Many legal battles in the construction industry revolve around contract interpretation disputes. Care in contract drafting is a valuable way to avoid disputes, writes Michael Wilson in Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale’s Construction Law Blog.
“A fundamental principle of contract interpretation is to ascertain and give effect to the parties’ objectively expressed intent. What a party was trying to say, without accurately expressing it, does not count. Contract terms are usually given their ordinary (i.e., dictionary) meaning unless the contract specially defines them or the industry has adopted a special meaning known to both parties,” Wilson writes.
In his article, he discusses at length the principle of identifying and interpreting ambiguity, and the tools that can be used to improve a contract.