The promisee, whom we will hereafter refer to as the nonbreaching party, has the right to damages (a money award), if that is required to make her whole, whenever the other party has breached the contract, unless, of course, the contract itself or other circumstances suspend or discharge that right. Damages refers to money paid by one side to the other; it is a legal remedy. For historical and political reasons in the development of the English legal system, the courts of law were originally only able to grant monetary relief. If a petitioner wanted something other than money, recourse to a separate system of equity was required. The courtrooms and proceedings for each were separate. That actual separation is long gone, but the distinction is still recognized; a judge may be said to be “sitting in law” or “sitting in equity,” or a case may involve requests for both money and some action. We take up the legal remedies of damages first.
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