficient to resolve the dispute and redress the injury done to a company’s standing.

When this occurs, the court may prescribe one of several equitable remedies.

Reformation

Contractual oversights and ambiguities are often sources of dispute. If the original language of the contract contains a mistake or misrepresentation, the court may allow parties to revise or redraft the contract so that it more accurately reflects the true intentions of both.

Recission

In some cases, terminating the entire contract may be preferable. Recission voids the original agreement, with the goal of restoring parties to the position they were in before contracting with each other.

Specific performance

Under specific performance, the court may order the breaching party to fulfill their part of the agreement. The court may grant a specific performance order in the case of goods that are unique, rare or difficult to acquire elsewhere. Common examples include real estate, custom-made products and works of art.

While equitable remedies may be appropriate for certain contract disputes, the court may only grant equitable relief if one or both parties can show that monetary compensation would be inadequate to resolve the issue and redress damages.