Stanford University Contract Law & Monetary Terms Discussion

Can you help me understand this Business Law question?

Under contract law, what remedies do you have if the other party does not hold up their end of the bargain or does not perform to your standards? If you have hired a well-known performer to entertain at your event and they get a more lucrative offer to perform at another venue, can you enforce the contact and make them perform? Would you want them to perform if they did not want to?

Just do response each posted # 1 to 3 down below only

Posted 1

There are various remedies for breach of contract. One with which we are already familiar with from our study of tort law is damages. Damages can be both compensatory and punitive, however, fraud must be involved to recover punitive damages. In addition to damages, one may also be absolved of their duty to perform if the other party is in breach if it is a material breach.

There are some instances where money damages are insufficient and do not make the injured party whole. In those cases, specific performance or injunctions may be remedies for breach of contract. Specific performance essentially forces the party in breach to perform the actions they contacted to. For example, if a party contracts to buy a vintage car and the selling party decides not to sell after they enter into a contract, then the purchasing party could sue for specific performance. An injunction is very similar; however, it may not require the breaching party to perform exactly as a promised in the contract. Nevertheless, it does require a person to do something or refrain from doing something.

In your hypothetical, specific performance likely would not be required. An instance where specific performance may be required is if there were no other possible performers to hire for your event, however that is an unlikely remedy in this case. Personally, I would prefer to be compensated for my damages and then find a new performer given their lack of professionalism.

Posted 2

Most damages for breach of contract are remedied by monetary compensation. If the performer does not perform to my standards that is not a breach of contract, I can write a bad review based on my experience. Like Dave Chapelle once said during a comedy special while jokingly referencing Evil Knievel after a stunt “I get paid for the attempt!” Funny but true, if you go to a comedy show and the comedian is not funny, can you get your money back? NO!!! If I contract with an entertainer to perform and they do not, I will write it in the contract that they have to pay me the money I would have paid them, if they do not cancel with sufficient notice and I have to get someone else on short notice.
If I am the performer and I am asked to sign a contract, I want a 60 day cancellation policy, meaning I can cancel with no penalty no less than 60 days before the event. If I get an option to reschedule I would ask that it is within 1 year from the original date. I bought tickets for a comedy show with Martin Lawrence and a few more notable comedians that was scheduled for May 15, 2020, but it was cancelled and postponed due to COVID-19, and it is rescheduled for October 2021. I said how do they know I will still be interested in the act that far out, or still living in Florida, I requested a refund. I would ask for a 50% deposit upon signing the contract, I want the remainder within 48 hours of the end of the show, I want 25% off the drinks and 10% off the food sales. Plus, I am shopping the Netflix rights so NO recording during the show. My performance will be a one hour 30 minute set, with a 30 minute opening act, show starts at 7pm and ends roughly 9pm. Depending on ticket sales, I will negotiate a second time slot to start at 10pm and end at midnight. with the playbill stating One Night Only!! Call me for bookings.

Posted 3

There are three types of remedies when a contract is broken. Legal remedies are the amount of money that would compensate the party for their losses. Equitable damages require the guilty party to hold up their end of the deal. Restitution is a refund for the value of the benefits given in the deal.

In the example, you cannot force the entertainer to perform at your event. However, you can file for some sort of remedy, such as a full refund or for them to perform on a different date.

I don’t think I would want them to perform if they didn’t want to. I feel like I wouldn’t get the best performance out of them if they didn’t want to be there or would rather be someone else. However, if it were an event where a lot of people were in attendance, I would feel like a less than 100% performance would be better than no performance at all.