Friday, September 18, 2015

Contracts and ambiguity.

Practice Point:  The Appellate Division noted that the threshold question of whether a contract is unambiguous, and the subsequent construction and interpretation of an unambiguous contract, are issues of law.  The Appellate Division further noted that, when interpreting a contract, the court should arrive at a construction which will give fair meaning to all of the parties' language in order to reach a practical interpretation of the parties' expressions so that their reasonable expectations will be realized.  Extrinsic and parol evidence of the parties' intent may not be admitted to create ambiguity in a contract that is unambiguous on its face, but such evidence may be considered where a contract is determined to be ambiguous.

Student note:   If the contract's language is susceptible of more than one reasonable interpretation, the contract will be considered ambiguous.

Case:  NRT N.Y., LLC v. Harding, NY Slip Op 06719 (2d Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue:   Setting aside a prenuptial agreement.