Elements of Contract Interpretation

Oxford University Press, USA | November 17, 2008 | ISBN-10: 0195337492 | 256 pages | PDF | 1.3 Mb

Unclear contracts are common, and a large number of litigated cases in the U.S. require clarification of the parties agreement. The process of clarifying an unclear contract involves three legal tasks. A judge must first identify the terms to be interpreted, then must determine whether the terms are ambiguous and encompass the rival interpretations advanced by the parties. Finally, if the terms are ambiguous, a finder of fact must resolve the ambiguity by choosing between the rival interpretations. Performing these tasks often involves the question of what evidence may be considered. Further, the courts may decide contract interpretation issues based on the agreements literal terms, or the parties objective or subjective intentions.