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Contracts are a common source of business litigation

Illinois companies that enter into contracts with others agree to fulfill their part of them. When they fail to do so, they are said to have breached those contracts by failing to act in accordance with the terms in them. It is not hard to imagine that these disputes would be a common source of business litigation.

Most Illinois companies cannot afford to breach the contracts they enter into for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that their reputations tend to suffer, something that potentially could irreparably damage the business. Moreover, the amount of money, time and effort expended resolving the breach would probably be more than simply complying with the agreement. Nearly every business relies on relationships in order to thrive.

Breaching contracts tends to degrade or dissolve those relationships to the point where the business begins to suffer. A lawsuit would also require time better spent at the business, and an Illinois court may order the company to fulfill its obligations under the contract anyway under the legal theory of specific performance. A court may also order the company to pay monetary damages to the other party that could include punitive damages depending on the circumstances.

In some cases, it may not be easy to determine which party actually breached the contract. One party may not have fulfilled its obligations, so the other party simply decided not to either. This could end up being a risky choice since part of what the court requires is proof that the "injured" party either fulfilled or attempted to fulfill his or her obligations under the contract. It would probably be better to discuss the matter with a business litigation attorney before taking any action.

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