Time is of the essence
"Time is of the essence" is a term in contract law which indicates that the parties to the agreement
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

 must perform
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 by the time to which the parties have agreed if a delay will cause material harm, such as the court's interpretation in the case of Foundation Development Corp. v. Loehmann’s Inc. 788 P.2d 1189 (Ariz. 1990). In that case, a minor delay was not held to cause material harm and thus no breach
Breach of contract
Breach of contract is a legal cause of action in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other party's performance....

 of contract occurred.

Compare this to an "express clause" where a specific contract term must be performed to avoid breach, such as in the court decision in Dove v. Rose Acre Farms, Inc. 434 N.E.2d 931 (Ct. App. Ind. 1982).

Contrast this with reasonable time
Reasonable time
Reasonable time is that amount of time which is fairly necessary, conveniently, to do whatever is required to be done, as soon as circumstances permit.This phrase is a U.S. legal term that has been a topic of controversy for many years...

, where a delay in performing may be justified if it is reasonably required, based upon subjective
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

circumstances such as unexpected weather. Black's Law Dictionary (2nd Pocket ed. 2001 pg. 584).
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