Skip to Content

Ronald Menna, Jr. Discusses Illinois’ ‘Partial Breach’ Doctrine in Recent ISBA Article

In an article entitled “Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right: Illinois Adopts the ‘Partial Breach’ Doctrine,” published in the June 2024 edition of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Trial Briefs section newsletter, Ronald Menna, Jr. details Illinois’ recent adoption of the “partial breach” doctrine.

A party who materially breaches a contract cannot take advantage of the terms of the contract which benefit it, nor can it recover damages from the other party to the contract. From this concept arose Illinois’ “first-to-breach rule”, which holds a material breach of a contract provision by one party may be grounds for releasing the other party from its contractual obligations.

Ron outlines the history of the “partial breach” doctrine as an exception to the first-to-breach rule, noting that in PML Development LLC v. Village of Hawthorn Woods, the Illinois Supreme Court held “for the first time, if an injured party elects to continue with a contract after a material breach by the other party, the injured party cannot later cease performance and then claim it had no duty to perform based on the other party’s first material breach.”

Ron details the PML Development Court’s analysis of how the injured party may proceed when faced with a material breach, and the consequence of the injured party’s subsequent material breach if an injured party elects to continue performing a contract, despite the other party’s material breach.

Read the full article here.

Ron’s primary areas of practice are civil appeals, commercial litigation, chancery actions, and association representation. He represents a wide variety of individuals and corporate clients, as well as banks, corporate fiduciaries, and individuals in guardianship proceedings. Ron has extensive trial experience in both state and federal courts and has successfully argued before the Illinois Appellate Court and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

July 9, 2024 | Business Law |