News and Events for Attorneys and Executives

Dot Your I’s, Cross Your T’s, and Place Your Commas

When drafting contracts, briefs, and other documents, the significance of placing a comma is often overlooked, points out Hyatt & Weber P.A. The decision to include or omit a comma, however, could be dispositive in a dispute over the meaning of legislation or a contract.

“Indeed, in O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, 851 F.3d 69 (1st Cir. 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found the absence of a comma created an ambiguity when interpreting certain legislation, and that ambiguity drove the outcome of the litigation,” according to a post of the firm’s website.

“Guiding principles regarding the use of commas and other writing conventions should be strongly considered when drafting contracts, for example, as including or excluding a comma in a particular contract provision may ultimately determine whether a company owes or is owed millions of dollars in a subsequent dispute,” the post continues.

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