In this article, our Downers Grove contract dispute lawyers explain In this article, our Downers Grove breach of contract lawyers explain some common defenses to breach of contract claims in Illinois contract litigation. If the person that you contracted with has himself breached the contract, then you are no longer bound by it, so long as the breach is material. A breach is material if it is the type of breach that defeats the purpose of the contract. If the other party represents or takes action to indicate that he does not intend to perform his obligations under the contract, you are absolved of your own obligation to perform. If you were forced to sign the contract against your will, you are not bound by it. This defense includes not only physical duress (the proverbial gun to your head), but also economic duress. Economic duress is defined as the unlawful use of financial or economic pressure or threats to force a person to contract. An unconscionable contract is one that is extremely one-sided in favor of the party with superior bargaining power. Courts will not enforce a contract where there is a material mistake regarding the subject matter, so long as the mistake is mutual. If only one party is mistaken, courts will not enforce the contract if the other party knew of the mistake and should have acted to prevent it. If you entered into a contract because of a material misrepresentation of fact by the other party, the contract is not enforceable against you. It will, however be enforceable against the party committing the fraud. Bear in mind that failure to disclose material information (omission) also qualifies as fraud. A contract will not be upheld where one party exercises control over another party so as to overcome that party’s independent judgment. The definition of undue influence includes, but is not limited to, exploitation of a vulnerability, such as a mental deficiency; exploitation of a confidential relationship; blackmail; bad faith threats of criminal prosecution; or extortion. If an unexpected event makes performance of the contract impossible or impracticable, neither party will be bound by the contract.