Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

Interpretation of disputed terms in a contract dispute

People and businesses in Florida enter into contracts almost every day. Some contracts are simply accepting the terms for using a product or service, but many others take many hours of negotiation to ensure that the contract states exactly what the parties to the contract want it to say. The more money that is on the line, generally, the longer contract formation process may take. After the contract is signed by all parties, it becomes official, and everyone is bound by its terms.

However, from time to time one party may violate those terms and breach the contract. This can lead to contract disputes. These disputes can be fairly straightforward in some situations when the breach is very obvious, but other times the breach may be more subtle and both sides may feel they are in the right. This can occur when the parties dispute the meaning of certain terms in the contract. Eventually if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the contract dispute may go to a jury or judge to decide for them.

When interpreting disputed terms in the contract, courts first look to the plain and ordinary meaning of the terms or the accepted industry definition for the term if the contract dispute is in a certain trade or industry. They will also look and the circumstances surrounding the formation of the contract and what the parties said or wrote during that time. The courts will also analyze the entire contract and do not just isolate their analysis to the particular clause in dispute.

There are many contract disputes in Florida every year and how terms are interpreted have a major impact on the outcome of these disputes. Some contracts disputes have millions of dollars at stake. Interpreting these contracts can have major implications for the parties involved in the dispute. It is important for those facing a contract dispute to thoroughly understand all aspects of the contract so they can develop a strong argument in their favor.

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