Contract Interpretation

News & Analysis as of

Arbitration Provisions – Class Action Claims

Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc. - Supreme Court of California (July 28, 2016) - Does the court or the arbitrator decide whether the parties to an arbitration agreement intended class arbitration where the...more

Contract Interpretation: Whether The Contract Is A Non-Insurance Indemnity Agreement Or An Insurance Policy Makes A Big Difference...

In Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc. (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 541, 187 P.3d 424, 79 Cal.Rptr.3d 721, the California Supreme Court addressed an indemnitor’s duty to defend the indemnitee under a non-insurance indemnity agreement...more

California High Court Rules that Contract Principles Govern Who Decides the Availability of Class Arbitration Under an Arbitration...

On July 28, 2016, in Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., the California Supreme Court (the “Court”) held that the underlying arbitration agreement, as interpreted under California contract principles, should determine whether...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Contract Interpretation Rules

This is an excellent primer on the rules that guide the proper interpretation of a contract. While the rules it applies are taught to first year law students, they are too often forgotten by those of us long out of school....more

Minerals Matters - Spring 2016

Minerals Matters is DLA Piper's bi-annual publication which showcases the breadth and depth of our experience in the mining and minerals sector across our office network and in all practice areas. In this issue, we...more

Florida DCAs Weigh in on Allstate Case; PIP Litigation Now Headed to Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court soon will hear arguments in the case of Florida Wellness & Rehabilitation vs. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., which pits medical providers against the automobile insurer on the issue of fees...more

Insurers Challenge Retroactive Application of New Florida Law that Requires Comparison of Names of Accounts to Death Master File

Amendments to the Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act in 2016 made significant changes to unclaimed property presumptions and insurance company obligations. See § 717.107, Fla. Stat. (2016) (the Act). Among other...more

Contra Proferentem Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Against the Insurer’

Despite best efforts, ambiguities are inevitable in contracts. The doctrine of contra proferentem shifts the risk of ambiguity to the party that drafted the contract. The doctrine is frequently applied against insurers where...more

Where’s My %$^&# Dollar?

The issue of consideration in an assignment is always in the background, but only occasionally comes up. In Memorylink Corp. v. Motorola Solutions, Inc., 773 F.3d 1266, 113 USPQ2d 1088 (Fed. Cir. 2014), the Federal Circuit...more

UK Litigation in a Post Brexit World

As in so many other areas, the effect of the decision to leave the European Union in the referendum on 23 June 2016 on litigation in England and Wales in still highly uncertain. There are a number of issues that the UK...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Use of English in contractual documents between two French companies

Two legal persons governed by French private law may, by mutual agreement, draft their contractual documents in the English language. On 30 May 2016, the Commercial Practices Review Commission (hereinafter the ‘CEPC’ –...more

Colorado Supreme Court Limits Use of Extrinsic Evidence and Reasonable Expectations Doctrine

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its decision in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, No. 14SC99 (Colo. June 20, 2016), holding that extrinsic evidence can only be used to interpret ambiguous policy language,...more

Is a lump sum contract a feature of a "design and build" contract? - A case study of Goh Eng Lee Andy v Yeo Jin Kow [2016] SGHC...

Is a lump sum contract a feature of a "design and build" contract? This was the central issue that the High Court had to decide in the recent case of Goh Eng Lee Andy v Yeo Jin Kow [2016] SGHC 110. After examining the...more

LOL! OMG. HUH? Court Finds That Text Message Can Form Binding Contract

In the world of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it is no secret that individuals are communicating regularly on their smartphones about their business affairs. Recently, a court addressed the question about whether a text...more

Contractual interpretation disputes from the Trustee's perspective: The saga continues

In the first four months of 2016 three more judgments relating to issues of contractual interpretation of provisions contained in documents of securitisation transactions (all three of them for legacy CMBS deals) and...more

Arizona court applies traditional exclusion in modern “cyber” coverage form

In one of the first published rulings on coverage under a stand-alone “cyber” insurance policy, a federal court in Arizona recently applied old-school coverage analysis to a new-school cybersecurity policy in P.F. Chang’s...more

It Depends on the Meaning of the Word “Or” – Interpreting Brand Name or Equal Clauses

The CBCA recently published an opinion addressing the interpretation of “Brand Name or Equal” clauses in Glancy & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Veterans Affairs. In Glancy, the contract specifications identified a patient...more

"No Variation" Clauses Weakened By Court Of Appeal

When is a change not a change? One answer to that paradox is: when it is an attempted contractual variation. Such variations can fail for a number of reasons: lack of consideration, lack of clarity in what is agreed and an...more

Brexit - Flexit Clauses

There has been plenty of commentary about how the Brexit debate is impacting corporate, commercial, finance and real estate transactions. In the media there have been reports of “market jitters” surrounding the possibility of...more

New York High Court Applies All Sums Allocation To Long-Tail Claims Under Certain Insurance Policies

The New York Court of Appeals recently answered two certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court concerning insurance allocation, and the Court’s answers may impact significantly policyholders litigating “long-tail”...more

Insurance Recovery Group News: New York Holds Excess Insurers Liable For “All Sums” Related To Long Tail Claims

For more than two decades, the problem of allocating the costs of long tail claims – such as environmental and asbestos claims – among multiple insurance carriers has generally been resolved in one of two ways. Courts in...more

New York’s Highest Court Creates Exception to Pro Rata Allocation

On May 3, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals answered two certified questions posed by the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the appropriate allocation method for long-tail claims among successive excess carriers. The first...more

Trial Court’s Interpretation of a Contract Much Harder to Overturn, the Supreme Court of Canada Confirms

To overturn a trial court’s interpretation of a contract on appeal, it is not enough that the trial court was wrong, it must be really wrong, the Supreme Court of Canada recently affirmed in Heritage Capital Corp v Equitable...more

PF Newsletter: LMA Updates - Quarter One 2016

Legal & Regulatory - BRRD: FCA publishes modification by consent for Article 55 rules - Article 55 of the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive 2014/59 (BRRD) requires European Economic Area (EEA) firms and...more

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