Dealing with contracts may lead to a sticky situation. Sometimes contracts are very straightforward, whereas other times they are not. In general, in order for there to be a valid contract, there needs to be some type of agreement between the parties where both parties are receiving something. As the contracts become more serious, more regulations may be added, which may make it more confusing and more likely to lead to a sticky situation. One example of an added regulation is a condition precedent.
A condition precedent is a contract term that “calls for the performance of some act or the happening of some event after the contract is entered into, and upon the performance or happening of which [the promisor’s] obligation is made to depend.” Lake Co. v. Molan, 131 N.W.2d 734, 740 (Minn. 1964).
This means that one party will have to complete a specific act before the other party is required to complete their act or duty under the contract. However, it is important to realize that, “if the
event required by the condition does not occur, there [is] no breach of contract.” 451 Corp. v. Pension Sys. for Policemen & Firemen, 310 N.W.2d 922, 924 (Minn. 1981).
Understanding that the original act by one party must be completed before the act of the other party is very important as a breach of contract may not have actually occurred, even if it seems one has.
If you need help understanding the condition precedents of
your contract, and if a breach of contract has truly occurred or not, please give me a call as I would be happy to help you avoid a sticky situation.
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