Contracts/Cover

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Contracts Treatise
Table of Contents
Contracts Outline
Introduction and Definitions
Introduction
Definitions
Elements
Contract formation
Parties
Offer
Acceptance
Intention to Bind
Formal requisites
Mailbox rule
Mirror image rule
Invitation to deal
Firm offer
Consideration
Consent
Implication-in-fact
Collateral contract
Modification
Merger
Uniform Commercial Code
Uniform Commercial Code
Course of dealing
Course of performance
UCC-1 financing statement
Uniform Commercial Code adoption
Defenses against formation
Lack of capacity
Duress
Undue influence
Illusory promise
Statute of frauds
Uncertainty
Non est factum
Contract interpretation
Governing law
Construction and Operation
Parol evidence rule
Contract of adhesion
Integration clause
Contra proferentem
Excuses for non-performance
Mistake
Misrepresentation
Frustration of purpose
Impossibility
Impracticability
Illegality
Unclean hands
Unconscionability
Accord and satisfaction
Rights of third parties
Privity of contract
Assignment
Delegation
Novation
Third-party beneficiary
Performance or Breach
Necessity of performance
Sufficiency of performance
Anticipatory repudiation
Cover
Exclusion clause
Efficient breach
Deviation
Fundamental breach
Termination
Termination
Rescission
Termination and rescission
Abrogation and rescission
Subsequent contract
Termination
Forfeiture
Remedies
Specific performance
Liquidated damages
Punitive damages
Quasi-contractual obligations
Estoppel
Quantum meruit
Actions
Actions in General
Parties to Action
Pleading
Evidence
Questions of Law and Fact
Instructions
Trial and Judgment

Cover is a term used in the law of contracts to describe a remedy available to a buyer who has received an anticipatory repudiation of a contract for the receipt of goods. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, the buyer is permitted (but not required) to find another source of the same type of goods. The buyer may then file a lawsuit against the breaching seller to recover the difference, if any, between the cost of the goods offered and the cost of the goods actually purchased.

The possibility of cover will prevent a party from being able to sue for specific performance, which is an equitable remedy that requires the buyer have no adequate remedy at law. If the buyer is able to buy elsewhere and sue for the difference, that provides an adequate remedy. This prohibition does not apply, however, to the sale of unique goods such as original works of art, collectibles, real estate, and exclusive rights.

Judge Richard Posner has suggested that the availability of cover allows for efficient breach - that is, that it encourages the most efficient allocation of resources by allowing a seller to breach a contract to sell goods to one buyer when another, more lucrative opportunity comes along. The seller may thus be able to realize a sufficiently increased profit to make more money even after repaying the difference to the original buyer. Therefore, no value is lost in the transaction because the original buyer is in the same position he would have been in but for the breach, and the seller is in a better position.