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Posted: 1/27/2006 2:08:57 PM EDT

Is there a legal expression or rule whereby a term which is undefined in a contract is assumed to be defined by common language meaning?

Like the word "day" - if what constitutes a "day" is not specifically defined in a contract, is there some legal precedent or tradition that states that the definition will be however it is defined in common language?

Link Posted: 1/27/2006 3:03:49 PM EDT
Bueller?

Link Posted: 1/27/2006 3:10:47 PM EDT
One source for legal definitions is Black's Law Dictionary. Other than that it usually just resorts to the common dictionaries, Webster's, Oxford, etc.

Link Posted: 1/27/2006 4:04:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Is there a legal expression or rule whereby a term which is undefined in a contract is assumed to be defined by common language meaning?

Like the word "day" - if what constitutes a "day" is not specifically defined in a contract, is there some legal precedent or tradition that states that the definition will be however it is defined in common language?





Yes. Unless the parties give a word or term some special meaning explicitly, or some special meaning can be determined through the context of the document, or the term has special meaning to the parties as members of a group, industry, trade, or business, then a "plain meaning" or "plain language" (regular old dictionary definition) interpretation would be given to the term.



Link Posted: 1/27/2006 4:11:12 PM EDT
Yep. The key is whether one party can convince the court that the term has special meaning between the parties because of prior dealings between them or because of usage of trade.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 6:56:51 PM EDT
Thanks. That helps.
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