How to Interpret Contracts
When two parties enter into a contract, they are essentially agreeing to a set of terms and conditions. However, what happens if there is a disagreement about the meaning of one or more of those terms? This is where contract interpretation comes in.
Contract interpretation is the process of determining the meaning of the words in a contract. This can be a complex task, as there are many factors that can affect the meaning of a contract, including the language used, the context in which the contract was made, and the intent of the parties.
In California, the law governing contract interpretation is found in the California Civil Code. The Civil Code provides a number of general principles that courts use to interpret contracts. These principles include:
- The contract should be interpreted in accordance with the mutual intention of the parties.
- The entire contract should be considered, and each clause should be interpreted in light of the other clauses.
- Words should be given their ordinary and popular meaning unless they are used in a technical sense or have a special meaning that is known to the parties.
- Technical words should be interpreted according to their customary meaning in the relevant profession or business.
- A contract should be interpreted in accordance with the law and usage of the place where it is to be performed.
- If there is any uncertainty in the meaning of the contract, the language should be interpreted against the party who caused the uncertainty.
- If no time is specified for the performance of an act, a reasonable time is allowed.
If you are involved in a dispute about the meaning of a contract, it is important to speak to an attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. An attorney can also help you interpret the contract and prepare a legal argument in support of your interpretation.
If you have any questions about contract interpretation or would like to speak to an attorney about your case, please reach out today. I can help you understand your rights and options and to protect your interests.