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Breach and Excused Non-Performance in Contract Cases: Narrated Multi-Media Electronic Lessons

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 Last revised: 9 Feb 2012

Paul Wangerin

The John Marshall Law School

Date Written: 2010


These electronic essays cover a topic that is probably (a) the single most commonly encountered real world Contract law topic for general practice lawyers and (b) tested more heavily on the bar exam than any other contract law topic. These essays all rest on the notion that the key to understanding contract disputes is an understanding that such disputes almost always come down to disputes about whether non-performance is a “breach” of the contract or an “excused non-performance.” Two distinct categories of excuses are discussed, the “non-agreement” excuses (sometimes called the “real” defenses) and the “all-other” excuses (sometimes called the “personal” defenses.) Discussion includes extensive references to the cryptic concept of express and constructive (implied in law) “conditions.” Discussion also includes brief references to the notion of “consideration” as well as to rules regarding writings, notably rules regarding the statute of frauds and the parol evidence rule. Analysis emphasizes situations in which rules in Article 2 of the UCC differ from rules in the common law of contracts (with the common law principally articulated in the Restatement Second of Contracts). These essays do NOT cover the topic of Remedies in Contract cases, a topic covered in another set of electronic essays.

There are about thirty individual electronic essays in this overall set of electronic essays, and about thirty accompanying graphics-only versions of these e-essays. The electronic essays themselves are .swf files and can be watched/listened to on Windows PC’s or Macs. These files, which are 10-15 megs in size, are filled with media, including music and narration. The graphics only versions of the essays are ppt files. They too can can be viewed on Windows PC’s or Macs. These ppt files are 2-3 megs in size.

This set of electronic essays on Breach and Excused Non-Performance in Contract Cases coordinates with other sets of lessons in an overall group of electronic essays on selected topics in USA Business law.

A copy of this electronic lesson can be found online.

Keywords: contracts, breach, excused non-performance

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Wangerin, Paul, Breach and Excused Non-Performance in Contract Cases: Narrated Multi-Media Electronic Lessons (2010). Available at SSRN:

Paul T. Wangerin (Contact Author)

The John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
312-987-2374 (Phone)

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