When a contract is breached or disputed, the complex nature of the document is challenged, and all parties involved are tasked with finding resolution. One of the most debated and complex aspects of contract disputes are the remedies that may be available. Clients involved in a contract dispute often are mistaken about what forms of damages or remedies they may qualify for. It is crucial to a successful resolution for the mediator and attorneys to carefully navigate the process of identifying which means of resolution is best and most applicable to the case.
In Florida, there are three primary forms of equitable remedies, including the following:
- Specific Performance – Specific performance is a decree handed down by the court requiring any party breaching a contract to fulfill the duties outlined in the contract. For example, if one party placed an order for a large quantity of merchandise but the other party did not deliver, the breaching party will be required to immediately deliver the merchandise as stated in the contract.
- Contract Rescission – Contract rescission effectively cancels the original contract and forms a new one that both parties can agree to. This form of equitable remedy is generally ordered when both parties can agree to the cancellation, or if the original contract was fraudulent.
- Contract Reformation – Contract reformation is similar to contract rescission, except that the original contract is not cancelled, but rather is rewritten with new terms based on the true, original intent of both parties. In order to qualify for contract reformation, the original contract must be valid and legal. Contract reformation is a form of equitable remedy commonly used if there is a mistake in the drafting or understanding of the original contract.