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Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-8 MB Practice Guide: CA Contract Litigation 8.syn


Seeking or Opposing Equitable Remedies in Contract Actions


Charles Crompton; Dana Dunwoody; Hon. Jon S. Tigar

Chapter Summary


To ensure that an aggrieved party obtains all relief available in a contract, counsel must consider both equitable and legal remedies. In contract actions, courts have broad equitable power to fashion appropriate remedies. Equitable remedies may be sought alone, in conjunction with other equitable remedies, or in conjunction with legal remedies. The remedy of rescission extinguishes a contract as if it never existed.

The remedy of reformation is used to reframe a written instrument to accurately express the parties' true agreement when, through fraud, mutual mistake, or certain types of unilateral mistake, the writing does not reflect their agreement. The remedy of specific performance is used to compel the promised performance of a contract by a party who failed or refused to perform, when there is no adequate remedy at law.

An injunction is a writ or order requiring a person to refrain from doing a particular act. Injunctions can be preliminary or permanent.

This chapter on equitable remedies in contract actions begins with a checklist and an objectives and strategies section that explains how to seek or oppose various equitable remedies in contract actions. The chapter discusses procedures and considerations in seeking or opposing rescission, reformation, specific performance and injunctive relief.

Matthew Bender(R) Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation is the one-stop source for guidance on the legal and practical issues arising in general contract litigation. It discusses a wide range of topics, including: jurisdiction, choice of law, arbitration, mediation, damages, and equitable remedies. It also explains the various grounds for attacking the validity of a contract, including fraud, unconscionability, public policy, and mistake. Further, it discusses pleading requirements for specific causes of action and affirmative defenses, and provides basic forms for complaints and answers, along with illustrative points and authorities. Finally, this treatise offers valuable practice tips and judges' observations, along with time-saving cross-references to relevant California Judicial Council Civil (CACI) and Matthew Bender jury instructions.


California contract litigation,equitable remedies in contract actions,rescission,reformation,specific performance,injunction,permanent injunction,preliminary injunction,injunctive relief


For related discussion, see Ch. 2, Determining What Causes of Action Exist; Ch. 6, Using or Opposing Provisional Remedies in Contract Actions; Ch. 7, Seeking or Opposing Damages in Contract Actions; Ch. 10, Seeking or Opposing Statutory Remedies in Contract Actions; Ch. 11, Seeking or Opposing Declaratory Relief in Contract Matters; Ch. 12, Recovering Attorney's Fees and Costs in Contract Litigation; and Ch. 22, Suing or Defending Action for Breach of Contract.


For more discussion and forms on all types of equitable remedies, see California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 251, Equity (Matthew Bender).

For more discussion and forms concerning contracts, see California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 140, Contracts (Matthew Bender).

See California Points & Authorities (Matthew Bender), Ch. 50, Contracts, for forms and concise arguments of the law with accurate summaries of supporting statutes, cases, and rules.

For jury instructions on specific contract matters, see California Forms of Jury Instruction, Ch. 3, Judicial Council of California Contract Instructions and Chs. 3A-3I, Matthew Bender Instructions (Matthew Bender).
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