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What Is an Anticipatory Breach?

There are instances when a party who has entered into an agreement or contract with another makes it clear that he or she does not intend to fulfill the terms of the contract. This instance refers to anticipatory breach, also known as anticipatory repudiation. This form of breach of contract relinquishes the offended party from the contract since the offending party makes it known that he or she will not be fulfilling the terms and conditions stipulated in such a contract. Thus, the contract is rendered void.

There are many ways in which one can commit an anticipatory breach. It can be done simply by no longer delivering the goods or services one has committed to do so, or one can explicitly state and notify the other party of his or her intention to renege on the contract or agreement. Once an anticipatory breach has been made, the other party is no longer under any obligation to fulfill his or her conditions or terms. For example, if a lawyer notifies a client that he or she no longer wishes to represent said client in any legal capacity, the client is under no legal obligation to pay the lawyer once the anticipatory breach has been made. Thus, the lawyer cannot sue the client for damages but the client can sue for damages. The extent of the payment for damages is determined by the conditions listed in the Uniformed Commercial Code 2-713(1), which measures the amount of damages an offended party can receive under contract law.

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