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The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is among the most devastating and disruptive forces in recent history. As a result of the emergency measures imposed by various governments, it has or will become impracticable or impossible for many parties to perform their contractual obligations – or at least some will claim as such. A common question in the wake of the pandemic will thus be whether a party should be excused for its non-performance.
The answer to that question will vary by the terms of the contract at issue, the particular facts surrounding the nonperformance, and the law of the jurisdiction involved. However, a party whose operations were compromised by the pandemic should seek to assess the applicability of three potential defenses: force majeure, frustration of purpose, and impossibility.
Please join Stephen P. Younger, Muhammed U. Faridi and Timothy H. Smith from Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP as they discuss:
- Each of these defenses in the context of potential commercial contracts disputes arising out of the Coronavirus pandemic
- Common obstacles to invoking these defenses
- Similar defenses that may be available when a contract is governed by the U.C.C. or the C.I.S.G.
Program Level: Update
Intended Audience: Corporate and financial services attorneys, insurance, bankers and allied professionals involved in commercial transactions
Advanced Preparation: None