How To Interpret A Contract? Ask Those Who’d Sign It

Law360 (March 21, 2018, 12:14 PM EDT) -- Surveys have become an accepted method of evaluating consumer perceptions in a wide range of cases. However, when it comes to interpreting contracts, it is often the judge or jury who are tasked with interpreting the text.

For example, a California appellate panel recently disagreed with the lower court’s interpretation of a contract between Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority and a contractor, reversing a $93 million judgment. Judges and juries interpret contract clauses based on their view of a contract’s plain meaning, precedents construing similar language, interpretive canons and perhaps common sense or extrinsic evidence. But courts generally do not...

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